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Social Learning Theory

Social Learning Theory

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Social Learning Theory

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  1. Social Learning Theory • Learning Objectives: • Describe the role of imitation, modelling and vicarious reinforcement in learning. • Apply knowledge to real-life scenarios and exam style questions • Evaluate social learning theory. Why are these people choosing to behave in this manner? What influences them? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28448688

  2. The learning theories • Unlike classical conditioning, which is learning through association, operant conditioning involves learning through consequence. • Social learning is about learning through observation and imitation. An observer learns new behaviour by watching and imitating another person (role model). This process of watching and imitating is called the modelling.

  3. Social Learning Theory: The 2 key assumptions • Behaviour is learned from the environment and therefore genetics are not regarded as having any influence on behaviour. • Behaviour is learned from observing others and the reinforcement or punishment that they receive.

  4. Therefore vicarious reinforcement is watching a role model being rewarded/punished(which helps us decide if we want to imitate the behaviour) Albert Bandura He is a learning theorist but not strictly a behaviourist as he considers the thought processes that underlie behaviour. The individual then can decide whether to perform the behaviour themselves. His theory challenges Skinner’s idea that reward/punishment will automatically prompt/stop a behaviour. He argues that reinforcers and punishments of others inform an individual of the consequences of a behaviour.

  5. The Bobo Doll experiment (1961) by Bandura et al. Aim: to test whether social behaviours (i.e. aggression) can be acquired by observation and imitation. Sample: Bandura et al. tested 36 boys and 36 girls from the Stanford University Nursery School aged between 3 to 6 years old. The researchers pre-tested the children for how aggressive they were by observing the children in the nursery and judged their aggressive behavior on four 5-point rating scales. It was then possible to match the children in each group so that they had similar levels of aggression in their everyday behavior. The experiment is therefore an example of a matched pairs design.

  6. A lab experiment was used and there were 3 different conditions. In the ‘aggressive’ condition children watched the role model physically and verbally abuse the Bobo doll. In the non-aggressive condition the role model ignore the doll and played with other toys in the room and in the control condition there was no model. Method

  7. Method All children were then put into a room which contained some aggressive toys and some non-aggressive toys. The non-aggressive toys included a tea set, crayons, three bears and plastic farm animals. The aggressive toys included a mallet and peg board, dart guns, and a 3 foot Bobo doll. The child was in the room for 20 minutes and their behaviour was observed and rated though a one-way mirror. Observations were made at 5-second intervals therefore giving 240 response units for each child.

  8. Results:

  9. Results: • Children who observed the aggressive model made far more imitative aggressive responses than those who were in the non-aggressive or control groups. • The girls in the aggressive model condition also showed more physical aggressive responses if the model was male, but more verbal aggressive responses if the model was female. • Boys were more likely to imitate same-sex models than girls. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02Pf53oX7iE

  10. Evaluation: Can you pick out any strengths or weaknesses in the way this study was conducted? Hint! Look back over the method- think who was used and how the experiment was set up.

  11. Strengths Weaknesses • Low ecological validity (in a lab, adult models, child observers etc) • Frustrated Children • Many children unfamiliar with a Bobo doll • Only looks at short-term effects of social learning rather than long term. • Only uses child participants from Stanford Uni Nursery (3-6 years old) • The toys in the room may indicate to the child what they are expected to do (demand characteristics?) • As it is an experiment all other variables have been controlled for (e.g. gender of child, time they are observed for) therefore we can establish cause and effect. • Easily replicable (standardised instructions and procedures). • Accounts for cognitive processes.

  12. Social L T: Key Terms Vicarious Reinforcement: reinforcement which occurs through observing someone else being reinforced for a specific behaviour. Modelling: imitating the behaviour of a role model/ a role model demonstrating a specific behaviour Mediational processes: cognitive factors (thinking) that influence learning and come between stimulus and response Identification: when an observer associates themselves with a role model and wants to be like them.

  13. Identification: when an observer associates themselves with a role model and wants to be like them. Who do you think is your role model?

  14. 2. 1. 3. 4. A 14 year old, white British school gir?l 8. 6. 5. 7.

