How to set up, run and evaluate a training program based on behavior modeling principles. At St. Luke’s Hospital Center, 108 supervisors have improved their skills, thanks to behavior modeling. The program is so successful that some of us have spent our va¬cations offering the technique at other organizations. Employees of an international insurance company, a multinational shipping firm and more than 20 health care institutions have benefited from our classes alone, and dozens of large and small consulting firms now offer supervisory training that utilizes behavior modeling techniques. Continue reading
Behavior modeling or imitation learning was a virtually unresearched and unknown topic prior to the 1941 publication of Social Learning and Imitation by Miller and Dollard. Their studies lead them to view imitation learning as a special form of the behavioral conditioning process.
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Essentially, the trainer must provide a sample of the behavior, the learner must respond in a way that matches the sample, and the imitation must be positively reinforced. In Bollard’s and Miller’s view, the “model” simply informs the learner where to go or how to behave for reinforcement. The learner does not acquire new, previously unexhibited behavior from the model. Though much of Miller’s and Bollard’s interpretation of results and theorizing has been questioned recently, they deserve credit for prim-ing the pump, for beginning to re¬search the question, “How and what do people learn simply by watching others?” Continue reading