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Social Learning Theory Essay

social learning theory essay

Example #1

In the United States, children watch an average of three to four hours of television daily (Cantor & Wilson, 1984, p. 28). Television can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior. Unfortunately, much of today’s television programming is violent. Studies of the effects of TV violence on children and teenagers have found that children may become insensitive to violence.

Consequently, they tend to gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems by imitating the violence they observe on television; and they identify with certain characters, good or bad. Therefore, extensive viewing of television violence by children causes greater aggressiveness (Rosenthal, 1986).

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Time Spent Watching Television. Typically, children begin watching television at a very early age, sometimes as early as six months, and are fervent viewers by the time that they are two or three years old (Murray, 1997). The amount of time that American children spend watching TV is remarkable, an average of four hours a day, 28 hours a week, 2,400 hours a year, nearly 18,000 hours by the time they graduate from high school (Chen, 1994, p.23).

In comparison, they spend a mere 13,000 hours in school, from kindergarten through twelfth grade (Chen, 1994). It appears children spend more time watching TV than any other activity. Studies have shown that children, in the hours between school and dinnertime, spend nearly 80 percent of the time watching television (Chen, 1994). Children living in poverty watch even more television than average — some up to seven hours a day.

TV Violence on Children. By the time poor child graduates from high school, he or she may have watched as many as 22,000 hours of TV (Chen, 1994). Bandura, (1973) indicates that sometimes, watching a single violent program can increase aggressiveness. Children who watch television shows in which violence is very realistic, frequently repeated or unpunished, are more likely to imitate what they see, ( p.25).

Children with emotional, behavioral, or learning problems may be more easily influenced by TV violence (Bandura, 1977). The impact of TV violence may be immediately evident in the child’s behavior or may surface later, and young people can even be affected when the family atmosphere shows no tendency toward violence (Cantor & Wilson, 1984). Therefore, while TV violence is not the only cause of aggressive or violent behavior, it is clearly a significant factor.

The Good in Television. Not all television is bad. There are several excellent programs dedicated to young children. Some programs incorporate entertainment and education to help children learn and identify characters, shapes, and colors. Programs such as Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street also help promote good behavior and cooperation.

Dr. Ernest Boyer, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and former US Commissioner of Education, stated: “Television sparks curiosity and opens up distant worlds to children. Through its magic, youngsters can travel to the moon or the bottom of the sea. They can visit castles, take river trips, or explore imaginary lands. . .With selective viewing, television can richly contribute to school readiness.” (Chen, p. 122)

Unfortunately, most children’s programming does not teach children what most parents and teachers want them to learn. TV Violence in Children. Preschoolers

Preschoolers in the United States, by watching television, ?are predisposed to seek out and pay attention to violence, particularly cartoon violence? (Cantor & Wilson, 1984). It is not the violence itself that makes the cartoons attractive to preschoolers, but the vivid images accompanying them. With cartoons, preschoolers are being exposed to a large number of violent acts daily.

Furthermore, preschoolers are unlikely to be able to put the violence in context, since they are likely to miss, or not understand, any information concerning motivation and consequences. One study stated, Preschoolers behave more aggressively than usual in their play after watching any high-action exciting television shows, but especially after watching violent television? (Cantor & Wilson, 1984, p.445).

Elementary School Children. Elementary school children develop a variety of skills: their attention span and cognitive ability follow continuous plots, they make inferences about implicit content, and they recognize motivations and consequences of people’s actions.

By age eight, children are more likely to be sensitive to important influences on television, they will not become more aggressive if the violence they see is portrayed as evil, as causing human suffering, or as resulting in punishment or disapproval. However, they are likely to show increased aggression from watching violent television if they believe the violence reflects real life, or if they identify with a violent hero, as boys often do, or if they engage in aggressive fantasies (Cantor & Wilson, 1984).

TV Violence on Children. Elementary school children ages six to eleven still watch cartoons but also begin watching more adult or family-oriented programming than they did when they were younger. They also begin liking horror movies, perhaps deliberately scaring themselves in an attempt to overcome their own fears. However, they might be doing it to numb themselves to fear and violence, and they likely will become more tolerant of violence in the real world (Cantor & Wilson, 1984).

