Social Learning Theory

  • Created by: Gaynor
  • Created on: 14-10-18 13:07

Assumptions

  • Our behaviouris learned through experience
  • People learn through observation and imitation of others
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Mediational Processes

Social leanring theory is a 'bridge' between the behaviourist and cognitive approach as it looks at the cognitive factors that influence our behaviour.

  • Attention - the extent to which we notice certain behaviours
  • Retention - how well the behaviour is remembered
  • Motor reproduction - the ability of the observer to perform the behaviour
  • Motivation - the will to perform the behaviour (determined by whether the behaviour was rewarded or punished)
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Key Terms

  • Imitation - copying the behaviour of others
  • Identification - when an observer associates themselves with a role model and wants to be like the role model
  • Modelling - the observer imitating the behaviour of the role model - the role model demstrating behaviour that may be imitated by an observer
  • Vicarious reinforcement - an observer seeing someone being reinforeced for a behaviour (so they decide whether to imitate it depending on whether they were rewarded or punished)
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Bobo Doll

  • An experiment carried out by by Bandura in 1961
  • A set of children were shown a video of an adult being aggressive to a bobo doll
  • An equal set of children were shown a video of adults being kind to the bobo doll
  • The children that watched the aggressive video were more aggressive towards the bobo doll - especially boys
  • A similar experiment was carried out by Bandura and Walters in 1963
  • All the children were shown a video of an adult being aggressive to a bobo doll
  • However, half were shown the adult being praised for their behaviour
  • The other half were shown the adult being told off for their behaviour
  • The group that were shown the adult being praised for their behaviour were much more aggressive to their own bobo doll than the other group
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Evaluation

  • Takes into account the influence of both environmental and cognitive factors
  • Explains cultural differences in behaviour 
  • Less deterministic than the behaviourist approach - reciprocal determinism
  • Underestimates the influence of biological factors - like testosterone contributing to aggressive behaviour in boys
  • Over-reliance on lab studies - children may be expressing demand characteristics 
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