Social Learning Theory Learning from observation
Albert Bandura – Social Learning Theorist • Albert Bandura was born on December 4, 1925 in a small town called Mundare in northern Alberta, Canada (50 miles east of Edmonton). • He was the youngest and only boy of six children.
Albert Bandura – Social Learning Theorist • 1949:Bandura received his B.A. degree from the University of British Columbia • 1951:M.A. received from the University of Iowa • 1952:Ph.D. received from University of Iowaunder the direction of Arthur Benton • While studying at Iowa, Bandura’s interest in childhood aggression began • Idea of social learning theory established while pursuing Ph.D. at University of Iowa • 1964- Present:Full professor position given to Bandura at Stanford • 1977:Bandura became known as the Father of the Cognitive Theory.
Social Learning Theory • Social learning theory focuses on the learning that occurs within a social context • Social learning theory considers how people learn from one another by observing, imitating, and modeling. • In social learning theory, people (observers) are trying to learn by imitation or modeling. Therefore, the model or third person can be a reinforcer. • For instance, from an operant condition perspective, learners are reinforced often enough that they continue to copy those around them. • As a result, their imitation (copying) itself becomes a habit which is called generalized.
Social Learning Theory • “Social Learning Theory” has been renamed ‘Social Cognitive Theory” to accommodate later developments of the theory because of his focus on motivational factors and self-regulatory mechanisms that contribute to a person’s behavior, rather than just environmental factors. • According to Bandura, human beings have specific abilities related to learning that sets them apart from other species
Social cognitive theory • Social cognitive theory states that there are three characteristics that are unique to humans: • Vicarious consequences (Model and imitate others) • Self–efficacy (self reflection) • Performance standards and moral conduct (Ability to regulate one’s own behavior)
General principles of social learning theory • People can learn by observing the behavior of others and then imitating the behavior overtly. • Learning can occur without a change in behavior. • Cognition plays a role in learning. • Individuals are more likely to adopt a modeled behavior if it results in outcomes they value. • Individuals are more likely to adopt a modeled behavior if the model is similar to the observed and has admired status and the behavior has functional value.
Bandura’s Experiment on Modeling • Experiment that showed children could easily learn through observational learning modeling • Frustrated children go to beat on the clown after seeing adult model do the same. • Reinforcements and punishment may influence what we imitate.
Bandura’s Experiment on Modeling The Bobo Doll Study • “Bobo doll” studies showed observational learning and the impact it can have on violent behavior in children. • Albert Bandura’sBobo doll study in 1961 was a classic study that demonstrates the social learning theory. The study showed that after viewing adults strike and kick a Bobo doll, children would imitate the behavior in another environment. This was important, as it suggests that the violence could be imitated by viewers. • Results showed 88% of the children imitated aggressive behavior following the viewing of the tape of adults acting aggressively toward the doll. • 8 months later 40% of the same children reproduced the violent behavior observed in the Bobo doll experiment.
The Bobo Doll Study (continued…) • The children were shown three different endings to the video. The video first showed that the adults were praised for their aggressive behavior. The second group the adult was told to sit in a corner. The third group showed the adult walk out of the room. While controversial, Bandura maintained that his experiment demonstrated that children are influenced by witnessing or modeling of aggression in others.
Process of Learning through Modeling • Attention: If you are going to learn anything, you have to be paying attention. The person must first pay attention to the model. • Retention: You must be able to retain or remember what you have paid attention to. We retain mental images or verbal descriptions. • Reproduction: You have to translate the images or descriptions into actual behaviors. • Motivation: the final necessary ingredient for modeling to occur is motivation, learners must want to demonstrate what they have learned. (If positive reinforcement is potentially available, enact the modeled behavior) (Remember that since these four conditions vary among individuals, different people will reproduce the same behavior differently).
Example Children who see an adult behave aggressively might view that aggressive behavior as a positive thing (i.e., expect positive reinforcement of some type for that behavior), and therefore might imitate that aggressive behavior.
Educational implications of social learning theory • Students often learn a great deal simply by observing other people. • To promote effective modeling a teacher must make sure that the four essential conditions exist; attention, retention , motor reproduction, and motivation. • Teachers and parents must model appropriate behaviors and take care that they do not model inappropriate behaviors. • Teachers should expose students to a variety of other models. This technique is especially important to break down traditional stereotypes.
Educational implications of social learning theory • It is very important to develop a sense of self-efficacy for students. Teachers can promote such self-efficacy by having students receive confidence-building messages, watch others be successful, and experience success on their own. • Teachers should help students set realistic expectations for their academic accomplishments. • Self-regulation techniques provide an effective method for improving student behavior.