Social Learning Theory

  • Created by: 0045253
  • Created on: 30-05-22 12:39
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  • Social Learning Theory
    • Assumptions
      • The majority of SLT research involves laboratory experiments in which quantifiable behaviour is observed.
      • Human learning is explained through observational learning or modelling, which involves identification, imitation and reinforcement
    • Identification
      • The extent to which a person relates to a model and feels that they're similar to that person, particularly same sex models.
      • Identification with a model means that someone is more likely to imitate their behaviour.
    • Modelling
      • A person becomes a role model if they're seen to possess similar characteristics to the observer.
    • Imitation
      • The way in which an individual copies the behaviour of a role model.
    • Vicarious reinforcement
      • The learner may imitate behaviour but generally imitation only occurs if the behaviour is seen to be rewarded rather than punished.
      • Observes the consequences of the behaviour.
    • Role of Mediational Processes
      • Cognitive factors that influence learning process to determine whether a new behaviour is acquired or not.
      • Attention: extent to which we notice certain behaviours
      • Retention: how well the behaviour is remembered.
      • Motor Reproduction: the assessment of the ability of the observer to perform the behaviour.
      • Motivation: the will to perform the behaviour, often determined by whether the behaviour was rewarded or punished.
    • Bandura's Research
      • Recorded the behaviour of children who watched an adult behaving in an aggressive way towards a bodo doll.
        • The adult hit the bodo doll and shouted abuse at it, when these children were later observed playing with the bodo doll, they were much more aggressive compared to children who had observed non-aggressive adult.
          • Demonstrated the influence of the aggressive model on the child's behaviour.
      • Bandura + Walters showed videos to children where an adult behaved aggressively and praised, an adult acting aggressively then being told off then an adult behaving aggressively but there were no consequences.
        • First group was most aggressive then the second and then the third.
    • Contributions
      • Understanding of the importance of role model in promoting desirable behaviour especially to children
        • Helped establish guidance on the effects of media violence on aggression e.g., age certificates.
      • Provided a less deterministic explanation of behaviour than the behaviourist approach.
        • Emphasised the importance of role models and imitation.
      • Continued to use lab experiments and gather scientific, empirical data with human participants
      • P - SLT has been applied practically to promote desirable behaviours.
        • E - Prosocial behaviour is modelled by teachers and adults who interact with children and been used to encourage desirable behaviours such as sharing.
          • E - This is further applied in ensuring children are not exposed to neagtive role models such as providing age certificates on films where children could imitate the behaviour.
            • L - This means SLT can be used in practical setting which increases its value.
      • P - Bandura emphasised reciprocal determinism
        • E - This means that we aren't solely influenced by our external environment because we're able to influence it also through behaviours that we choose to imitate.
          • E - This element of choice means that humans have some free will in how they behave.
            • L - This is a more realistic and flexible position than the behaviourists as it recognises he role we play in shaping out own environment.
      • P - Bandura makes little reference to the impact of biological factors on learning
        • E - One consistent finding in the bodo doll experiments was that boys were often more aggressive than girls regardless of the experimental condition.
          • E - This may be explained by hormonal factors, for example, differences in testosterone levels.
            • L - Therefore the biological approach may provide a more valid explanation for explanation for aggression, this limits SLT's application.
      • P - SLT relies too heavily on evidence from controlled lab studies
        • E - ,Many of Banduras ideas were developed through observations of children in lab settings and this raises the problem of demand characteristics.
          • E - The main purpose of a Bodo doll is to hit it. So the children in those studies may have been behaving as they thought was expected
            • L - Therefore, the research may Tell us little about how children actually learn aggression in everyday life which reduces the validity of the SLT approach


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