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Factors Affecting Learning in Psychology – 6 Major Factors Affecting Learning | General Psychology

Learning is a permanent change in behavior due to experience, training, and practice. It brings some modification in behavior and once an individual learns new things it will last at least for some period of time. Generally, learning is need-directed.

Learning is directly or indirectly related to organizational behavior in terms of increasing competency, leadership ability, and motivation at work. It is necessary for every organization to generate new ideas, knowledge, concepts, strategies, technologies, understanding, behaviors, skill values, attitudes, preferences, etc. to cope with the changing environment of the organization.

Factors Affecting Learning in Psychology

Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior by some practice, training, and experiences. It modifies some undesirable behavior to desirable behavior. The process of learning is comprehensive. There are many factors that affect this process, including the learner, the teacher, the process, and the content.

Teachers and parents can benefit greatly from a thorough understanding of these factors for guiding their children’s learning. Many internal and external factors influence the learning process. Some of the factors influencing learning are given below.

1) Individual motives

Individual motives

A motive is a person’s reason for choosing a specific behavior from among several alternatives. Motives are derived from needs. Human motives are created whenever there is a physiological or psychological imbalance and try to fill such imbalance.

It is the reason for action that gives purpose and direction to certain behavior. Motives are drivers that encourage people to act and learn.

2) Physiological factors

Physiological factors

It includes the physical condition of a person like sense perception, physical health, fatigue, time of learning, food drink, atmospheric condition, age, etc.

a) Sensation and Perception

The psychological factors that contribute to learning, in addition to the general health of the student, are sensation and perception. Perception begins with sensation. The five sense organs are the skin, the ears, the tongue, the eyes, and the nose.

These sense organs serve as the gateways for knowledge and aid in the perception of various stimuli in the surrounding environment. A defect in any sense organ will affect learning and, therefore, knowledge acquisition.

b) Fatigue and Boredom

Fatigue is mental or physical exhaustion that impairs performance and competency. Boredom, on the other hand, is a lack of desire or aversion to work.

When one has such an aversion, one feels fatigued without actually feeling tired. When one studies, one rarely feels fatigued. Apart from causing the impression of fatigue, boredom leads to decreased student learning efficiency.

c) Age and Maturation

Learning is directly related to age and maturity. An individual cannot learn unless they are mature enough to do so. Depending on their age, some children are able to learn certain subjects more quickly, while others take longer.

d) Emotional Conditions

Learning is improved by desirable emotional conditions. Joy, satisfaction and happiness enhance learning in any situation. Conversely, adverse emotional conditions hinder learning. A number of studies have established that emotional strain, stress, tensions, disturbances, etc, are extremely detrimental to academic achievement.

e) Food and Drink

Proper nutrition is essential for mental performance. Learning is adversely affected by poor nutrition. The type of food also matters. Tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol, among other addictive items, have adverse effects on the neuromuscular system and consequently on learning capacity.

f) Atmospheric conditions

Humidity and high temperatures impact mental performance. Noise, inadequate lighting, low ventilation and physical discomfort (as we find in overcrowded schools and factories) hinder learning. There are a number of distractions that affect the ability to concentrate and therefore the efficiency of learning.

In the same way, learning is also influenced by mental ability like mental health, motivation and interest, success, praise, and blame, etc. All these factors are the outcome of genes and chromosomes from their parents. They are somehow uncontrollable.

For example, an individual suffering from bad health cannot think of learning new things.

3) Social factors

Social factors

Social factors encourage learning for individuals. It includes social needs, rewards, and punishment, competition, suggestions, cooperation, etc. Social cultures encourage learning new knowledge having accepted by society and discourage knowledge gained discarded by society.

Similarly, learning whose consequences are rewarded by society is continued and those learning which are punishable are not continued. In general view, learning should be always positive and good result oriented.

Thus, society provides guidelines and support to individuals. Social factors include parents, family, peers, teachers, managers, reference groups, etc.

4) Environmental factors

Environmental factors

Natural factors affecting learning are light, noise, cold, temperature, etc. learning needs a proper environment so that they can maintain patience and care.

