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  • A form of observational learning in which individuals learn by observing and imitating others performing certain behaviors. Modeling is often used in psychotherapy to help people acquire adaptive behaviors. In modeling treatments, the client watches the therapist or other people perform the adaptive behaviors, thus learning skills vicariously. Modeling is used most commonly in social skills and assertiveness training. Albert Bandura (1997) pioneered the use of modeling as a therapeutic technique to help people overcome phobias. In treatment for this type of anxiety problem, modeling can teach the client how to respond fearlessly while vicariously extinguishing conditioned fear responses. The combination of modeling and gradual practice is called participant modeling and is one of the most powerful treatments for specific phobias. For further reading, see ...

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