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The primary purpose of this experiment was to determine if model characteristics influence observer performance by exerting their prime influence on the attentional phase of observational learning as predicted by Bandura (1969). A second purpose was to determine whether model characteristics affected actual amount learned or whether merely performance levels were affected by this manipulation. There were two experimental phases. During phase 1, model status (high or low) and time of cueing (pre or post demonstration) were manipulated to test performance and attentional effects of model characteristics. During phase 2, subjects were offered an incentive before performance trials in an attempt to make a learning-versus-performance distinction. Phase 1 results indicated the subjects who viewed a high status model performed better than those viewing a low status model. The lack of any significant cueing effect suggested that model characteristics did not exert their prime influence on the attentional stage of observational learning. There were no group differences during phase 2, suggesting that performance but not actual amount learned was affected by the model status manipulation.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Penny McCullagh, Dept of Kinesiology, Campus Box 354, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309.