Reasoning From a Behavioral Notion of Learning

By Cie Ann Scott Ph.D.

In order to reason from a behavioral definition properly, we use deductive reasoning to see whether
the example from your life fits the definition of learning.

To see if your experience is an example of learning, we compare the experience with the following
commonly used behavioral definition of learning. Learning is defined as a relatively permanent
change in behavior that is due to practice or experience. One must identify and break down the
various parts of the definition so that they can be stated as a set of conditions in the general premise.
Next, one breaks down the parts of the example that seem relevant to their definition and then assert
them as specific cases of the antecedent to make a valid argument. Lastly, one must decide whether
each of the statements is true.

If they are true, then the conclusion must follow that the example is a true example of learning.
Deductive reasoning is used to reason from a definition of leaning to an example from our
experience to see whether the example fits the definition. Inferences can also be induced by
inductive reasoning. This instance is reasoning in which conclusions are drawn from particular
instances or facts.