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Insight learning

Definition

noun

A type of learning that uses reason, especially to form conclusions, inferences, or judgments, to solve a problem.


Supplement

Unlike learning by trial-and-error, insight learning is solving problems not based on actual experience (like trial and error steps) but on trials occurring mentally. Often the solution is learned suddenly, such as when a person is in a problem for a period of time and suddenly learns the way to solve it.

This was observed in the experiments of Wolfgang Kohler in 1900s involving chimpanzees. Kohler found that chimpanzees could use insight learning instead of trial-and error to solve problems. In one example, a banana was placed high out of reach that the chimpanzees found a way to reach it. They stack boxes on top of each other to reach it and used sticks to knock the banana down.


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