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What is observational learning?
- When one learns by watching the behaviour demonstrated by another (model) whilst noting the positive and negative consequences of their actions and using this as a guide to modify future behaviour
- Learning occurs vicariously (indirectly) and are not the ones who are initially reinforced or punished
- (e.g. learning to make a cup of tea by watching Grandma).
What is the first stage of observational learning?
Attention: the observer must actively watch the model as they complete the task including its consequences.
What is the second stage of observational learning?
Retention (in memory): the observer must be able to make a mental representation of the observed behaviour and its consequences by storing it in their memory so that the observed learning can be used at a later time. At this stage, learning is said to be latent (existing but not yet developed)
What is the third stage of observational learning?
Reproduction: the observer must have the physical and mental ability to perform these actions (i.e. converting the mental representations into actions).
What is the fourth stage of observational learning?
- Motivation: the observer must want to perform or imitate the learnt behaviour
- This depends on whether or not the individual believes that the consequences are desirable
What is the fifth stage of observational learning?
- Reinforcement: if the model receives positive reinforcement, then this will increase the
- likelihood that the observer will repeat the behaviour.
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