- Created by: jess_field26
- Created on: 04-06-19 10:14
- Bandura agreed with the behaviourist approach that learning occurs through experience. However, he also proposed that learning takes place in a social context through observation and imitation of other's behaviour.
- Children (and adults) observe other people's behaviour and take note of its consequences.
- Behaviour that is seen to be rewarded (reinforced) is much more likely to be copied than behaviour that is punished (vicarious reinforcement).
- Children are more likely to imitate the behaviour of people with whom they identify. Such role models are similar to the observer, tend to be attractive and have high status.
There are four mediational processes:
- Attention - when behaviour is noticed
- Retention - whether behaviour is remembered
- Motor reproduction - being able to do it
- Motivation - the will to perform behaviour
- Children watched an adult either:
- Behaving aggressively towards a Bobo doll.
- Behaving non-aggressively towards a Bobo doll.
When given their own doll to play with, the children who had seen aggression were much more aggressive towards the doll.
- Children saw an adult who was either:
- Neither rewarded nor punished
When given their own doll to play with, the chldren who saw the aggression rewarded were much more agressive themselves.
Children model aggressive behaviour
- The Bobo doll studies suggest that children are likely to imitate acts of violence if they observe these in an adult role model.
- It is also the case that modelling aggressive behaviour is more likely if such behaviour is seen to be rewarded (vicarious reinforcement).
Strength - Importance of cognitive factors
- Neither classical conditioning nor operant conditioning can offer a comprehensive account of human learning on their own because cognitive factors are omitted.
- Humans and animals store information about the behaviour of others and use this to make judgements about when it is appropriate to perform certain actions.
- SLT provides a more complete explanation of human learning than the behaviourist approach by recognising the role of mediational processess.
Counter argument: Relies too heavily on evidence from lab studies:
- Many of Bandura's ideas were developed through observation of children's behaviour in lab settings and this raises the problem of demand characteristics.
- The main purpose of a Bobo doll is to hit it. So the children in those studies may have been behaving as they thought was expected.
- Thus the research may tell us little about how children actually learn aggression in everyday life.
Limitation - underesimates the influence of biolog
- A consistent finding in the Bobo doll experiements was that boys showed more aggression than girls, regardless of the specifics of the experimental condition.
- This may be explained by differences in the levels of testosterone, which is present in greater quantities in boys and is linked to aggression.
- This means that Bandura may have underplayed the important influence of biological factors on social learning.
Counter argument: can account for cultural differences in behaviour:
- Social learning principles can account for how children learn from other people around them, as well as through the media, and this can explain how cultural norms are transmitted.
- This has proved useful in understanding a range of behaviours such as how children come to understand their gender role.
- In contrast, the biological approach can only explain universal behaviours because human processes do not change with culture.
Strength - less determinist
- Bandura emphasised reciprocal determinism - we are influenced by our environment, but we also exert an influence upon it through the behaviours we choose to perfrom.
- This element of choice suggests that there is some free will in the way we behave.
- This is a more realistic anf flexible position than is suggested by the behaviourist approach as it recognises the role we play in shaping our own environment.