One important concept from the Lilienfeld text in chapter 6 is observational learning. Observational learning is a cognitive model of latent learning because we learn without knowing we are being supported to learn. This concept is important in psychology because not only does observational learning apply to ALL of us humans, but it also applies to animals as well. As babies and children, we observe our parents who act as models, people who influence us as we learn and grow. Models (not only parents, but also teachers, grandparents too) allow us to learn by observing and noticing their behaviors.
My good friend showed me this video, which I found quite fitting for this blog post on observational learning. A man named Konrad Lorentz, a famous founder of Ethology, discovered imprinting, which means to learn something at a certain stage/age in one's life. He experimented with geese and became their 'mother.' Thus, he imprinted the geese to follow him and learn from him. In the YouTube video clip, at 1:17, the clip illustrates Lorentz swimming and the geese following him. This shows how the geese learned to swim by observing Lorentz. They tried and failed but due to the fact that he imprinted himself on the geese as their 'mother' and taught them numerous skills, the geese followed his every move and learned many survival skills. The geese, as well as countless other animals and other human beings, "learn by watching others" and display observational learning (Lilienfeld 225).
I have many further questions after seeing this video, like why did Lorentz chose geese? Why not a different type of animal? What if Lorentz tried this experiment in a different location, such as another country or highly populated area- would this experiment still work and would his findings be similar?
"Konrad Lorenz: Impringting." Video. Web. 18 Oct 2011.
Lilienfeld , Scott . Psychology: From Inquiry to
Understanding. 2nd ed. . New York : Learning Solutions ,
2011. 225. Print.