We learn primarly by building asociations over basic needs. This process is called conditioning. More complexe associations such as symbols, occur later. Stages of child development have been studied by Piaget. In this development, the action of the child on the environment plays en central role.
Children learn to interact with others by imitating their peers, particularly those who share similar characteristic, such as age or gender. Even fictive models are efficient. Role models can convince an individual that their abilities are limited. This is known as the “stereotype threat” and it has been experimentally observed. When it comes to gender prejudices, the effect of prejudices can be reduced when children learn that any competence can be developed, and that sex is determined by the genitals, instead of clothing or attitudes.
Coactive learning is a way of learning by interaction with others. This is an efficient form of learning and co-working, if the group is given good conditions to work together. Otherwise, group activities can result in the affirmation of the most aggressive people, and in the reduction of self-confidence and withdrawal of some others. There are various factors involved in the effectiveness of coactive learning. We will see the influence of the spatial arrangement, of the nature of the task, of the leadership, then how we can improve empathy. Finally we will study collective polarization and rumors.
Experiments in psychology reveals different factors that can influence the efficiency of memory.