Adolescent School Children. Adolescent Children ( ages 12 to 17), middle school to high school years, ?children become capable of abstract thought and reasoning, although they rarely use these abilities when watching television? (Dietz, & Strasburger, 1991, p.9). At this level, they watch less television than they did when they were younger and watch less with their families. Their interests at this age tend to revolve around independence, sex and romance, music videos, and horror movies? (Dietz, & Strasburger, 1991).

Adolescents in middle school and high school are much more likely than younger children to doubt the reality of television and much less likely to identify with television characters. The small percentage of those who continue to believe in the reality of television and to identify with its violent heroes are the ones likely to be more aggressive, especially if they continue to fantasize about aggressive-heroic themes (Bandura, 1973).

TV Violence on Children. Bandura’s Views. In the book, Social Learning Theory, author Albert Bandura presents his major thesis. He believes in the importance of observing and modeling the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others, especially in films and television.

Bandura believes that learning through modeling is very important and says that “Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do.

Fortunately, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling that is, from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions s this coded information serves as a guide for action.” (Bandura, 1977, p.22).

Social learning theory explains human behavior in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, environmental influences. The component processes underlying observational learning are Attention, Retention, Motor Reproduction, and Reinforcement. In Attention, individuals cannot learn much by observation unless they retain and then act out significant features of the modeled behavior. For example, children must attend to what the aggressor is doing and saying in order to reproduce the model’s behavior.

The next component is Retention. In order to reproduce the modeled behavior, the individuals must code the information into long-term memory. Therefore, the information will be retrieved. For example, a simple verbal description of what the model performed would be known as retention. Motor reproduction is another process in observational learning. The observer must be able to reproduce the model’s behavior.

TV Violence on Children. The observer must learn and possess the physical capabilities of the modeled behavior. An example of motor reproduction would be able to learn how to ski or ride a bike. Once a behavior is learned through attention and retention, the observer must possess the physical capabilities to produce the aggressive act. The final process in observational learning is Reinforcement. In this process, the observer expects to receive positive reinforcements for the modeled behavior.

For example, most children witnessed violence on television being rewarded by the media. When individuals, especially children witness this type of media, they attend, code, retrieve, posses the motor capabilities, and perform the modeled behavior because of the positive reinforcements determined by the media (Bandura, 1977).

According to Bandura, the highest level of observational learning is achieved by first organizing and rehearsing the modeled behavior symbolically and then enacting it out. Also, individuals are more likely to adopt a modeled behavior if it results in outcomes they value, and even more likely if the model is similar to the observer and has admired status and the behavior has functional value (Bandura, 1977).

Bandura strongly believed television was a source of behavior modeling. Bandura has shown that both children and adults acquire attitudes, emotional responses, and new styles of conduct through filmed and televised modeling? (Bandura, 1977, p.39). Today, films and television shows illustrate violence graphically. Violence is often expressed as acceptable behavior, especially for heroes who have never been punished.

TV Violence on Children. Albert Bandura believed aggression reinforced by family members was the most prominent source of behavior modeling. Bandura, in his studies, states that children use the same aggressive tactics that their parents illustrate when dealing with others (Bandura, 1977).

The social learning theory states that individuals, especially children, imitate or copy modeled behavior by personally observing others, the environment, and the mass media completely ignores an individual’s biological state. Also, the social learning theory rejects differences formed in individuals that are due to genetic, brain, and learning differences.

For example, if a child witnessed a crime or a murder, he or she might respond in a variety of ways. Biological psychologists believe that the responses would be normal and they come from the autonomic nervous system. In addition, the social learning theory rejects the classical and operant conditioning processes.

Television Violence as a Problem. In the world today, media violence is a big problem. It might oftentimes go unnoticed, but it’s there. When children watch television, they are probably witnessing some form of violence. Because television violence is produced in such an action-packed form they see through the negativity of it. Also, television teaches children that they can solve their problems by using violence. In many television shows aimed towards children, such as the “Power Rangers”, they portray the good characters having to resort to violence is able to defeat the bad characters. Children view the Power Rangers as heroes, saving the world from aliens and other bad guys.

TV Violence on Children. Children who watch this show may presume that the Power Rangers use violence to prevent bad things, why can they not use it to prevent problems in everyday life. Looney Tunes is another good example. Falling off cliffs and shooting people is typical in one half-hour program.

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A personal example of the influence television violence has on children occurred to me over the summer when I visited my girlfriend’s younger cousin. As I walked into the house I was attacked and kicked in the leg by this 5-year-old boy. I asked him what his reason was for kicking me and he told said that he was a Ninja defending the world from the Hagars, and I was a Hagar.

Television Violence Perceived by Children. Does television violence affect children’s thoughts, actions, and the way they live?

Rarely are the long-term consequences of violence portrayed on television. The results of real-life violence usually involve someone going to jail, the hospital, or even the grave. Television violence is usually clean with little blood, pain, or suffering. On TV, it seems criminals go unpunished most of the time. This gives children the message that violence is a successful method of resolving conflicts.

Also, it appears that half the time violent interactions on television depict no harm to the victims. Consequently, television teaches children that it is alright to hurt others as long as it is for the right reasons. Children perceive everything that happens on television as real. Therefore, when violence is portrayed as heroic, children tend to imitate the action to gain heroic recognition.

TV Violence on Children. Solutions to Television Violence

Several solutions might be taken to prevent such negative modeling to occur. One could be that television stations release a special broadcast before and after a show stating the non-reality of the show. Another solution television could use is to remind children there are alternatives to deal with problems, such as compromising. A final solution could be a special program implemented in schools that teaches children about media violence. None of these solutions will eliminate media violence, but it might educate children, as well as parents, in the false perception of television


In conclusion, there have been many debates over whether or not violence on television causes aggressive behavior in children. For instances, some studies show that children view cartoons such as Elmer Fudd shooting the rabbit as funny and humorous and it is the parents? responsibility to inform their children that cartoons are not real. It appears television is a form of education and positive role models. If violence in television and film causes people to be more violent, then shouldn’t the good form in television result in an audience that is pleasant?

Despite the criticisms, Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory should be seen as important in the study and influences of aggression and criminal behavior formed in this. In order to control aggression, Bandura believed family members and the mass media should provide positive role models for their children and the general public (Bandura, 1977). I believe that aggression modeled by children from watching television could be curbed when more of the influential adults in children’s lives are involved.

TV Violence on Children

Caring parents and the community would increase its effectiveness because it is at home that children watch the majority of television. Personally, I feel that the adults are to be given the majority of the blame for what is happening to our children today as a result of this media craze. As an adult, it is our duty to protect those who are unable to protect themselves. This goes for children that are directly related to us, and those children who are not.

The reason violence is so prevalent in television is because it is a good tool to attract viewers. No government regulations are powerful enough to completely eliminate acts of violence from television. What these parents and other concerned adults should do is a channel that energy into areas, such as commercials and school programming, that will help educate children in understanding that what they see is not always reality or the right way of doing things. However, in order for this to effectively work, the parents of today also need to be equally educated.


Example #2 – Social Learning Theory On Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe is one of the greatest poets in our time. In alone everything he loved, he loved alone. He struggled through his whole life through death, envy, sorrow, and illusion. He was different from others and very depressed. The social learning theory by Albert Bandura and Julian Rotter will explain the thoughts, feelings, experiences, and behavior of Edgar Allen Poe.

Edgar Allan Poe was born in, Massachusetts, on January 19, 1809, the second son of traveling actors. There is no record of his father after 1810 and his mother returning to the southern circuit, died a year later from tuberculosis. Edgar spilled up from his elder brother and younger sister. His elder brother and his wife, mother, and grandmother all died of tuberculosis.

He was taken into a household of a Virginian Tobacco Merchant, John Allen, whose name Poe was adopted 1824. He went to England with the Allen family in 1815 and while there he attended a school in Stoke Newington, yet Poe’s relationship with his foster father was uneasy and was put under great strain when he returned to Richmond.

John was lying in his deathbed waving his stick yelling at Edgar. John took everything out of the will and gave it to charity. Poe was broke. Bandura suggests that human behavior is due to a reciprocal determinism that involves behavioral, cognitive, and environmental factors. For example, Poe married his thirteen-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemmons. His life and behavior changed Poe. Poe was happy, he was madly in love like children running in the meadows, and having picnics under a tree. Poe was teaching her how to play the flute and taught her algebra.

Then the environment changed. One day in the house a friend of Poe was there for dinner and Poe’s wife sang for him. Then she began to cough blood and Poe feared the worst. He called a doctor and the doctor told Poe that his wife is dying of tuberculosis. Poe became very depressed. After his wife’s death in 1847, Poe’s behavior became very unstable and his dependence on alcohol increased.

Bandura uses the term self-system. The self in social learning theory is a group of cognitive processes and structures by which people relate to their environment and that helps to shape their behavior. In Poe’s case, he used to sleep next to the tomb of his wife in the cemetery.

Virginia was a model in Poe’s life. The characteristics of the model affect imitation. We are more likely to be influenced by someone who we believe is similar to ourselves. For example, Virginia is thirteen and Poe felt like a kid again when he was with his wife. He was like a kid running around the meadows. Before meeting Virginia, Poe resorted to gambling in an attempt to try and support himself but was forced to leave college. Edgar was gambling and drinking with the students.

Poe was in debt of 20,000. He lost more then he won and then borrowed to cover his debts. After a violent fight with his foster father over the choice of career, Poe went to Boston. Later he got a job as an editor on the southern literary messenger. During his time with the periodical, he did much to increase its readership but was later sacked because of his excessive drinking. Then Poe met Virginia. In social learning by bandura the attributes of the observer also influence modeling.

People who are lacking in self-esteem or who are incompetent are especially prone to imitate a model. Poe knew the reward consequences associated with a behavior influence the effectiveness of the modeling. Poe was more likely to imitate a behavior because he believed that such actions would lead to positive short-or long-term results. Which meant Poe wasn’t depressed anymore and was having fun having picnics under the tree.

Poe had little extrinsic reinforcement and no vicarious reinforcement. Poe’s work went unnoticed. But in 1845 he published, “The Raven”, for 14 dollars. It brought him some recognition but unfortunately, it was not enough to sustain his wife Virginia financially. Poe was mostly alone so he couldn’t learn the appropriate behavior from the success and mistakes of others. But Poe was had intrinsic reinforcement.

For example, the theme of death in much of Poe’s work, including? The Fall of the House of Usher,? may have been a direct reflection of Poe’s personal encounters with death. His psychological and emotional wellbeing had been influential in the writing of? The Fall of the House of Usher.? As Bandura stated, it is not the behavior itself or the feedback that is rewarding, but how we feel about it. So Poe expressed his thoughts through writing. The self-satisfaction sustains the practice of the behavior.

Bandura has developed and elaborated on the concept of self-efficacy, people’s belief that they can successfully perform behaviors that will produce desired effects. Poe found success editing Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine from 1839-1840 and then Graham’s Magazine from 1841-1842 (Quinn 74). During this time, Poe delivered lectures on American poetry, published thirty-six tales including “William Wilson,? “The Masque of the Red Death”, and”The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, and also released a collection of stories in 1840 entitled Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque.

It was during this peak of Poe’s publishing career that he published “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Bandura states self-efficacy is one component of social cognitive theory. It plays a central role in governing our thoughts, motivation, and actions. Self-efficacy arises from past accomplishments that serve as indicators of ability, from vicarious experiences that alter our beliefs through comparison with others, from social influences. One thing that I believe had a strong impact on Poe’s life is what Bandura said about self-efficacy.

Julian Rotter spoke about internal versus external control of reinforcement. I believe that Edgar Allen Poe was an External. Externals are more like to conform and prefer not to have to make a choice. Externals tend to be more anxious and depressed, as well as more vulnerable to stress. They develop defensive strategies and invite failure in coping with a task and use defensive strategies afterward to explain their failures. They attribute their lack of success to bad luck or the difficulties of the task.

Poe was faced with severe poverty with total earnings amounting to fewer than one hundred fifty dollars (Quinn 74). Poe did not find satisfaction, for either Burton’s magazine or Graham’s met expectations of his ideal publication. Poe was frustrated with his career and aspired to edit a magazine of his own, a magazine of a higher class than that of Burton’s or Graham’s (Quinn 75).

