Learning Theory

"Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of the mind as an information processor. Cognitive psychologists try to build up cognitive models of the information processing that goes on inside people’s minds, including perception, attention, language, memory, thinking, and consciousness" (Reid). The Octalysis octagonal design is a visual representation of the motivation inside a person's mind. The Octalysis itself is a cognitive model founded on behavioral science.

On the Octalysis Framework, cognitivist learning theory can be found in mainly CD7 unpredictability and curiosity, CD5 Social Influence, and CD3 Empowerment of Creativity and Feedback. CD7 is an intrinsic black hat core drive and CD5 is an intrinsic core drive. CD3 empowerment of creativity and feedback is the core drive that helps with mental processing. What is interesting about the cognitivist learning theory is that the core drives that the cognitive process of learning falls on the White Hat and Intrinsic hemisphere of the Octalysis Framework. In the Octalysis learning theory, these are the core drives that play a major part in long term enjoyable engagement.

Social learning was also added to cognitive learning because students learn by watching each other. Which is why CD5 Social Influence core drive is a motivation in learning here.

The "hidden" CD9 sensation also comes into play when the learn happens in an offline real-world classroom. Students why smell, touch, taste while learning. This is something that is not yet possible for online virtual classrooms.

Cognitive learning theory is based on mental process by which learners

1) Take in, 2) Interpret, 3) Store in memory, 4) Retrieve information

Stimulus: Text, images, videos, audio, touch, smell, taste

Cognitive Process: According to behaviorists, the cognitive process cannot not be studied. But according to cognitive learning theory, the cognitive process can be studied.

The following are the elements that help cognitive process:

Attention, observing, perception, interpretation, organizing, forming generalizations, categorizing, prioritizing, rating, justifying, identifying, comparing, explaining, illustrating, solving, discussing, outlining, predicting, describing, telling, and finding.

Blooms Taxonomy and his learning objectives provides a framework of verbs to help stir a student's mental process.

Response is how the learner can apply, associate, and retrieve information.


On the Octalysis Framework, CD7 curiosity is a stimulus to the mind. When a person encounters a stimulus, the mind would be curious to find out what comes next. When there is nothing left, the mind loses its curiosity and thus motivation to move forward.

CD2 development of accomplishment can help students push their mental processing skills. If students are no longer motivated to process even after encountering the stimulus, the response would not be where the teacher would want the students.

The Octalysis comes in play to motivate by strategically choosing the stimulus to the desired level of response. When a student is given a choice, they may exercise their CD3 empowerment of creative feedback. It is important for the student to be given feedback after they submit their creative response. CD3 cycle includes both phases:

1) Empowering creativity

2) Providing feedback

Journey though how Octalysis 8-Core Drives

fits into learning theories: