Observational Learning

You will discuss the concept of observational learning. This is one area of study that many behaviorists in the field of psychology believe influences future behavior in children and adults. One of the landmark studies in this area is the Bobo Experiment conducted by Albert Bandura, a well know psychologist.

Using Bandura’s experiment as a guide, please address the following in a three page paper:

1. What is learning?

2. Discuss your own theory about how observational learning occurred in regards to the Bobo Experiment. How does this compare to Bandura’s idea that for observational learning to occur one must give attention to the behavior, retain the observation of the behavior, have the motor skills to carry it out and also have the motivation to do so?

3. With a clear definition of learning in mind, and having developed your own thoughts, reflect back to your reading in Unit 3 on Neuroscience and Behavior. Specifically look at the …Mirror, Mirror, in My Brain article found in Chapter 3, and the Observational Learning in Animals  section in Chapter 6 of your text book. How might mirror neurons play a part in observational learning?

4. Think of one behavior from your childhood and discuss how observational learning influenced that behavior in you today?


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