Social Learning Theory Essay

1287 words - 6 pages

Many theories have been thought of over the years to attempt to explain why people behave the way they do. Many questions were brought up when thinking about that and the social learning theory is a popular theory in explaining this. Nobody really thought of the social learning theory too much until Albert Bandura wrote his idea of it. He actually wrote a book called “Social Learning Theory.” In this book, he states that behavior is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning(Saul McLeod).
The social learning theory of Bandura stresses the importance to learn and observe the behavior, reactions and emotions of people(Bandura). He believed that if humans only ...view middle of the document...

Bandura thought that everyone would act in a way that received approval because everyone desires approval. If the behavior the person displays doesn’t meet their wants externally, the positive and negative feedback won’t really matter when it comes to whether or not they will repeat their action. When someone is deciding if they are going to behave a certain way, a major component in their decision would be what happens to other people when they behaved the same way. Vicarious reinforcement is what this is referred to. This idea usually would be related to the concept of the attachment of specific individuals that have more rewarding qualities. This model can be someone in your family, peers, a celebrity, or a fantasy character. The model you identify with, you will probably take on more than just behavior, things like, values, beliefs and attitude. That is how identification is different than imitation, you take on more things than just copying one behavior of a person.
A Northwestern psychologist Donald Campbell suggests six different ways a person learns to choose one option over another. Trial and error is an important one and generally has a long-lasting effect on your behavior.hands-on experience, for example, tasting the butter or squeezing the trigger. If you are just looking and admiring the object then it is perception of the object. Just looking at a gun or some butter would fall under this category. Perception is usually a less effective way. A common way would be observation of a person responding to the object or behavior. When someone points a gun or spread butter on toast and others don’t look happy about it, the person observing probably won’t imitate that behavior, this would be an example for observation of a response. Observation may be common but it isn’t as effective as trial and error. If you watch someone actually shoot the gun or put butter on popcorn, that would be modeling since you are actually seeing an example of what happens with that object. One of the most used but least effective in changing your plan of action or your attitude is exhortation. Exhortation is receiving advice or being persuaded by someone such as, the NRA trying to protect the right to bear arms or a commercial trying to get you to buy real butter. The last way Campbell believes you pick an option over another is receiving instruction about the object, this is like seeing the number of calories in butter or the description of a guns effective range. Albert Bandura agrees with Campbell on the fact that conversation is not an effective way to affect your behavior. Although Bandura’s social theory focuses on the power of example in affecting your behavior.
Albert believed that children were more...

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