Informal Learning

912 Words Nov 22nd, 2012 4 Pages
Informal Learning
The fear of heights or acrophobia seems to be a normal fear for those afflicted with it. It would seem that this fear is a basic way to protect ourselves from falls that could do serious harm. This fear is not universal, and luckily so. We would have many unclean windows on skyscrapers and our electric lines would be out of repair or nonexistent. This paper will look at the informal learning experience that can bring about acrophobia.
Informal learning is an undirected form of learning that does not take place under an instructor or in a class room. It is generally unconscious and difficult to quantify. Focusing on acrophobia, the idea that heights are dangerous is all-around us. There are signs around us
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We have a degree of understanding at birth that heights can be harmful. Once you show that you can fall from a height we see the possible outcome fear is instilled. Now the conditioned stimulus of the tree shows that heights are bad and can hurt you and the conditioned response is fear.
If we apply the same scenario to operant conditioning we will see that the same education could occur. If every time I climbed a tree, I fell out and hurt myself or saw someone else get hurt I would associate heights with falling and become scared of heights. The operant in this scenario is the climbing.
A great deal of our learning falls under the cognitive-social learning theory. I observed my friend fall from the tree and it did show that heights can be dangerous. I knew that they were ,but it needed reinforced. Through observational learning I was engaged in the activity at the time so attention was being paid, and because of the shock of the incident retention was achieved. I saw that reproduction could only occur if I were back at a height able to hurt me and the fact that it could not if I did not climb the tree anymore was reinforcement.
In the end I learned to be cautious around heights because you can hurt yourself severely if you are not careful. I went through a time where I was very scared of heights but got over it by…