Essay Example on Learning: Adaptive Functioning from Classical to Observational

Paper Type: 
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1057 Words
Date:  2023-09-17


Learning is considered as an adaptive functioning in which particular environment stimuli facilitate the transformation of the nervous system, thereby changing the behavioral responses of an individual and allow them to perform better in their environment. Both operant and classical conditioning are all categories of associative type of learning while observational learning is a type of learning where an individual learns by just observation. The concept of classical conditioning is grounded on behaviorism theory where learning is obtained on the rationale of condition (Rathus, 2018). In classical conditioning, environmental stimuli result in an associated behavior just like in Ivan Pavlov's famous study.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Besides, classical conditioning plays a vital role in human beings as an adaptive mechanism as conditioning can protect an individual from distress (Rathus, 2018). For instance, seeing a dog and associating it with experience of dog bite makes one fear dogs. Classical conditioning has contributed much to how I relate with my peers, family, and people around me. Associating the negative repercussion associated with negative interactions with my family and friends stimulates positive social interactions to keep healthy and happy relationships. As a result, this has enabled me to establish happy and healthy relationships.

Operant conditioning, on the other hand, focuses on the introduction of either positive or negative reinforcements to produce or modify the desired outcome (Rathus, 2018). School setting can sometimes be very undesirable especially for young children. Negative attitudes towards schooling among young children may result in deterioration of academic performance. To mitigate this problem, my parents applied operant conditioning by the use of positive reinforcement such as rewarding me with candy every time I completed my daily homework. Additionally, they would gift me for my good performance in school. Besides, compliments by my teachers for my good presentations and performances in class encouraged me further to work hard in my academics. All these were very influential as they motivated me further in my academics. Moreover, my professors plaid a significant role in my observational learning experience, my experience with their modesty, organizational skills, efficiency, and proficiency has impacted how I suitably conduct my obligations. Additionally, healthy behaviors promoted in TV programs have also positively impacted my behaviors and healthy life choices I make.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a motivational concept in psychology constituting of classification of needs that determines an individual’s behavior (Rathus, 2018). Physiological needs such as water, food, warmth, and rest and safety needs like security and safety are under basic needs. Love and belonging needs, and esteem needs such as friends, intimate relationships, feelings of accomplishment and prestige are classified as psychological needs. Self-actualization needs come at the top of the pyramid as the highest level of needs in Maslow's hierarchy. They refer to the self-fulfillment, accomplishment of a person's full potential, and pursuing maximum experience and personal growth.

After successfully meeting physiological and safety needs, we are always motivated to meet other higher level of needs for our maximum comfort and fulfillment. Meeting social needs, also known as love and belongingness needs such as acceptance, friendship, trust, love, intimacy, giving and obtaining affections, and meeting esteemed needs such as respect, self-esteem, accomplishment, confidence, and status usually mounts pressure on an individual to strive and maintain a healthy relationship, affection, and social status. As a result, successfully meeting esteemed and loves and belongingness needs motivates me to work harder due to the pressure and fear of losing myself worth, respect, and self-esteem.

Additionally, the need to learn and influence people around me surges over time. My contemporary status in society motivates me to behave in certain ways to maintain my modesty to continuously earn respect from my peers, families, and friends. However, with increasing desire of meeting self-actualization needs and be a role model within my future workplace, family, and to my younger generation, I constantly learn, behave and positively use subjected social pressure to work hard to propel me further in maintaining current status and to obtain my full potential.

Development of Personality

Personality is the individuals’ dynamic organization of psychophysical systems that influences their thoughts, behaviors, and general characteristics that make them distinctive (Rathus, 2018). Personality is very imperative as it defines us. Personality development describes the emergence of systematic behavioral patterns that determines an individual’s unique personality over time. Factors such as environment, societal variables, parenting, and genetics play a vital role in shaping personality (Rathus, 2018). Primarily, constant interaction with these factors constantly influences our personality. Numerous theories have been developed by different theorists and psychologists to explain development and factors that affect personality development through diverse perspectives.

The psychodynamic view of personality development emphasizes on the significance and the influence of early childhood encounters and the effects of unconscious psychological processes (Rathus, 2018). Sigmund Freud developed psychosexual stages theories stressing the significance of early childhood experiences, the impact of sexual instincts, and the unconscious in the formation and personality development. Moreover, he emphasized the importance and influence of the different erogenous zones play in the development of personality through different development stages. Children are often driven to pursue pleasure by satisfying their id's desires through different locations of their libido which changes with development stages over time, from oral, anal, phallic, latent, and to genitals (Rathus, 2018). Additionally, id, ego, and superego are the main components of personality. The id is facilitating the stimulation of urges and needs, while the superego manages the morals and ideals of an individual. The ego, on the other hand, regulates the needs of the id, superego, and reality (Rathus, 2018).

The humanistic perspective of personality development developed by Rogers emphasizes the self-actualization concept and the intrinsic good characteristics of individuals (Rathus, 2018). In turn, these innate needs for personal growth and development motivate different behavior and characteristics facilitating personality development at free will. The humanistic perspective of personality development focuses on human potential and different ways of freely developing personality (Rathus, 2018). The difference between the humanistic approach and the psychodynamic view is that the humanistic perspective centers on individuals' ability and control to develop the desired personality. Additionally, the psychodynamic perspective suggests that personality development happens throughout development stages from infancy to adulthood as a result of psychosexual development (Rathus, 2018). However, the humanistic perspective focuses on continuous personality development until self-actualization is realized (Rathus, 2018).


Rathus, S. (2018). Psych5 (5th ed.). Boston.

Cite this page

Essay Example on Learning: Adaptive Functioning from Classical to Observational. (2023, Sep 17). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience and 25% off!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism