The learning approach: Social learning theory

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  • The learning approach: Social learning theory:
  • AO1:
  • Key assumptions of social learning theory (SLT):
  • Bandura agreed with the behaviourist appraoch that learning occurs through experience. He also propsed that learning takes place in a social context through observation and imitation of other's behaviour. Children (and adults) observe iother 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's punished. Bandura called this vicarious reinforcement. 
  • Bandura identified 4 mediatiional processes in learning: 
  • Attention - The extent to whichwe notice certain behaviors.
  • Retention - how well we remember the behaviour. 
  • Motor reproduction - the ability of the observer to perform the behaviour. 
  • Motivation - the will to perform the behaviour. 
  • The first 2 relate to learning the behaviour, whereas the second 2 relate tote performance of the behaviour. Observed behaviours may be stored by the observer and reproduced at a later time. Childrenare more likely to imitate the behaviour of those they identify with, such role models are similar to the observer, tend to be attractive and have high status. 
  • Bandura's research 1:
  • Childrenwatched an adult either behaviouring aggressively towards a Bobo doll, or behaving non-aggressively towards a Bobo doll. When given their own doll to play with, the children who has seen the aggression were much more likely to be aggressive towards the doll.
  • Bandura's research 2:
  • Children saw an adult who was either rewarded, punished or neither punished nor rewarded. When they were given their own…


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