Understanding Observational Learning: An Interbehavioral Approach

Abstract

Observational learning is an important area in the field of psychology and behavior science more generally. Given this, it is essential that behavior analysts articulate a sound theory of how behavior change occurs through observation. This paper begins with an overview of seminal research in the area of observational learning, followed by a consideration of common behavior analytic conceptualizations of these findings. The interbehavioral perspective is then outlined, shedding light on some difficulties with the existing behavior analytic approaches. The implications of embracing the interbehavioral perspective for understanding the most complex sorts of behavior, including those involved in observational learning are considered.

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Correspondence to Mitch J. Fryling.

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Fryling, M.J., Johnston, C. & Hayes, L.J. Understanding Observational Learning: An Interbehavioral Approach. Analysis Verbal Behav 27, 191–203 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03393102

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Key words

  • observational learning
  • interbehaviorism
  • interbehavioral psychology
  • stimulus substitution
  • rule-governed behavior