Factors affecting learning

Q. Factors affecting learning

Factors affecting learning (individual and environmental)


View of Boring, Longfeld & Weld: “Maturation means growth and development that is necessary either before any unlearned behavior can occur or before the learning of any particular behavior can take place”.

View of Garry & Kingsley: “Maturation is the process whereby behavior is modified as a result of growth and development of Physical structures”.

Thus, Maturation is essentially a process of modification from within, an innate ripening or development of the capacities of the organism.

Both learning and maturation are inter- related, inter- dependent, the one aiding or retarding the other.

Maturation depends upon hereditary endowment and provides the raw material for learning and determines the more general patterns and sequences of individual’s behaviors. But without practice, development would not take place through maturation alone.

There are certain phylogenetic functions which are common to the race, like walking, crawling, sitting, creeping etc., which are mostly due to maturation and less due to learning.

There are other onto-genetic functions which are due to the individual only like swimming, cycling etc. They are mostly due to learning and less due to maturation.

Individual differences in attitude, interests, ambitions and personality patterns are not due to maturation alone, but due to maturation and learning. If development is the result of maturation alone, then there would not have been individual personalities.

Difference between Maturation and Learning

  1. Based on heredity.
  2. Automatic process.
  3. Age limit.
  4. Related to individual potential capacities.
  5. No need of practice.
  6. No need of motivation.
  7. All situations helps in attaining maturity.
  1. Based on environment.
  2. Planned process.
  3. No age limit.
  4. Related to activities and experiences.
  5. Need of practice.
  6. Need of motivation.
  7. Only conducive situations.
Educational Implications
  • Maturation and learning are inter- related and inter –dependent, keeping this in mind a teacher should plan various teaching- learning activities.
  • It helps parents and teachers to know what and when to begin learning process.
  • Interrelationship between maturation and learning establishes a „Time- Table‟ for learning. Thus any attempt to teach a child at too early a period of development, may result in his learning bad habits or wrong ways of learning either of which results may greatly handicap him in later life.
  • Thus if learning precedes maturation there is more wastage of time and energy.
  • Learning should begin when the child is ready to learn. But if the child is ready to learn and he is not given proper guidance or training, his interest is likely to waive.


It comes from the Latin word “movers” which means to move” or to “initiate”.

Thus motivation can be represented by a cycle consisting of .

(i) A need or a drive which.

(ii) Arouses instrumental behavior & in turn .

(iii) Results in achieving a goal.


According to Goods: – “Motivation is the process of arousing, sustaining & regulating activity”.

Crow & Crow: – “Motivation is considered with the arousal of interest in learning & to a great extent is basic to learning”.

Locke: – proposed that “will” always initiates action in man which is determined by some pressing uneasiness (Desire).

“Motivation is the outcome of motives”.

Gates & others: – “Motives are conditions either physiological or psychological within the organism that disposes it to act in certain ways”.

Maslow: – Motivation is constant, never ending, fluctuating & complex & is an almost universal characteristic of particularly every organism state of affairs”.

Thus Motivation is an intrinsic phenomenon in which one is activated / energized, interest is aroused or a behavioral change occurs in a direction towards the achievement of goal.

Types of Motivation

  • Intrinsic (Internal).
  • Extrinsic (External).

Intrinsic Motivation / Internal Motivation

It is self motivation i.e. when an individual recognize an activity as self rewarding & derives satisfaction from the activity. The motives come from within the person & external pressure is unnecessary.

Play is a good example of interestedly motivated behavior. One need not force / bribe a child to play. They play because they want to.

Intrinsic motivation is the urge to learn for the sake of learning. When a child considers activity such as reading to be source of pleasure, he is motivated intrinsically to read.

Extrinsic Motivation / External Motivation

In extrinsic Motivation, the reward lies outside the activity & also outside of the person. When a child studies for the sake of a good remark or rank or a reward / scholarship, he is motivated extrinsically. He pursues the activity not for its own sake but for the sake of some external reward.

E.g. when the child does not show any interest in an activity, teachers should make use of extrinsic motivation such as rewards, honors etc. But incentives we rewards prizes are not a substitute for interest.

Intrinsic motivation is from within & hence better & persistent, so teacher should try & motivate intrinsically.


  1. Physiological.
  2. Psychological.
    1. Personal
    2. Social
  1. Physiological Motives: – Are those motives that are essential for the survival of the organism. These are also known as innate motives an individual possesses them from birth. There are also primary derives (basic) which are unlearned & common to every animal & necessary to sustain life e.g. Hunger drive, thirst drive, sex drive.
    1. Hunger Drive:- Arises due to deprivation of food there is an imbalance of the glucose levels in the blood which forms the bases of carbohydrates i.e. glucose level decreases & thus there is a basic derive to satisfy that need.
    2. Thirst Drive: – Arises due to need of water. The level of salt (sodium chloride) is the blood falls below a certain point, giving rise to thirst drive so that we may drink water in order to maintain biochemical balances within the body.
    3. Sex Drive: – This is important for survival of the species while hunger & thirst drive are for the survival of the individual himself.

The sex derive results due to the hormones in both males (testosterone hormones) & females, (estrogen hormones), in differing quantities of every species.

b. Psychological Motives: – There are acquired motives & sometimes they are modifications of physiological motives.

They are further categorized into 2 groups: Personal & Social motives.

  1. Personal Motives: – Are motives seeking their origin in the individual himself e.g. every individuals has interests, attitudes, etc. Some of the personal motives fear & aggression are dealt here:-.
    1. Fear: is a complex motive & aims at avoiding or exampling the source of fear is important motivation in dealing with the hazards in our environment. Fear in turn is associated with pain for e.g. one who is bitten by a dog, learns to the afraid of it and avoids it whenever he sees any dog close to him.
    2. Aggression: Results from non fulfillment of other motives which produce frustration. This frustration sometimes gets converted into aggression. It is a means of coping with emplacement attractions. Children when punished severely for their aggressive behavior, behave aggressively even with their dolls.
  1. Social Motives: – Man is a social being & his wishes, desires; ideas are the outcome of the society in which an individual acquires their through mutual interaction. These motives are availed in each & every member of the society. Two of the prominent social motives are.
    1. Achievement: – Here the desire to perform with excellence is prominent while achievement motivation has social aspects; it is also termed as ego integrative motive. It is abbreviated as need for achievement (n-Ach) & is deeply rooted in our culture. Individuals high in n-Ach function best in competitive situations & are fast learners, self confident, the responsible, relatively resistant to outside social pursuers.
    2. Affiliation: It is actually an important sentiment related with the feeling that an individual is a part of a group. Fear & anxiety are closely related to the affiliation motive. Affiliated behavior takes various forms from extremes, depending through ordinary companionship & friendship, to the loyalty & devotion of happily married couples. For example, children who are raised in close- knit families, show a stronger affiliation motive than those coming from more loosely knit families. Neglected children or destitute, on the other hand, may lack intensity of the affiliation motive.

Pleasure of working leads to motivation

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