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Get To Know The Aspects Of Observational Learning

observational learning

Have you ever noticed a child trying to walk in her mother’s heels? Or as a boy, haven’t you tried your father’s shaving razors for a change? We’re pretty sure you have, and that are some easiest observational learning examples. As a psychologist might say, we as conscious human beings, are often drawn to it. Even children who are only born yet,  have such tendencies. 

You can see a child as young as 21 days to mimic facial expressions. In this article, we’re about to unleash the unknown truth behind the process. We’ve discussed the advantages of applying this into our livers, too.

The Psychology of Observational Learning

It is quite a diverse topic, on the grounds of psychology. We can give observational learning definitions by using words like modelling behaviours and expressions. A process where we learn by observing and structuring individual’s facial expressions and attitudes. 

According to American psychologist Albert Bandura, people rather learn from it, than imitating behaviours. He was the man behind this learning, around 1986. It is often implementable in progressive education styles. The psychological learning may have a powerful impact on, from individuals to an entire nation. 

Observational learning and the Intrusive Theories 

Bandura, with his groundbreaking Bobo Doll experiment, established observational learning definition. It helped in composing the learning theory, which later on became more popular over time. There are a lot of negative consequences attached to it. It has an over intuitive approach and happens subconsciously. There are a number of 4 conditions or phases, as stated by the education psychologist:

The initial stage: Attention

If a subject is yet to learn from something or somewhere, then it’s the first thing that he/she does. In this condition, they start to pay attention to something they’re drawn to. Bandura and other psychologists have shown that we pay attention to attractive models. It can have either a positive or negative impact on your child. 

For example, successful scholars and athletes do have some positive influence on kids. On the other hand, if a kid grew up seeing bank robberies, then he/she may end up imitating that. All of these drive for one cause, and that is the joy of reward.

Retention works as the second stage

The second condition is the capacity to retain or remember the witnessed behaviour. If somehow we forget the scene, then we’re a lot less likely to mimic it.

The third stage is the production

This one comes right from where the subject starts copying a behaviour. We can often see it in kids while they’re imitating a celebrity or an athlete. Or maybe someone popular in scroll or colleges. These conditions are also applicable to animals. It is quite so often when a tiger cub learns hunting from seeing its mother. But, it takes up time to actually replicate such behaviours. 

The final stage is motivation

This might be the most essential of aspects we’ve discussed by far. Bandura, in his experiments, has recognized several motivating factors working behind the act of imitating. If there isn’t any proper reason for the subject, then other conditions cannot surpass the lack of motivation. 

There have to be certain reinforcements for such kinds of behaviours. But, this also works for negative motivation. Like when the observer is seeing someone getting punished for a certain behaviour or attitude. In that case, the chances of imitation will be much less.

Factors that Influences Observational Learning

It is a common phenomenon, but not always occurs without any purpose, it is vital to understand the conditions and places of thoughts when it happens. It can occur when we doubt ourselves and also our abilities. When life gets confusing or we face an unfamiliar event. Imitating others behaviour can occur when we’re in some kind of authority. 

It is more likely to happen when we are the boss, leaders or any celebrity. Someone who is very similar to us, like in interests or social class. It also can occur at the moment we’re seeing somebody’s getting rewards for their deeds.

The Instances : 

Social cognitive theory tells us that, there are quite a few observational learning examples that we may come across in daily life.

  • Like when a child learns to walk watching its parents.

  • An employee always takes on punctuality when seeing fellow employees getting fired.

  • Or it can be when a child takes up smoking and sees his elders. Or he learns fighting or swearing on words by observing poor role models.

  • We can also take examples of tribal people instead. The children pick up certain activities at an early age. Things like fishing or hunting are on the list. They also take up other communal activities by watching people in their communities.

Observational learning is not only applicable to human beings. We can also see its practices in animals. But, this kind of learning connects with high intelligence. That is why not all the living creatures can learn through it 

Observational Learning in Personal Development

It is more of a work of our subconscious mind, over our sense. Often, our primary need to fit in amongst crowds leads us to adopt other’s actions.

Making this process to be active and conscious, we can actually use it for developing ourselves and managing our time wisely. Once we are acquainted with the concept, it’s much easier to imply our developments. Modelling the success and activities in others is the fastest way to get ahead in life. We can take up shadowing successful colleagues at the workplace. Mastery can arrive by looking up to our teachers or seniors who are highly successful.

Key Takeaways… 

So, all things come down to this; observational learning definition is inevitable and highly applicable. As humans, we are often prone to such behavioural patterns, unconsciously. We can take up the movements or attitudes of any influential entity. It is our sole purpose to guide our intuition towards positivity. With a lot more sensibility and conscious choices, we can make good decisions. Those decisions will work for our favour. We’ve stitched together this little piece for you, to understand this underrated psychological concept. We hope that it will help you to consider worthy choices in future.

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