Learning is a key process in human behavior. It plays a very significant role in every activity from a simple response of buttoning your shirt to a very complex response of policy making for the nation. Psychologists have tried to explain our varied experiences of learning with a few basic processes. We experience form three main fundamental types of learning: classical conditioning (responding), operant or instrumental conditioning (acting), and cognitive learning, which includes observational learning and insightful learning.

The trial-and-error learning is a precursor to and a form of instrumental conditioning. The insightful learning is a form of cognitive learning, which emphasizes the internal processes operating within the organism. Early approaches to learning investigated the connection between stimulus and response without referring to cognitive or mental processes. In recent years, psychologists have emphasized how cognitive processes mediate the connection between stimulus and response. Both insightful and observational learning come under cognitive-social approaches to learning.