Social Learning Theory Essay

A social learning theory is one that we learn from our environment around us, meaning out behaviour is shaped through the people and things around us. This theory was created and experimented by a man called Bandura he experimented, he experimented through a large doll called a Bobo doll and this was put in a room and a middle aged man was told to punch it as violently as he could while a group watched. There were two groups one was allowed to watch and the other wasn’t and then the two groups were sent in to the room separately and told to beat up the doll.

The results showed that the group which saw the man before beating up the doll performed more violently than the group that didn’t. This showed that the social learning theory was correct as we learn what we do is determined by what others do as a consequence of whether we are rewarded or punished this is called observational learning. This was shows as we pick up the behaviour and store it in our conscience. Then when we see the doll we bring that thought forward again and imitate the behaviour we had seen before.

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An example of this is when we buy a can of lynx we see the add on the tv of the not so good looking guy gets hundreds of women running out of the sea and off cliffs to get to this guy then we store that thought of “If I buy this I get girls. ” And then the action. The action of being in Tescos and you are buying deodorant and it’s a throw up between the two leading products, Right Guard and Lynx. And then you remember the advertisement on the television and you make the connection. And then you purchase it in the hope that what happened to the guy on the advert will happen to you.

Another example of this is just say for example your little brother tidied out the garage and your parents paid him for it. Then the week comes that you have not got any money and you remember that your brother got paid for cleaning out the garage. This recollection of thoughts is called the mental cognitive process. And you do the behaviour because you know that there is a reward at the end of it. The behaviour is being modelled as we live in a token economy. For example your teacher is modelling our behaviour to a certain extent.

What I mean by this is that he could set us homework and we would obey him as there is a negative reinforcement if the homework is not done. But if he was to tell us to walk on the roof of our house we would more than likely we would not do it. They believe observational learning takes place as a result of one person watching another person and observing the consequences of behaviour for the other person. In conclusion I believe that social learning theory is useful for quite a lot in everyday life as it gives an overview of why people behave as they do.

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