New World Encyclopedia integrates facts with values.
Written by online collaboration with certified experts.
Diwali is celebrated for five consecutive days at the end of Hindu month of Ashwayuja. It usually occurs in October/November, and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals in India. Hindus and Sikhs alike regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social relationships.
Observational learning or social learning occurs when individuals watch and then imitate the behavior of others. It is also known as "modeling." It is most associated with the work of psychologist Albert Bandura, who conducted some of the most important studies in the area and developed social learning theory.
Although observational learning can take place at any stage in life, it is thought to be particularly important during childhood. Because of this, social learning theory has influenced debates on the effect of television violence and parental role models on children's behavior. Bandura's Bobo doll experiment is widely cited in social psychology as a demonstration of observational learning. Observational learning allows for learning without any change in behavior and has therefore been used as an argument against strict behaviorism which argued that behavior change must occur for new behaviors to be acquired.
Like imitation, the ability upon which it is based, observational learning is a very powerful learning tool. Through this form of learning, human beings are able to pass on techniques and skills without need for detailed, verbal instruction. On the other hand, behaviors that damage others, such as prejudice, racial discrimination, and aggression are also easily learned from a model. Thus, whether social learning serves the good of society or ill, depends on the original model of behavior and the ability of those observing to discern and act on their judgment of whether or not to adopt the same attitudes and act in the same manner.