He strove towards the publication of his own magazine, which he would call the Penn and later change to Stylus, but Poe soon discovered his attempt would be useless. He blamed his failure on George Rex Graham, Poe’s employer, who agreed to financially support the Penn, but then withdrew his backing. Although it was during this time that Poe was most successful in terms of publishing his work, he was not financially prosperous. His best earning year, he probably made about $1,100 just above poverty-level wages by the standard of the time (Quinn 694).

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Poe is not internal because the internals is more likely to lead to good physical and emotional health and to take positive steps to improve their health such as quitting smoking, avoiding substance abuse, and engaging in regular exercise. Poe was raised in drinking society. It had been said that a single glass of wine would get Poe drunk and although this may not be exactly accurate, it can be said that one drink would affect him visibly. Poe also used opium.

Finally, a depressed and erratic Poe attempted suicide in 1848 and tragically died in 1849, five days after being found in a delirious and semi-conscious condition in Baltimore. Poe was not wearing his clothes; he was wearing someone else’s clothes. The clothes were too small for him. Then he was taken to Washington College Hospital. Poe was talking to the walls in his bedroom, but nobody was there. On the early Sunday morning, October 7, five in the morning, Poe spoke his last words? Does God help my poor soul? and then he died. They are 22 explanations for his death.

So in my conclusion, Albert Bandura said human behavior is due to a reciprocal determinism that involves behavioral, cognitive, and environmental factors. I spoke about the three factors that influence modeling: characteristics of the model, attributes of the observer, and reward consequences associated with the behavior.

Also a role in observational learning: extrinsic, intrinsic, and vicarious reinforcement. Finally, Self- efficacy by Bandura. I briefly touched the topic of Julian Rotters I-E scale to measure internal versus external control of reinforcement in Edgar Allen Poe’s life.


Example #3

With technology increasing at such a fast rate nowadays, children have access to many online resources and are exposed to almost everything on the internet at such a young age. The internet has basically become a necessity for families around the world today. Almost everyone has access to the internet and it has become widely available around the world.

The Mass Communication industry is so broad in the way it can get its messages out and is such a big part of our world today, especially in children’s lives. With all the texting, television shows, and surfing the internet, the Mass Communication industry has had definite corruption and a negative effect on our children today.

The Mass Communication industry is a big part of our culture today. People come in contact with something technological almost every day whether that is a cell phone, computer, or television. Children are also coming in contact with technology more and more as it advances into the classrooms of schools where kids now have iPads to do their schoolwork on. A big part of communication now is cell phones and children are getting them younger and younger.

The convenience of cell phones has helped people a lot but there are also consequences to having one as well. With cell phones comes the use of texting, and while it may be convenient, research shows that there might be negative effects on texting. A new study suggests that constant texters may be sacrificing accuracy for expediency and the new research suggests that frequent texting may even rewire the brains of young people (Small 1). With children getting phones now at such a young age, that is a devastating effect to have.

If it can possibly rewire the brain, then it is uncertain what the effects of long term use of texting will be and what harm it can cause to the children when they are older. It was also stated that kids who used mobile phones performed faster on a battery of cognitive tests but they also made significantly more errors (Small 1). If children are making more errors and it can potentially rewire the brain, texting is a form of mass communication that is corrupting in our children today, and while it may be convenient, there is a huge price to pay because no one knows the long term effects that texting will have on these children later in their life.

While texting is a big part of the mass communication industry today, children are also influenced and corrupted by what they see on the television screen and there are consequences to sitting and watching television for hours on end. Most shows now have something to do with violence or action because that is what gets the ratings. However, research has shown there is a direct relationship between young people watching violent shows on television and having them become more violent in the process.

With television having violent shows, there is desensitization to real-life violence (Kutner 1). If children are becoming desensitized to the fact that violence is a serious offense, then that will in turn create problems later in life. Children need to understand and be aware of the fact that violence is not something that is socially acceptable nor will it be tolerated and should also understand the serious consequences to being violent.

