​How can stimuli and reinforcement be included in observational learning?

timer Asked: Aug 8th, 2014
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Question Description

How can stimuli and reinforcement be included in observational learning? For example, watching You Tube to learn new things.

Tutor Answer

Ian N
School: UC Berkeley

Observational learning is an important area in the field of psychology and behavior science more generally. Given this, it is essential that behavior analysts articulate a sound theory of how behavior change occurs through observation. Observational learning, researched by (Albert Bandura) occurs through observing the behaviors of others and imitating those behaviors, even if there is no reinforcement at the time.

Learning is an adaptive function by which our nervous system changes in relation to stimuli in the environment, thus changing our behavioral responses and permitting us function in our environment. Stimuli anything external that influences an activity. In psychology, any energy patterns (e.g. light or sound) which are registered by the senses. Learning involves physical changes in the nervous system such as the strengthening of synapses, the activation of neural pathways, or the pruning of neural pathways. These changes illicit specific responses to stimuli in the environment. Reinforcement is the process of strengthening a directly measurable dimension of behavior. The process whereby a behavior with desirable consequences comes to be repeated. Stimuli and reinforcement is very important in observation learning since both parameters go hand in hand observational learning to be realized.



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