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Observational Learning Experiences Assignment Unit 2

1076 words - 5 pages

Learning is a lasting relative change in behavior that is a result of experience or practice. It is distinguished from behavioral changes arising from such processes like illness and maturity but does apply to motor skills, intellectual skills and to attitudes and values. (Learning, 2011) It can be conscious, unconscious or deliberate and it also produces memories, and conversely, the existence of memories implies the knowledge was acquired, the experience was registered and recorded in the brain, or that learning has taken place. (Schacter, 2009) Learning can occur but is not necessarily demonstrated or observed unless there is a motivation for the organism to demonstrate the learnt ...view middle of the document...

From looking at the study of the Bobo doll I have seen that imitation and observational learning are not the same. In imitation the observer mimics a modeled behavior and in observational learning behavioral changes are acquired, which means the observer make take up a new behavior or stop a behavior depending on how the behavior is presented and retained. Bandura says that retention and reproduction are necessary components. I was considering imitating the behavior right after it had been observed and superficially didn’t see memory being used as a part of that. The behavior is stored as a mental representation even if no time has elapsed so that the observed learning can be utilized at a later time. (Observational Learning, 2011) Also, there must be the ability to reproduce the behavior. The learner must have the intellectual and physical abilities to convert the representations into actions. For example, a child has to be old enough to use kitchen equipment to make pancakes. (Observational Learning, 2011)
Through research it may be seen that observational learning is performed on a chemical level in the brain by the mirror neural component. When humans and animals are observing actions of others the mirror neurons are firing in both the watcher and the performer. When people’s action has a context the neurons fire at a stronger degree. The research further suggests that neurons are not just a component of the brain or a part of action recognition but that they help us understand the intentions of others. (Schacter, 2009) In my opinion without the mirror neuron firing it may very well be true that the person watching would be able to do nothing but watch. Lacking this component may also keep humans and animals from being able to recall what they have seen to perform as a function of observational learning. Although we as humans are considered as mammals, I think it shows how advanced we have evolved in that we share neural aspects with animals.
Observational learning influenced many adult behaviors carried through from childhood. Most children have said at one time or another when talking about the things their parents did,...

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