Observational Learning is a key learning technique that allows for growth by viewing the actions portrayed by someone else. This way of learning can sometimes be unwarranted leading to conflict or undesirable skills learned. Some of the key aspects that exist within observational learning is watching a specific act be applied to a certain object. One aspect that is explained throughout this way of learning is called learning/performance distinction. That is specific to observational learning in which learning can happen without direct interaction of teaching a specific behavior. The example given in the text directly correlates the viewing of violent media to increased aggression among children and young adults. In contrast, when children or young adults view more positive samples of media the aggressive tendencies usually decrease.
Within the text, there are four main elements that come along with observational learning including attention, memory, imitation, and motivation. Each element is essential to the learning process and has specific definitions to underline how observational learning is repeated. Attention is the act of learning something by giving direct or specific viewing of what is being demonstrated. Memory is taking what is learned and being able to retain it which allows for the learner to imitate the action. Lastly, there is the idea that the learner must be motivated to duplicate the action being portrayed. Throughout my life, observational learning has impacted the way I learn and act in school and in my personal life. One specific example that haunts me to this day and I believe is the result of observing learning behavior is smoking.
From a very young age I was surrounded by family members who used tobacco-based products and I am now a smoker. Growing up being tobacco free in schools was heavily pushed from a young age which explained the harmful side effects of smoking. Somehow I still started smoking at a pretty young age despite everything that advised me not to. It can be directly related to learning/performance distinction due to the fact that I was directly taught to not use tobacco products but in my family life was never taught these rules. Not being taught those set of rules indirectly supported my bad addictive habit to start. The four main aspects to observational learning can be directly applied to my smoking habit.
Growing up I paid a lot of attention to the elders around me and often times looked up to them as leaders. Throughout my growth period, specific memories of these elders stuck in my head and always contained images with a cigarette involved. At a young age I was able to steal cigarettes from my relatives allowing for me to imitate the actions I observed and I was motivated to be just like them one day. The learning habit that I picked up from observational learning has affected me in a negative way. Being addicted to something can be very debilitating and has a way of taking control of what one does on a day to day basis. In contrast, addiction does run in my family so in the scheme of things smoking through a certain lens is not the end of the world. Moreover, there could be a lot worse things being put into my body that has more harmful affects.