With television being as big of a mass communication tool as it is, parents should be monitoring what their children watch and teaching them the socially acceptable rules, which are not always shown on television. According to CPS, the Canadian Pediatric Society, television can also effect healthy childhood development and it is recommended that children spend no more than two hours per day watching television.

If watching more than two hours of television per day can have a negative effect on child development, it is safe to say that this mass communication tool is indeed corrupting our children today because most children will watch more than two hours of television per day.

With texting and television already having a huge impact on children’s lives today, there is one last communication tool that has had a negative effect on our children as well. Having total access to the Internet, in general, has had a negative effect on children today. Children are now exposed to a lot more content just because of the web and being able to browse it.

Some of this content includes advertisements, sexual content, and music. With access to the internet, children are now able to see different types of ads, sexual content, and listen to explicit music. A big problem with the internet is the easy access to pornography sites as well. Each year about 40 percent of teens and preteens visit sexually explicit sites either deliberately or accidentally (DeAngelis 50). With children having the use of this mass communication tool, they, unfortunately, run into sites or purposefully go to sites like this.

It is corrupting our children because they get involved in something that they should not be involved in. While it is understood that parents should be monitoring their child’s activities that are not always the case. In one study surveying 471 Dutch teens ages 13 to 18, the researchers found that the more often young people sought out online porn, the more likely they were to have a “recreational” attitude toward sex–specifically, to view sex as a purely physical function like eating or drinking (DeAngelis 50).

If having access to the internet and running into sites are changing the way teens and children view certain elements in life, then it is corrupting them as an individual.

In conclusion, the mass communication industry today is changing and corrupting the children of today. With the use of the internet, television, and the constant use of cell phones, children’s lives are changing, and not for the better. With cell phones and the use of texting possibly being able to rewire the brain, it is a clear negative sign that it is not good for us. The society promotes the use of cell phones so much that most people do not have landline phones anymore.

This means more and more people are being exposed to this negative effect that is associated with texting. Most people today text constantly and they also text long conversations instead of picking up the phone. Not only are people potentially rewiring their brains, but they are also losing the real human contact with one another. People have such a hard time communicating now because of the use of texting is constant and overpowering.

The industry is also corrupting the children by using television as a tool of mass communication. If children are becoming desensitized to the act of violence, that is a clear sign of corruption. Children should be taught that violence is never acceptable and if there is a correlation between watching violent television and having the potential to become a more violent person, there is something very wrong with that. Watching television for too long can also affect child development which is clearly negative and parents should monitor how much television their children are watching.

The mass communication industry in general, with the use of the internet in and of itself, is corrupting children today. With basically unlimited access to all these different websites, more and more children are running into pornography sites which is changing the way they view key concepts in life and changing their attitudes towards certain aspects in life. With all the things out on the internet, children see a distorted version of reality which they believe is normal because they do not know anything else.

This is a very negative concept to have as a child because what children see, hear, and do when they are younger carries over and develops in them when there are adults. The Mass Communication industry has had many positive effects on people’s lives but for as many good effects, there are just as many negative ones.


Example #4

Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory describes the process through which people acquire new info, forms of behavior, or attitudes from others firsthand or vicariously. The likelihood of a behavior presenting itself will rely on the amount of reinforcement it receives and the value that the individual associates to it. While some behavior may be rewarded, others may produce unfavorable responses.

An individual will learn from the consequences of these actions and when a similar situation arises, they will alter their behavior according to what was most successful in the past. Through the Social Learning Theory, one can absorb new behaviors from others or one can form attitudes toward something that can in turn influence behavior.

Cases of domestic abuse are good examples of such learning. On a positive note, pro-social behavior is another result of indirect and direct social learning. Empathy and morals are major contributors to pro-social behavior that are usually learned by children from positive role models. The possession of empathy and strong morals causes an indirect result of social learning, while the observance of another individual’s pro-social behavior will help them learn directly.

Finally, but not limited to, gender linked-behaviors can be attributed to the Social Learning Theory. Children learn to behave in ways they are expected to behave as male or female by observing and imitating the behaviors of people of their gender. After learning their gender-linked behaviors at home, children are enforced further by their peers and school administration.

