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Social Learning Theory And Examples

Referencing Styles : Harvard | Pages : 1

Social learning theory

Social learning theory of Albert Bandura refers to the theory that attempts for explaining the process of socialisation and its impact on the self-development. There are several different theories that explains the process of how people gradually socialised, comprising of the functionalism, the symbolic interaction and psychoanalytic theory. It is to note that it combines the cognitive learning theory that posits that the process of learning is affected by the psychological factors and also, the behavioural learning theory that assumes that learning is dependent on the responses to the environmental stimuli. It is also known as the observational learning. According to Bandura, there are four principles of social learning and they are Attention, Retention, Reproduction and Motivation. In terms of attention, it is to note that one cannot learn if he or she is not focused on the task. In terms of retention, it is to note that one learn by means of internalising the information in his or her memories. In terms of reproduction, it is to mention that one reproduce the earlier learnt details and information whenever required. Lastly, in terms of motivation, one needs to be motivated enough for doing anything and often this motivation originated from his or her observation of someone else, who is being awarded or punished for anything something that they have done or have said.

Examples

Some of the most common examples of social learning situations for children and youth are the television commercials. The commercial suggests that drinking some amount of beverages or making use of a particular hair shampoo would make one very popular and also, win the admiration of the attractive people or the people whom they like. On the basis of the component processes that are involved like the motivation or attention, one might model the behaviour that is shown in the commercial and then purchase the product that are being advertised. It is not only limited to children and youths, in fact, elder people are also influenced by the television commercials.

Albert Bandura's contributions to social learning and vicarious experiences

Albert Bandura, one of the well-known psychologist integrated the two theories of cognitive learning and behavioural learning in an approach known as social learning theory and then have identified a total of four requirements for learning and they are- observation, retention, reproduction and motivation. In this case, observation is environmental, retention is cognitive, reproduction is cognitive and motivation is both. With the same, it is also to note that Albert Bandura had developed what widely became famous in the name of Bobo Doll experiments. In such studies, children used to watch the adult models showing their nature in either passive or violent behaviour behaved in less aggressive manner towards the doll. He concluded that the children are likely to learn aggression and violence and with the same, the other different social behaviours by means of observation learning and through watching their peers and others’ behaviours.

It is to note that the initial phase of the research of Bandura analysed the core and foundations of human learning and at the same time, the propensity of the adults and children for imitating the behaviour that is observed in the others. The Bobo Doll experiment is one of the controversial experiments of Bandura that he used for studying the different patterns of behaviour by social learning theory and that the similar behaviours were learned by the individuals in shaping their own behaviours after the actions of the adult models. However, this experiment was criticised by some ethical grounds for training the children towards the aggression.

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