Behavioral Modeling

Much human learning occurs from sitting and watching, or from just happening to notice what someone else is doing. Indeed, more social learning occurs from observing others than from physically or verbally interacting and experiencing positive or negative outcomes. Observation provides information about what may be learned (alternative behaviors, potential consequences, etc.). When observation occurs under the right circumstances, it can result in immediate changes to learning or performance.

Modeling is defined as the process by which an individual (the model) serves to illustrate behavior that can be imitated or adapted in the behavior of another individual (the observer). It may also influence thoughts and attitudes. The model may be live; filmed; described in any other medium, such as print; or even imagined. The term behavioral modeling is distinguished from mathematical modeling and so on. Otherwise, the simpler term modeling is used.

When the observers are used as their own models, the process is called self-modeling. This process is procedurally very different, although there is a connecting theoretical thread (Dowrick, 1999; see encyclopedia entry "Video: Major Applications in Behavioral Science").

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