  15. 2. 1. 3. 4. A 32 year old African American man who is a personal trainer? 8. 5. 6. 7.

  16. Identification: when an observer associates themselves with a role model and wants to be like them. Often an individual is influenced by another because they are in some way similar to them or wish to be like them. There are many factors which influence the choice of a model including; gender, ethnicity, higher status, greater expertise, attractiveness etc.

  17. Mediational processes: cognitive factors (thinking) that influence learning and come between stimulus and response If you saw that your favourite celebrity had successfully swam the English channel, would you immediately imitate the behaviour yourself? We do not automatically observe the behaviour of a model and imitate it. There is thought prior to imitation and Bandura (1977) called these the 4 mediational processes.

  18. The Role of Mediational Factors (cognitive factors) Motor Reproduction Motivation Retention Attention The behaviour may be noticed, but it is not always remembered. This prevents imitation. We must form a memory of the behaviour in order for it to be performed later on by the observer. The physical ability of the observer to imitate the behaviour. For a behaviour to imitated it has to grab our attention. We observe many behaviours on a daily basis and many of these are not noticed. The will or motivation to perform the behaviour. This is often determined by whether the behaviour was rewarded or punished.

  19. Task: Talk to the person next to you. Discuss how social learning principles may explain how violent films may have a negative impact on children’s behaviour.

  20. Key Words: Vicarious reinforcement, mediational processes, identification, role models 2 marks for A01 and 4 marks for A02!!

  21. Is the content clear and sufficiently detailed? Up to 4 marks for A02!! Is every part of social learning applied to the example??

  22. Is it the top end of the band or the bottom end?!

  23. Quick Quiz! • What does the behaviourist approach believe about the role of cognition (the brain)? • In Pavlov’s research what was the neutral stimulus? • In Pavlov’s research what was the unconditioned response? • Which consequence in operant conditioning makes a behaviour less likely to occur? • _________ reinforcement occurs through watching someone else being reinforced or punished for a behaviour and then deciding whether to perform it yourself. • “The ability of the observer to perform the behaviour” is which mediational process? • Give reasons/ factors which make a person more likely to be a role model. • Which group in Bandura’s study showed the most aggressive behaviour towards the Bobo Doll?

  24. The Bobo Doll experiment (part 2) (1963) by Bandura and Walters. A follow up study was done by Bandura et al. where all children were shown an adult behaving aggressively towards a Bobo Doll. One group children saw the adult being praised for their behaviour (“well done”), another saw the adult being told off for their behaviour and a control group saw no consequence. The first group showed much more aggression towards the Bobo Doll, followed by the control group and then the second group. What key term we learnt about last lesson does this study support? What does this tell us about how we learn to perform behaviour?

  25. The Bobo Doll experiment (part 2) (1963) by Bandura and Walters. A follow up study was done by Bandura et al. where all children were shown an adult behaving aggressively towards a Bobo Doll. One group children saw the adult being praised for their behaviour (“well done”), another saw the adult being told off for their behaviour and a control group saw no consequence. The first group showed much more aggression towards the Bobo Doll, followed by the control group and then the second group. What key term we learnt about last lesson does this study support? What does this tell us about how we learn to perform behaviour?

  26. Writing PEEL paragraphs. P- The social learning theory is less deterministic than the behaviourist approach. E- Bandura emphasised reciprocal determinism, which explained how we are not only influenced by our environment but that we also exert an influence upon it, through choosing to perform certain behaviours. E- This suggests that we have more free will in the way that we choose to behave, than is suggested by the behaviourist approach. It also recognises the importance of cognition (thinking). L- Therefore the social learning theory may be a better explanation of human behaviour than the traditional behaviourist approach as it accounts for some free will.

  27. Give one key assumption of social learning theory What is the name of the researcher who used Bobo Dolls in his studies? What does ‘vicarious reinforcement’ mean? Give one strength and one weakness of the Bobo Dolls Study. What is a conditioned response? What is ‘operant conditioning’? People that we identify with are called ____ _____. What is an unconditioned stimulus? What are the 3 types of consequences in operant conditioning?