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Social Learning Theory

  • Date Submitted: 03/23/2010 04:13 PM
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Social Learning Theory Project: Albert Bandura
Theory Overview
Albert Bandura is a major contributor to the world of education and his theory; The Social Cognitive Theory has been applied for many years in the classroom. Bandura introduced the Social Cognitive Theory which emphasizes the importance of two fields of psychology: behaviorism and cognition. He believed that human behavior and functioning is not only controlled by cognitive thought but there is also a social influence. There are three main principles that govern his theory: observational learning, reciprocal determinism and self-efficacy.
Observational Learning: Models and Modeling
Bandura believed learning could occur through observation of models and that reinforcement (bad or good) is more relevant to performance than to learning. Bandura showed this through an experiment conducted in 1961 called the “Bobo Doll Expereiment”. This experiment illustrated Bandura’s importance of modeling in the Social Cognitive Theory. The experiment also showed that not all behaviors are the result of modeling some are the result of training or conditioning (Bandura, 1999). Some argue that laws of reinforcement and punishments are more relevant to performance than to acquisition. Children do not always imitate everything around them. Children are more likely to imitate a person if the person is popular, smart or talented. They are also more likely to imitate when the behavior they see is rewarded than when it is punished (Bandura, 1999).
According to Bandura, learning can occur outside the boundaries of pleasure and pain. Thus, people learn a great deal simply by watching and observing others, by reading about what people do, and by making general observations of the world. This learning may or may not be demonstrated in the form of behavior (Bandura, 1999). However, he also acknowledged that not all behaviors can be learned through modeling such as personality patterns. Albert Bandura projected a conceptual...


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