This principle of learning involves the time factor and the repeated effort in order to gradually increase the strength of the response. This is especially true when the behaviours to be learned are comparatively complex such as skills that are learned and improved by practice. Learning curve is a diagrammatic presentation of the amount learned in relation to time.
There are 4 types of learning curves:
Diminishing-returns Learning Curve: In this type of learning, the "rate of increase" in the degree of skill is higher in the beginning but decreases with time until it reaches zero and the person has obtained the maximum skill. It indicates that initially there is a spurt in learning, usually the graph levels at some stage indicating the maximum performance has been achieved. This is because at the beginning of the learning process, the learner is highly motivated to exhibit a significant surge of effort.
Diminishing Return Learning Curve
Increasing Returns Learning Curve: Another type of learning curve is the "increasing-return curve " which is just the opposite of "diminishing-return curve" in the sense that there are certain learning skills where the rate of increased learning is slow in the beginning and then it increases until the maximum potential for learning is reached. This usually occurs when a person is learning a complex unfamiliar and new task.
Increasing-Return Learning Curve
Increasing-Decreasing-Return Learning Curve: It is a combination both the "diminishing-returns curve" and the "increasing-returns curve". It is an "s-Shaped curve". If a person is totally new to the skill that he is learning, then all learning will probably follow an S-shaped curve. The lower portion of the curve represent the initial stages of acquiring a skill with very slow learning initially followed by successively greater returns, eventually reaching the absolute limit.
Increasing-Decreasing Return Learning Curve
A rather complex pattern of skill acquisition is shown in the following diagram:
Increasing -Decreasing-Return Leaning Curve (complex pattern)
The stages in the increasing-decreasing-return learning is explained below: Perception and Learning
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