Social Learning Theory Explaining Gender PSYB1
Look through the magazines choose just one person you like and explain why…
Think • List all the reasons why you chose that person
Discussion points • Who would you say is a role model for young boys? • What do you think makes a person a role model? • How might parents encourage sex appropriate behaviours? • Do you think mothers and fathers differ in how concerned they are about sex appropriate behaviour? • What makes children continue to copy certain behaviours? • Do you think other children encourage sex typed behaviours?
Social Learning Theory Albert Bandura (1986) Our behaviours, (including sex typed behaviours) are a product of the environment. • The reason we act and behave the way we do has been explained in 4 simple ways: • Imitation • Identification • Reinforcement • Modelling
Imitation • This is simply copying behaviour and is the fastest type of learning in humans. • This behaviour may be imitated because it is seen as rewarding. Thus the rewards stop and the behaviour too ceases.
Bandura (1965) Bobo dolls • This study supports imitation. Read the study and think what evaluations could exist?
Criticisms of study • Artificial setting – ‘lacks ecological validity’ • Demand characteristics
Reinforcement • This is direct learning – Our behaviour is strengthened (repeated/not repeated) due to a particular response (i.e. reward/punishment) • Rewards can be Internal (feelings) and external (materialistic) • Positive R– A behaviour is followed by something pleasant • Negative – A behaviour is followed by the removal something unpleasant • Punishment – The likelihood of a behaviour is reduced when followed by something unpleasant. Try to think of real life examples from a child’s perspective in tune with gender development….
Langlois and Downs (1980) • Read the study and describe what types of reinforcement are at work in this scenario • Can you think of any evaluations of your own?
Other studies • Fagot (1978) observed how parents reinforce (verbal encouragement) stereotypical masculine and feminine behaviours and punish (criticise/tell off) non-stereotypical behaviours… • Through observations she found that girls were reinforced for asking for help, playing close and dressing up but discouraged for jumping and climbing. Whereas boys were reinforced for playing with building bricks but discouraged from playing with dolls (sex inappropriate toys).
Vicarious Reinforcement • This is indirect learning • We copy someone's behaviour because of the particular outcome it had for that person. • Thus, we learn from observing other peoples experiences Can you think of any examples of your own – especially in relation to gender development?
Study to support Aim: Dweck et al (1978) observed teachers use of negative and positive feedback in the classroom. Method: 79 children were observed in the classroom twice a week for 5 weeks. Observers were blind to the purpose of the exp and the teachers verbal responses to the children were observed: whether feedback is related to work/behaviour, whether it was positive or negative, whether is was related to content/presentation (i.e. neatness). Results: Boys tended to receive positive reinforcement for content, whilst girls for neatness. The pattern was reversed fro negative comments. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that teachers do respond in different ways to boys and girls.
Think • What evaluations can you think of for this study? • How can we apply this study to the SLT explanations?
Identification • An individual desires to be like a specific model or part of a social group because they possess qualities they view as rewarding, i.e. attractiveness or status. The child experiences a form of attachment to them and aspires to be like them. Unlike imitation, identification implies some form of relationship between the imitator and imitated.
Modelling • Copying the behaviours of a chosen person - a ‘role model’ depends on a number of important factors. • The usual role models for a boy is his father and a girl her mother. But of course people have more than one role model – so who are they and why? • Maccoby and Jacklin (1974) referred to this process as self-socialisation because the learning does not depend on the need for direct reinforcement from other people. • This is where COGNITIVE FACTORS come in to place. People actively seek out and decide who they want to be like for various reasons. See handout and make notes on three factors you believe are important.
Read all studies at this stage • Then give out evaluation handout • Decide which is positive or negative • Make short notes on what it means exactly
See study to support • Perry and Bussey (1979) • Why does this study support modelling? • It is now thought however that the appropriateness of the models behaviour is a more important factor in modelling than whether the model is of the same sex as the child (Golombok and Fivush, 1994). The effect of sex appropriateness on modelling was demonstrated by Masters et al (1979).
Masters et al (1979) They set out to investigate if knowing whether a behaviour was sex appropriate or inappropriate would affect the likelihood of the child imitating behaviour. Children aged 4-5yrs were shown gender neutral toys, i.e. a balloon and a xylophone. They were told some toys were appropriate for girls and others boys. The children then watched a video of girls and boys playing with toys. After this the children were allowed to go play with toys. Girls were more likely to play with the toys that they were told was appropriate to play with compared to what they saw the girl model play with on the video. The same applied to the boys. If the label attached to the toy and the models sex corresponds – the imitation was at its strongest. Therefore perceived appropriateness of behaviour appears more important for imitation than whether the model is the same sex.
Evaluations for topic • See handout provided and make notes on which evaluations are in support of the SLT explanations and which are against.
Exam questions • Define reinforcement (2 marks) • Define imitation (2 marks) • Define modelling and give two examples of why someone chooses to have particular role models. (3 marks) • Distinguish between the terms imitation and identification. (3 marks) • Distinguish between positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement (3 marks) • Give one study that explains the social learning development of gender. Remember to refer to the aim, method, results, conclusion and evaluation (5 marks)
Think time • Social Learning Theory assumes that behaviour is the result of _______________ influences? • Which psychologist is a key promoter of the Social Learning Theory? • Much of our behaviour is likely to be repeated if it is _______________? • Observational Learning can also be referred to as _______________? • Modelling means to imitate the behaviour of a person who has acted as a _______________? • What are the three main sources of models? • _______________ is the fastest type of learning. • _______________ is the word used to explain how our behaviour is strengthened due to a particular response. • _______________ learning is a term used to indicate that learning has not been a product of direct experience but as the result of another person’s experience. • Give me an example.
Question A group of students have a disagreement about which of the three definitions below can be applied to the terms modelling and reinforcement: • a person’s desire to be like another person or to be part of a particular social group; • the process by which a response is strengthened; • a procedure whereby a person observes another person and then attempts to imitate his or her behaviour. In your answer book, write down the definition which illustrates each of the following: (i) modelling (ii) reinforcement
Copy and complete Modelling involves learning through ________. The adults behaviour was ______ in this this study. The likelihood of imitation depended on the __________ on the adults actions. If the child seen the adults behaviour __________, this acted as _________ (indirect) learning/reinforcement ,because the child then proceeded to imitate it. If the child seen the adult ________ for their actions, they were less likely to imitate them.