Social Learing Theory Revision Sheet

Social learning theory condensed into one A4 sheet. Hope this is helpful!

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  • Created by: Georgia
  • Created on: 19-03-10 19:34
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People learn by observing a models behaviour (either live or symbolic)
Reinforcement and punishment have indirect effects as well as direct
Learning does not necessarily lead to a change in behaviour.
Research Bandura
Aim: to investigate whether behaviour such as aggression is learned through observing
and imitating of others.
Method: The subjects studied in the experiment involved 36 boys and 36 girls ranging
in age between 3 and 6. The 72 children were then split into 3 groups. 2 groups were
put into an aggressive model scenario one group with an adult model that was
rewarded for their behaviour and another group in an adult model that was punished for
their behaviour. The final group was then used as a control group and would be
exposed to a nonaggressive model scenario.
Result: Bandura found that the children exposed to the aggressive model were more
likely to act in physically aggressive ways than those who were not exposed to the
aggressive model.
Conclusion: This experiment showed that males are drastically more inclined to
physically aggressive behaviours than females.
Research Method: Scientific Experimental Methods ­ many behaviourist psychologists
use laboratory experiments. Many favour observational research techniques in laboratory
conditions as it gives researchers the opportunity to isolate and examine the different
influences on observational learning.
It covers a wider range of explanations such as the importance of cognitive
factors rather than suggesting we have no control over our behaviour.
The social learning theory is a seen as a valid theory, as an explanation of
personality development is supported by scientific research carried out by
Bandura's theory cannot be applied universally to every individual's personality
Its questionable whether vicarious reinforcements are consistent enough to
change behaviour
Experiments take place in a controlled environment, and sometimes doesn't
reflect processes that take place in an everyday environment
Applications: Social learning theory has been applied extensively to the understanding
of aggression and psychological disorders, particularly in the context of behavior
modification. It is also the theoretical foundation for the technique of behavior modeling
which is widely used in training programs.


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