Observational Learning is learning by watching, retaining information, and replicating behavior. There are four stages of observational learning: attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation. For attention the observer has to be focused and engaged with the model. Retention is when the observer is able to remember what they viewed. Reproduction is when the learner is able to replicate what the model was doing. Motivation is necessary for the observer to learn through observing.
Albert Bandura is most associated with observational learning, he argues that we as humans are more naturally inclined to engage in observational learning. Bandura conducted a famous experiment called the "Bobo Doll Experiment". It showed that children may imitate aggressive behavior if that is how an adult is acting. The children watched a film where adults repeatedly hit balloon doll and then the children were able to play with the same doll after watching. It was found that children were more likely to copy the adult's actions when the child saw they were not punished for it. However if the adult was punished they children were less likely to copy the action. Here is video of Bobo Doll Experiment.
Cherry, K. (2021, April 28). How Observational Learning Affects Behavior. Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-observational-learning-2795402#history.
Powell R. A., Honey P. L., & Symbaluk D. G. (2016). Introduction to Learning and Behavior. [VitalSource Bookshelf]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781305887480/
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