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Maturation vs Learning | Learning and Maturation in Psychology with Experiments

In this article we will discuss maturation vs learning or maturity and learning. Learning has a very close relationship in the formation of psychological character. Whether this character is animal or human.

This topic has been debated among psychologists for a long time. That learning is essential in character formation or maturity. For this we will also discuss the experiments about learning and maturation.

We will also find the answers of these question as What is learning and development? What is learning and maturation? What is maturity in psychology? What does maturation mean in psychology? How does maturation differ from learning? 

Before the conclusion of this discussion, firstly, it is important that we clarify the difference and scope of learning and maturity.

As far as learning is concerned, it is the significant change in character that takes place due to practice, experience, observation and reinforcement.

Both human and animal character is based on heredity and instinct. And both need to adapt to the environment for their survival and integrity. Therefore both have to use different methods of learning.

Both humans and animals adopt methods of trial and error and imitation. Higher animals i.e. monkeys and humans also benefit from intelligence and insight. And they also use the methods of reflex conditioning.

No matter how much learning is obtained on the animal level. Even after reaching all the perfection, the animal character always remains simple and easy, and looks the same from generation to generation.




Whereas the human character has become more difficult, complex and developed over time due to the effective use of higher mental abilities and learning. Today's man has become very different from the early man.

Due to learning, future generations will see even more changes. There is no end to human learning. He is moving forward in every round. While the beast is the same. However, learning and maturity are very important in the life of both.

Maturity is required only for biological or instinctive functions. Since man is a social animal, he needs maturity as well as learning. It is difficult to say where learning began and when maturity was completed. Because both of them complete their work over time.

In the formation of human personality and character, maturation takes place first and then the process of learning begins. Human learning continues till the end.

Is education necessary in character formation or maturity?


Many experiments in psychology have been conducted to examine the effects and interactions of the two.

Children in one group are excluded from the exercise to see the difference significantly. In contrast, others are allowed to practice under normal conditions.

Experiment 1

In an experiment, baby frogs were divided into two groups. One group was placed in a caloric tone anesthetic solution. In which their development continued with time but they could not practice swimming.

While the other group practiced swimming in a pool of water in a natural environment. And along with that they continued to develop. When this group has completed development and maturity, they have learned to swim fully in the water.

So the children of the first group were removed from the caloric tone solution and released into a pool of normal water. These children also started swimming in the water like normal children.

As if the lack of practice had no adverse effects on their swimming ability. A frog's swimming is instinctive, and instinctive action requires only maturity, not training.

Experiment 2

Similarly, gender is an instinctive function. It was tested on some mice and rats to see the differences in maturation and learning. In the first group, rats and mice were housed separately at birth. So that they cannot meet the opposite sex.

While the other group of rats and mice were kept together. Experts were observing this second group. As soon as the rats and mice in this group were able to perform sexual acts. Rats from the first group were also released into the mice cage.

The first group also engaged in sexual activity like the second group. As if they did not need training for this instinctive act, but only maturity was needed.

Experiment 3

Chicks are not able to lay eggs as soon as they are born. Because their reproductive system is not mature yet. Any training for this job before maturity is useless.

Thus, young birds should be caged at birth, and even if other birds do not see them flying, they will fly immediately if they are freed from the cage when they reach the stage of maturity.

Experiment 4

Such experiments were also conducted on human children. Some of the newborns were divided into two groups. The first group was trained well with the help of different walking and sitting devices like walkers etc.

While the other group was not given any kind of exercise, nor was any help provided. Diet and health of both groups were taken care of equally.

It was observed that at the same age when the first group of children learned to stand up, sit or walk, the second group also learned to stand up, sit and walk.

Because all these movements were biological, hereditary and instinctive. Therefore, there was no need for learning for them.

Children in the first group saved only a small amount of time due to learning. While the children of the second group took slightly more time than the first group.

Experiment 5

Ernest Hilgard (American Psychologist and Professor) also selected two- to -three-year-old children for a similar study. These children were placed in two groups.

A table full of toys was placed in front of the children of the first group. They were allowed to climb a two-and-a-half feet high ladder to reach this table. These children continued to practice.

During this exercise and effort, the toys kept on the table were changed, so that the interest and curiosity of the children remained.

Finally, after twelve weeks of practice, the children were able to climb a table full of toys through the ladder.

The children of the second group continued to do other activities like walking, running etc. After twelve weeks, a similar table full of toys was placed in front of the children of this second group. Which could be climbed by a ladder.

As the first group, children in the second group achieved the same stair climbing skills within a week. And got the toys through the ladder. The second group took only one week longer than the first group.

That is, the amount of practice and effort required for learning was much less after maturity. While before maturity, twelve weeks of training and effort were required.

This leads to the conclusion that higher levels of maturity require less practice to achieve a certain level of performance.

So far, experts can't say for how long the ability to react to a particular environment or specific stimuli is permanently lost if deprived of opportunities for training and practice.

According to the facts, a certain skill can be easily learned at a certain age. Difficulty in learning occurs before or after this age.

Just as two-year-olds find it difficult to teach five-year-old kids syllabus. It is also difficult to teach the old-men. Because maturity provides an organic foundation. And without this organic foundation, practice and effort prove futile.

For example, unless the organs related to speech are mature, speaking cannot be taught by practice alone. Similarly, unless the leg muscles are strong, walking cannot be taught.

From all these examples we come to the conclusion that the biological character that keeps the organism healthy and strong does not change with practice and effort. Here only maturity is responsible for their actions.

But new skills are not acquired by mere maturity, like writing, reading, typing, driving a motor-car or motorcycle etc., cannot come without practice and training.

Similarly, a child takes a certain amount of time to walk. But with practice the pace of development is somewhat accelerated. And maturity is achieved earlier. Because the muscles of the legs are strengthened quickly by the exercise of walking. And the child learns to walk sooner than other children.

If time is the only factor in reaching maturity, maturity will not be quick, and if practice and effort are involved, maturity will be quick.

The speed and level of maturation differs between humans and animals. Even if they are provided with equal opportunities and training.

Experiment 6

In 1933, Kelley and Kelley took a seven-month-old chimpanzee baby, and raised it with his nine-and-a-half-month-old baby. Both were fed the same, as watered, dressed, taught the same things, loved and punished the same. Hence both were given exactly the same environment and training.

Initially, the chimpanzee surpassed the human child in various skills such as jumping, opening doors and follow different commands. Therefore his maturity was fast. Because the chimpanzee's body system matures faster than that of a human child. But after the nine-month experiment, the human baby was far ahead of the chimpanzee.

Although the human child's rate of maturation was slow. Because it could achieve the highest levels of maturity. While the chimpanzee could achieve lower levels of maturity despite great effort and practice. Because chimpanzees have relatively low growth potential.


All these examples prove that maturity serves as an organic foundation in character building formation. No learning can be achieved without maturity.

Due to education and learning, the human character becomes superior and civilized than the animal character. Therefore, maturity and learning are both indispensable in character building, and character cannot be formed without one of them.


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