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Monday, 5 March 2012

Learning Experiments



Multiple imitation mechanisms in children.

In the effort to better understanding the observational learning process, an experiment had been held in regard of studying the multiple imitation mechanisms in children which focuses on the relations of the specific content of children’s imitation performance and its extent dependent on cognitive process. Four phases of this experiment tested each of the following process of trial-and-error learning, recall and observational learning using varied environments of spatial configurations of imageries and social interactions of fellow companions. From the results of the children having difficulties to imitate novel motor-spatial sequences but excelling in the motor-spatial sequences, it is concluded that there is an independent operations of cognitive system that is dissociable and content specific of the imitation learning mechanisms.

Effector-Dependent Learning by Observation of a Finger Movement Sequence.

Another experiment was carried out to understand the effect of observational learning through a live model by using the method of 12 participants in each of an Observe Sequence group and Control group who was then given the SRT test that is designed to measure their speed of response in the five phases of familiarization, training, initial testing, transfer and free generation. Before the test was carried out, the Observe Sequence group was put to observe an experimenter’s finger as he performed the SRT task while the Control group complete an unrelated task. The participants of both groups were then given the transfer tests, first was similar to the training sequence that the Observe group had witness and then was given to a new set of sequences which falls into two conditions, the requirement of using their thumb instead of finger but with the stimulus array unchanged (response transfer test) and the changes of the stimuli in a horizontal array instead of vertical (stimulus transfer test).  The results were astoundingly supports that observational learning is effectors-dependent when the Observe group has a higher response time than those in the Control group and the knowledge from the observation withstand the alteration of stimulus array but having a slight RT elevation when the different effectors are used to performed the task.

Dogs (Canis familiaris) learn their owners via observation in a manipulation task.

In another experiment concerning the observation learning process was conducted using a symbolic model and the influence of motivational reinforcement by using 87 pet dogs in a distraction-less grassy area where the canis familiaris were involve in a task to solve and obtain a ball after witnessing a full demonstration by their owners. The dogs and the owners were separated into groups of actions which vary from a simple touch of the handle of the box containing the ball to a complete disregard of the box and each action were either rewarded with obtaining the ball or failing to receive it. It was perhaps a conclusive support of the theory as the result shows that most of the dogs imitated their owners action in the hope of the reward but for those groups that does not receive any ball soon decline after the first trial and those who does obtain the playful joy of the ball will continue imitation the action in the motivational influence of the reward.

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