Besides this environmental factors include working conditions, organizational setup, etc. all the surrounding should be in favor of learning. Only then a good learner can learn as effectively as he can.

a) Working conditions

Poor working conditions, distractions, noise, poor lighting, poor ventilation, overcrowding, awkward seating arrangements, and uncomfortable accommodations impede learning. School location, interior design, accommodation, decorations, and the quality of health and sanitary conditions play a major role in the efficiency of learning.

b) Organisational set-up

Learning is also affected by the organisational setup of the school. In order to draw the schedule, the psychological principles must be followed. Boredom and fatigue should be avoided. It is best to teach challenging subjects in the morning.

There should be a break after some periods. A democratic organization encourages a healthy learning environment. In order for pupils to be motivated to learn, there should be a healthy relationship between the teacher and the pupils. There should also be some competition between them.

Competitions between classes or between houses will motivate the students to test themselves harder in order to outdo each other. Jealousy and rivalry should, however, be avoided. We should strengthen group emulation and encourage pupils to participate actively.

They should not act passively when learning. The choice of subjects and activities for the pupils should be based on their age, ability, and aptitude. Children who are unguided may oscillate from one subject to another, and so don’t form any significant groups.

For example, a person cannot learn well in a noisy environment due to a bad organizational setup. He needs a peaceful environment to perceive new learning.

5) Nature of learning materials

Nature of learning materials

The availability of learning materials affects the learning process of individuals. People need learning material on the basis of their area, and level of education.

Proper presentation and organization of materials, practical implementation of learning, special methods of learning, and timely testing can help to learn effectively.

The faculty also affect the learning pattern like management student need to learn by presentation, science needs to learn by a lab test, and art students need to learn by practice.

Similarly, the level of education and understanding also affect learning patterns. For example, an illiterate person needs more attention to learn a basic thing than that of a literate.

6) Methodology of Instructions

  • Presentation and Organization of Materials

The learning material should be well-planned and organized. It should be graded according to the mental level of the students. The presentation should be meaningful and interesting.

  • Learning by Doing

The only way to become perfect is to practice. Practicing and repetition are essential to learning. Students should be encouraged to engage in active learning. A practical application of knowledge, experimentation, and personal application should replace theoretical teaching.

Experiencing something personally makes learning better. Verbalization should be limited to the bare minimum.

  • Special Methods of Learning

Some special methods have been found to be more effective. Both the whole method and the part method have been advocated when learning poetry. It is sometimes helpful to recall what is learned and recite it from memory. Gestalt psychologists don’t believe in ‘trial and error learning’.

Instead, they promote learning by insight. In other words, they discourage mechanical repetition without understanding.

  • Timely Testing

The learner knows his exact achievement through tests, so there is no room for overestimation or underestimation. Periodic and occasional testing motivates students to be regular in their studies.

Factors Affecting Learning Quiz/MCQs

This is a factor that is defined by how you see yourself
a) Intelligence
b) Self
c) Emotions
d) Cumulative learning

What is punishment?
a) Anything that the subject will work to avoid
b) Any unpleasant stimulus
c) Anything that the subject dislikes
d) Anything that decreases the frequency of a behavior

Tend to increase the chances that a particular behavior will be repeated
a) Reward
b) Punishment
c) Reinforcement
d) Signals

One of the factors that contributes to learning when you tend to relate what you see and hear
a) The self
b) Past experience
c) Intelligence
d) Motivation

What is the factor of learning that makes you want to learn?
a) Self
b) Intelligence
c) Emotions
d) Motivation

When enthusiasm for a subject can make you want to learn more
a) Intelligence
b) Emotions
c) Past experiences
d) Feedback

A learning factor that helps when you receive help from a more experienced person
a) Novelty
b) Past experiences
c) Cumulative learning
d) Guidance

This learning factor uses videos, debates, and other fun activities is called what?
a) Cumulative learning
b) Novelty
c) Emotions
d) Intelligence

What learning facto is used when you receive the test results quickly?
b) Feedback
c) Intelligence
d) Cumulative learning

This is the factor that is a sum of a number specific abilities and enables the person to solve problems and get new information quickly
a) Self
b) Feedback
c) Intelligence
d) Cumulative Learning

This is a factor that just builds on itself and knowledge is an ongoing process of learning
a) Cumulative learning
b) Past experience
c) Motivation
d) Self

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