Social Learning Theory

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Social Learning Theory
One psychological explanation is Bandura & Walters SLT, suggests we learn through observing others
Bandura et al ­ Bobo doll study, observed agg/non-agg then placed in room with dolls, agg condition most likely to repeat, esp when seen them rewarded
(vicarious reinforcement)
Lab, cause and effect established as extraneous variables controlled
Lab, low mundane realism, diff environment less applicable to everyday situations
Generalisability, used male and female children
Demand characteristics, `Look mummy, doll we have to hit'
Doll not real person so cannot apply to aggression to people
Done with real clown and found similar amounts of agg
Children knew clown would not be allowed to fight back, which is different to normal environment e.g. playground
Ethics, teaching a child to act agg may continue to effect actions after study
Mental representations of rewards/punishments influence whether vicarious behaviour is repeated
Self efficacy expectancies, confidence in the agg act means more likely to do it than a child who has been punished, likely to turn to other means
Do adults learn vicariously too? Only tested on children so cannot apply to adults
Phillips tested adults, found homicide rates in US increased in week after major boxing match
Shows adults imitate behaviour due to no punishment as well
Correlational study, so could be 3rd unseen variable not taken into account

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Cultural differences, agg rare in !Kung san tribe due to rearing practices, if siblings fight they are physically separated so are not exposed to any agg to
learn/imitate
Can explain individual differences between & within, Wolfgang & Ferracuti - 'culture of violence' theory, some
sub-cultures sanction agg to greater degree than dominant culture so learn vicariously not to ...…read more

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