Learning is one of the processes of acquiring knowledge about the world. It is a process of cognition. Any response that the organism has not inherited Is said to be learned. Human beings have lesser-inborn instincts compared to their learned responses. Animals lower in the developmental continuum deal with environmental challenges by relying on an innate set of responses, called fixed-action patterns. The behaviors of human beings are controlled more by a set of learned responses. The things that we were not able to do before, but are capable of doing now are the results of learning. Knowing to ride a bicycle, to swim, to solve arithmetic problems, to use language, and to operate on a computer are some of the common examples of learning. Without learning, the world would have been still a booming, buzzing confusion.
Learning is a very fundamental topic for psychologists. It plays a central role in every branch of psychology. A psychologist studying perception might ask, “How do we learn that people who look small from a distance are far away, not simply tiny?” A developmental psychologist might inquire, “How do babies learn to distinguish their mothers form other women?” A clinical psychologist might wonder, “Why are some people afraid of frogs?” A social psychologist might ask, “How does a human child learn the etiquettes of his culture?” A psychologist studying animal behaviors might wonder, “How does a dog learn to obey its master, and not strangers?” These questions drawn from different fields of psychology can be answered only with reference to learning process.