Albert Bandura is well known in the field of psychology because he has been a prolific contributor to our understanding of the human mind and behaviour for over 60 years.
By Saul McLeodupdated In social learning theory, Albert Bandura agrees with the behaviorist learning theories of classical conditioning and operant conditioning. However, he adds two important ideas: Behavior is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning.
Observational Learning Children observe the people around them behaving in various ways. This is illustrated during the famous Bobo doll experiment Bandura, Individuals that are observed are called models.
These models provide examples of behavior to observe and imitate, e. Children pay attention to some of these people models and encode their behavior. At a later time they may imitate i. First, the child is more likely to attend to and imitate those people it perceives as similar to itself.
Consequently, it is more likely to imitate behavior modeled by people of the same gender. Second, the people around the child will respond to the behavior it imitates with either reinforcement or punishment.
Her behavior has been reinforced i. Reinforcement can be external or internal and can be positive or negative. If a child wants approval from parents or peers, this approval is an external reinforcement, but feeling happy about being approved of is an internal reinforcement. A child will behave in a way which it believes will earn approval because it desires approval.
Positive or negative reinforcement will have little impact if the reinforcement offered externally does not match with an individual's needs. Reinforcement can be positive or negativebut the important factor is that it will usually lead to a change in a person's behavior.
This is known as vicarious reinforcement. This relates to an attachment to specific models that possess qualities seen as rewarding. Children will have a number of models with whom they identify.
These may be people in their immediate world, such as parents or older siblings, or could be fantasy characters or people in the media. The motivation to identify with a particular model is that they have a quality which the individual would like to possess.
Identification occurs with another person the model and involves taking on or adopting observed behaviors, values, beliefs and attitudes of the person with whom you are identifying.
The term identification as used by Social Learning Theory is similar to the Freudian term related to the Oedipus complex. However, during the Oedipus complex, the child can only identify with the same sex parent, whereas with Social Learning Theory the person child or adult can potentially identify with any other person.
Identification is different to imitation as it may involve a number of behaviors being adopted, whereas imitation usually involves copying a single behavior. This is because it focuses on how mental cognitive factors are involved in learning. Unlike SkinnerBandura believes that humans are active information processors and think about the relationship between their behavior and its consequences.
Observational learning could not occur unless cognitive processes were at work. These mental factors mediate i. Therefore, individuals do not automatically observe the behavior of a model and imitate it.
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There is some thought prior to imitation, and this consideration is called mediational processes. This occurs between observing the behavior stimulus and imitating it or not response There are four mediational processes proposed by Bandura: For a behavior to be imitated, it has to grab our attention.
We observe many behaviors on a daily basis, and many of these are not noteworthy.
Attention is therefore extremely important in whether a behavior influences others imitating it. How well the behavior is remembered. The behavior may be noticed but is it not always remembered which obviously prevents imitation.
It is important therefore that a memory of the behavior is formed to be performed later by the observer.The Merits, Limitations, and Modifications of Applying Bandura’s Social Learning Theory to Understanding African American Children’s Exposure to Violence Cindy L.
Burdick. While the behavioral theories of learning suggested that all learning was the result of associations formed by conditioning, reinforcement, and punishment, Bandura's social learning theory proposed that learning can also occur simply by observing the actions of .
Social Learning Theory is a theory of learning and social behavior which proposes that new behaviors can be acquired by observing and imitating others. It states that learning is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can occur purely through observation or direct instruction, even in the absence of motor reproduction or direct reinforcement.
The principles of social learning are assumed to o perate in the same way throughout life. Albert Bandura is an influential social cognitive psychologist who is perhaps best-known for his social learning theory, the concept of self-efficacy, and his famous Bobo doll experiments.
He is a Professor Emeritus at Stanford University and is widely regarded as one of the greatest living psychologists.
Social learning theory is not a full explanation for all behavior. This is particularly the case when there is no apparent role model in the person’s life to imitate for a given behavior. The discovery of mirror neurons has lent biological support to the theory of social learning.