It has been taught to me that there are 5 stages (or requirements) that enable observational learning to occur. That is, attention, retention, reproduction, motivation and reinforcement.

My teachers lecture slides state that the retention stage is defined by

Being able to encode, store and retrieve a mental representation of the information in LTM.

I want to confirm if this is actually correct. I have not be introduced to the concept of memory yet fully, however, after researching a bit I believe a more accurate way of saying what my teacher wrote would be.

Attention is the component of observational learning that allows for encoding (mental representation of what was observed in memory), and retention is best characterised by storage (retaining that newly encoded trace) and then reproduction would be you actually retrieving (recovering the encoded trace from retention stage and then using it in some behavioural activity)?


Also, why is Observational learning called observational learning and not observational memory? (I feel like this may be a stupid question, I apologise in advance if it is).

  • $\begingroup$ "Am I correct" is not really a good fit for the StackExchange format; the answer is either "yes" and leaves the answerer with nothing more to say, or "no" and the question effectively becomes "explain this again a third way". I'd recommend focusing less on right and wrong and instead trying to understand what message your instructor is conveying. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Apr 12, 2023 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ I see what my instructor is conveying but I'm just cautious if what I am conveying is correct or not. I can't find anything on the internet about encoding, storage and retrieval in relation to observational learning. $\endgroup$
    – charl2.718
    Apr 13, 2023 at 3:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ None of those concepts are specific to "observational learning". I'd also recommend being careful to distinguish between understanding a process and understanding the labels someone might apply to that process; the latter is fairly subjective and is meant to help guide you through learning. There isn't a lot of point to memorizing the "boundaries" of different steps (well, except maybe a poorly designed multiple-choice question in the context of a course) as long as you understand all the steps. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Apr 13, 2023 at 19:03


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