As a whole, our behavior is one of the factors on which we are judged and are appreciated. Seeing as the Social Learning Theory has such a major role in shaping our behavior and has survived for so long, it can be classified as one of the most solid theories in the field of Psychology.

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Additionally, what makes one favor it over other theories is the fact that it emphasizes how the interplay of personal factors, environmental factors, and behavior conjunctly affects our behavior. Due to the fact that this theory is so influential to our lives, practical applications of it can be found anywhere.


Example #5 – Evaluation of Social Learning Theory

Evaluation of Social learning theory In this essay, I will try to evaluate Social learning theory as originated by Albert Bandura. I am going to use three pieces of evidence, in a form of case studies, which have been done previously to support or contradict Bandura’s theory. I will demonstrate my knowledge of these studies throughout their analysis, trying to highlight their strengths and limitations.

Albert Bandura, a 20th-century American psychologist, proposed a very important and probably the most influential theory of development and learning. He believed that: “Most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed.

Another point, perhaps the weakest of the study, is methodological shortcomings. The inflated Bobo doll is primarily designed to be hit down and bounce back up, so basically its purpose is being hit, therefore when the children hit the doll, it didn’t necessarily mean that they were imitating their role models. This contradictory argument is supported by Kniverton and Stephenson found in 1970.

On the other hand, bearing all these limitations in mind, “we can deduce that the role model did indeed have a genuine effect on the child’s observed reaction and imitation because all variables other than the independent variable were well and tightly controlled.”

This finding is really useful, not purely because it supports the theory of learning through observation, but mainly it demonstrates the usefulness of explaining real-world situations, such as the influence of TV and actors on children (this is also applicable to further development of social cognitive theory). Probably the biggest strength of this theory is its high face validity. The idea that children would imitate other’s behavior is highly probable because we see it every day.


Example #6

Learning As defined by (Noe, 2009), is a way through which a person acquires new knowledge as well as skills and behaviors, which generally incorporates synthesizing a range of information in the general environment.

This essay focuses on social learning theory, developed by Bandura, as evident in modern business organizations. Basically, the theory points out that, individuals in organizations learn from each other by means of observation, imitation as well as modeling among many other techniques.

The most critical element in the social learning theory proposed by Bandura is the focus on, what is termed as reciprocal determinism. Essentially, the component of reciprocal determinism points out that, a person’s behavior is stimulated by the surrounding environment, besides an individual’s characters, and these factors always work together in any learning situation (Noe, 2009).

Some of the fundamental principles of this theory include the following; one, individuals are able to learn from others, by observing the way they carry out their duties as well as the results of their conduct. Two, learning can take place even if there is no modification of behavior.

Three, cognition is essential in any social learning process, ostensibly because, awareness as well as expectations relating to expected reinforcements or even punishments significantly impact people’s behavior. Additionally, social learning is a form of transition, especially in relation to behavior coupled with learning techniques (Noe, 2009).

To begin with, observational learning in organizations through imitating others is a common occurrence in today’s business environment. For example, if employees observe the violent behaviors of their bosses, they are likely to do the same when they get opportunities. In relation to observational learning (Noe, 2009) points out three models.

One is a live model, which basically entails the very person demonstrating the behavior. Two is the model relating to verbal instructions, where behaviors are critically described as well as analyzed. Three is the symbolic model, which encompasses not only real characters, but also fictional ones, who will exhibit various behaviors as documented in written materials like books and other forms of media.

Moreover, a person’s mental state contributes to learning, wherein this case, one’s pride, self-esteem among others, determines how one’s learning process will be. Again, it is not necessary that all the learned behaviors will induce change; this is likely to be the case where learning involves testing to establish truth (Noe, 2009).

According to (Noe, 2009), the social learning theory is a crucial theory as far as learning together with the development of individuals is concerned. From a social context, people are able to learn mostly by observing what others are doing, thus termed as observational learning.

In this perspective, such kind of learning is applied in comprehending various human behaviors in organizations. (Noe, 2009) points out that, there are three critical aspects relating to social learning. One is the fact that individuals are able to learn by observing. Two, each person’s mental status is pivotal in the learning process. And three, usually, something one learns does not guarantee a change in conduct.

