What is the difference between observational learning and operant conditioning theory?

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Observational learning is a way to acquire (learn) a new behavior by paying attention to the actions and behaviors of others, who act like the models of the behavior whether they do it purposely or not. During this type of learning, there are three actions that the observer must engage in, in order to actually learn.

  1. Observe
  2. Remember
  3. Repeat (this is optional and depends on the capabilities of the observer of replicating the action)

If the observer is not paying full attention to the behavior, chances are that the entire behavior will not be committed to short-, and then long-term memory. Therefore, the observer needs to remember the action, and even repeat it, in order to fully process it.

Observational learning experiments can be found in the work of the father of Social Learning Theory, Albert Bandura. Using the Bobo-doll experiment in 1961, Bandura demonstrated that children tend to repeat the behaviors that they see, especially when the behavior is new, surprising, shocking, or simply...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 490 words.)

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