How are the Principles of Reciprocal Determinism Present in Observational Learning?

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It is often observed that when people are observing someone else performing a behavior, they will tend to perform or mimic the same behavior. How does this happen? How do we imitate other people’s behaviors without thinking about them too much? This question has been debated for decades and still remains unclear today.

It was even made into an experiment by Bandura (1973). In his study, he found children were more likely to imitate adults than peers because they might be modeling their parents’ values and beliefs.

To test whether imitation can occur outside of awareness, Bandura showed young boys an adult beating up another person after making some noise with a toy doll as if it were crying (Bandura, Ross & Ross, 1963). The boys who saw the model being punished for making noise with the doll were much less likely to make noise with the doll themselves than those who saw the model not being punished. From this study, it appears that observational learning can take place without our conscious awareness.

But how does this happen? How can we learn something without being aware that we are learning it? The answer may lie in the principles of reciprocal determinism.

What is Observational Learning?

Observational learning, also known as modeling, is a type of learning that occurs when a person observes the behavior of another person and then imitates that behavior. It is often the first type of learning that infants experience, and it continues to be an important form of learning throughout life.

There are a number of different factors that can influence observational learning. The most important of these factors are the characteristics of the model, including their attractiveness, similarity to the observer, and ability. The behavior being observed must also be something that is within the observer’s ability to imitate, and it must be rewarded or punished in some way.

What is reciprocal determinism, and what are the three factors involved?

Albert Bandura’s social learning theory focuses on reciprocal determinism, which is a key idea in the field of behavioral psychology. Reciprocal determinism, also known as triadic reciprocity, is a theory that includes three elements: the person (including their thoughts and feelings), their surroundings (including both physical and social aspects), and behavior.

Reciprocal determinism affect learning in two ways: first, it provides a framework for understanding how people learn by observing others; and second, it explains how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the people and environment around us.

Three factors that influence behavior

The three factors that influence behavior are the person, their environment, and the behavior itself. Each of these factors can influence the other two in a cyclical manner.

Personal factors

Personal factors include thoughts, feelings, and genetic predispositions. These factors can influence behavior in two ways: first, they can direct it (for example, a person may feel angry and so act aggressively), and second, they can affect how a person perceives their environment (for example, a person who is feeling anxious may see their surroundings as more threatening).

Environmental factors

Environmental factors include both physical and social aspects. Physical environmental factors can be things like weather, terrain, and lighting. Social environmental factors can be things like family, friends, culture, media, and institutions. Environmental events can influence behavior in two ways: first, they can provide cues that trigger certain behaviors (for example, a person may see someone smoking and then decide to smoke themselves), and second, they can limit or restrict behaviors (for example, a person may not be able to access cigarettes).

Behavioral factors

Behavior refers to the actions that a person takes. Behavior can influence both thoughts and feelings, as well as the environment. For example, a person who is feeling angry may behave aggressively, which in turn could lead to more aggressive thoughts and feelings. Or, a person who is feeling anxious may avoid social situations, which then limits their opportunities to interact with others and could lead to increased feelings of anxiety. A person’s behavior can also affect their environment (for example, a person who is aggressive may make others feel intimidated).

Reciprocal determinism is the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the people and environment around us. The theory called reciprocal determinism provides a framework for understanding how we learn by observing others.

It also explains how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the person, environment, and behavior themselves. By understanding these three factors, we can better understand how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors interact with one another to influence our overall well-being.

How are the principles of reciprocal determinism related to observational learning?

The principles of reciprocal determinism are all present in observational learning. The environment (including physical and social aspects) influences the person, who in turn influences the environment. The person also influences their own behavior. This cycle of influence is what allows us to learn from watching other people.

So next time you see someone doing something that you want to do, remember that observational learning is at work. You may not be aware of it, but you are learning from the people around you all the time. Just think about how you might influence the people around you in a positive way.

Examples of how reciprocal determinism can be seen in everyday life

Reciprocal determinism can be seen in many aspects of life. Here are a few examples:

1) A child who sees their parent smoking is more likely to smoke themselves.

2) A student who sees their teacher as being respectful to others is more likely to be respectful themselves.

3) A person who grows up in a healthy environment is more likely to be healthy themselves.

4) A person who grows up in a violent environment is more likely to be violent.

The dynamic and reciprocal interaction between the person and their environment is what allows us to learn from others and ultimately influence our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

When we understand how reciprocal determinism works, we can use it to our advantage. We can choose to surround ourselves with people and things that will help us achieve our goals. If we want to be healthy, we can decide to be around healthy people. If we want to be kind, we can surround ourselves with kind people. And if we want to be happy, we can choose to be around happy people!

How reciprocal determinism can be used to explain behavioral changes

Reciprocal determinism can help us to understand why people change their behavior. For example, if we see someone changing their behavior positively, we can assume that they have been influenced by their environment. On the other hand, if we see someone changing their behavior negatively, we can assume that they have been influenced by their surroundings.

This theory can be used to help us understand why people act the way they do, and it can also be used to help us change our own behavior. If we want to change our behavior, we need to change our environment. We can do this by changing the people we associate with, changing our surroundings, and changing our own thoughts and beliefs.

Final Thoughts

Behavior constantly interact with thoughts, feelings, and the environment. It’s important to remember that we all have the power to influence our own behavior, as well as the behavior of those around us. Just by being aware of reciprocal determinism, we can start making choices that will positively impact our lives and the lives of those around us.

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