Apparently, research studies have shown that there are some observed behaviors that may not be well learned. Oftentimes, factors touching on both the model and learner determine the success of the entire learning process. In such cases, standard procedures are emulated. For this purpose, some of the following stages are encompassed in any learning as well as the modeling process (Noe, 2009).

First and foremost is the attention stage, where an individual intending to learn is required to focus on learning. Unfortunately, any distraction disrupts effective observation, which in turn affects the learning process. Second, retention of observed and learned information is mandatory in any learning situation. However, retention is influenced by a number of environmental forces.

Three is a reproduction of learned facts, which should be demonstrated by putting into practice such facts. In reproducing facts, one is able to advance as well as improve learning skills in relative situations (Noe, 2009).

Finally, the motivation of learners cements their learning skills, ostensibly because they will be encouraged to model observed behavior. In this respect, reinforcement as well as punishment is imperative in motivating employees. For instance, if organizational employees see their colleagues awarded for meeting expected objectives, they will strive towards meeting theirs to be rewarded like their colleagues.

Social learning theory is applicable to organizations, particularly in assisting employees to boost their performance. Broadly speaking, by encouraging employees to take personal responsibility for their jobs, obviously, better job performance is likely to occur, especially if employee ability levels are high.

Better employee performance will result in employees’ thoughts as well as beliefs change, in favor of personal development toward organization tasks if well compensated. This is common when successful cases are on the rise. Undeniably, the application of social learning theory would provide similar results in a social setting, in this case, organizations.

In brief, not only has social learning theory stimulated the development of psychology-related theories; it has also a significant impact on social settings like in organizations and education institutions.

Presently, organizational leaders lay much emphasis on modeling as one of the techniques for influencing desirable behaviors. Additionally, organizational strategies such as employee motivation are equally based on the social learning theory.


Example #7

Social learning and imitation was proposed by Miller and Dollard but rejected ideas of behaviorism related by association. It was a theory of learning, however, that did not account for new responses or the processes of delayed and non-reinforced imitations. Bandura widened the not yet developed parts of social learning theory in his book Social Learning and Personality Development written in 1963.

It was not until the 1970s, that Bandura discovered there was something missing to the present day learning theories as well as his own social learning theory. The missing link to his theory was self-beliefs. This was identified in his writing “Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change.”

Albert Bandura discovered the big debate in dealing with the concept of behaviorism. He felt that it was inadequate for describing complex human functioning and that it is a person’s environment that causes behavior. He argued that the “cause and effect relationship between environmental forces and behavior outcomes are reciprocal, that people’s environments and their behavior simultaneously create and affect each other.”

In his publication of Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory he stresses that people have certain understandings that allow them to have a certain amount of control over their feelings, actions, and thoughts. Bandura wrote, “what people think, believe, and feel affects how they behave.”

These understandings or beliefs are based on five ideas: symbolizing, self-regulatory, self-reflexive, vicarious, and forethought. They are also referred to as his five human competencies. As a result, human behavior is made from a combination of outside influences and these five ideas.


Example #8 – interesting ideas

What are the different theories of learning?

Discuss the different theories of learning. Explain how it looks at the learner and the learning process, how learning develops, and what particular aspect of learning is considered important. In your opinion, which of these theories explains adequately how a child learns the different skills in the classroom?

Answer. That’s an essay question and one which can only be answered well by lots of research and a big word count. No way can it be summed up in an answer here. Things to get you started that I would suggest lookup would be: Classical Conditioning, Operant Condition, Social learning (Bandura), Cognition, Kolb’s research, etc.

Why is Socials Studies Important?

I’m doing a social studies essay on why socials studies are important. I need to ask people why they think socials are important. So please give me your feedback on why socials studies are important to learn ( talking high school social studies).

Answer. The above is great, here’s my take. Social studies give you an idea of how the world works and hopefully give you some critical thinking skills. In college social studies, you learn statistics and how to develop theories, which is important as you must be able to make a statement and defend it logically.

Individually, social studies include political science/government (how our system works), sociology (how groups work together), economics (how the financial world works) psychology (how individuals think and act). All work together to give an education in life.


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