Introduction to Other Types of Learning

What you’ll learn to do: describe latent learning and observational learning

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Classical and operant conditioning are responsible for a good bit of the behaviors we learn and develop, but certainly there are other things we learn simply through observation and thought. Latent learning is a form of learning that occurs without any obvious reinforcement of the behavior or associations that are learned.

According to Albert Bandura, learning can occur by watching others and then modeling what they do or say. This is known as observational learning. There are specific steps in the process of modeling that must be followed if learning is to be successful. These steps include attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation. Through modeling, Bandura has shown that children learn many things both good and bad simply by watching their parents, siblings, and others. What have you learned by observation?

Learning Objectives

  • Explain latent learning and cognitive maps
  • Describe Edward Tolman’s experiment on latent learning
  • Explain observational learning and the steps in the modeling process
  • Describe the process and results of Albert Bandura’s bobo doll experiment