Learning and Memory

Chance (2009) defines learning as those activities that increase the willingness and capacity of an individual to gain skills and knowledge to solve various difficulties in life. The concept of learning is useful in training institutions in which individuals gain occupational and vocational skills that are necessary for executing various chores in life to earn a living (Lombroso, 2004). Psychologists have discovered that learning can include acquisition of behaviors, habits, and skills and knowledge even when an individual is not conscious (Goldstone, 1998). The term knowledge is commonly used to imply the degree of verbalized recall and conscious awareness that is not observed in many learning instances (Chance, 2009). Terry (2006) defines learning as a relatively permanent change in an individual’s behavior due to experience. Changes in behavior can only be observed as the individual actively participates within his environment. For instance, a person can experience an increased heart beat and sweating after recollecting some past traumatic incidents. Implications of age, personality, and gender to learning will be analyzed.

Implications of age, personality, and gender on learning

      It has been found that effective learning depends on the individual’s age (Terry, 2009). As an individual undergoes chronological ageing, his or her cognitive functioning will be affected by a number of factors. These factors include reduced hearing ability and vision, impaired blood circulatory system, diminished neurotransmitters, chronic illness, depression, and stress (Lombroso, 2004). According to Hearst (1999), the ability to learn declines gradually at a rate of about 1 percent every year after an individual has attained twenty-five years of age. Therefore, it will be justified to say that an individual’s ability to learn is very high at young chronological age and declines gradually for most individuals (Lombroso, 2004). However, Chance (2009) suggested that ageing does not affect an individual’s intellectual power.

      Personality is defined as the specific combination of attitudinal, behavioral, and emotional response patterns of a person. Lombroso (2004) has found that personality influences the strategies and outcomes of learning. The personality traits that determine how an individual acquires information include extraversion, agreeableness, openness, and conscientiousness to experience (Chance, 2009).  Extraverts are verbally and physically active while introverts are steady, reserved, independent, and prefer being alone (Chance, 2009). Extraverts learn effectively when they actively associate with other people in the learning environment, while the introverts learn well when they are left alone (Chance, 2009). A conscientious individual concentrates on only a few goals and works hard to comprehend them (Lombroso, 2004). The more conscientious people are more dutiful, competent, responsible, and orderly and therefore learn better than the less conscientious individuals (Lombroso, 2004). Agreeable individuals are kind, gentle, warm, and sympathetic (Terry, 2009). More agreeable individuals tend to learn better from other people because of a warm relationship. Openness to experiences enables individuals to prefer novelty and to become more liberal. Open individuals are likely to learn well than less open people (Terry, 2009).

      Lombroso (2004) defines gender as a range of traits that distinguish between females and males, specifically in the cases of women and men characteristics assigned to them. Various research on brain shows that girls and boys learn differently. Left brain dominates in girls while right brain dominates in boys (Chance, 2009). Therefore, most girls do better in verbal skills such as writing and reading while boys do better in spatial learning, especially in mathematics and sciences (Chance, 2009). Most boys exclusively rely on non-verbal type communication (Chance, 2009).   


      Learning depends on an individual’s personality, age, and gender. These factors are usually considered in various learning situations because they determine how an individual will successfully acquire knowledge. Age and gender are associated with the nature of brain. Neural transmission tends to be weaker in older people and more active in younger people (Hearst, 1999). Right brain dominates in men while left brain dominates in women.  

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