Observational learning  

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Observational learning (also known as vicarious learning, social learning, or modeling) is a type of learning that happens as a result of observing the behavior of others. Although observational learning can take place at any stage in life, it is thought to be of great importance during childhood, particularly as authority becomes important. The idea that behavior is learned by observing others has influenced debates on the effect of television violence and parental role models. (See social learning theory.) Observational learning appears to occur without the reinforcement of ongoing behavior that is called for in behavioral models of operant or instrumental conditioning. In particular, Bandura noted that "social imitation may hasten or short-cut the acquisition of new behaviors without the necessity of reinforcing successive approximations as suggested by Skinner (1953)."

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