Social Learning Theory (one of the communication theories) - Assignment Example

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Social Learning Theory Albert Bandura is famous for his work known as social learning theory. He is one of the known psychologists in various fields such as personality psychology, social cognitive theory, and therapy. It would be dangerous to only learn from experience…
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Download file to see previous pages For instance, when the behaviour model displayed violent words and actions towards the Bobo doll, the children did the same. The method involved 36 boys and 36 girls. The children were from 3 to 6 years of age. The first group of participants (24 boys and girls) were made to observe a model who exhibited aggressive actions and words towards the Bobo doll. Meanwhile, the second group of the same population were made to watch a non-aggressive model. Finally, the last group was treated as the control batch and had no exposure to any models. The conclusions indicated that the children who were made to observe an aggressive model tended to exhibit more similarly violent behaviors. Interestingly, gender had a significant influence. If the role model was male, the girls showed more physical aggression. On the other hand, if the role model was female, the girls displayed more verbal hostility. However, there is no significant difference between girls’ and boys’ levels of verbal aggression. In addition, boys emulated role models of the same sex more as compared to girls. Bandura furthered that observational learning involves a live, verbal, or symbolic models. This means that exemplars may be live people or animals, auditory directions, or characters that may be seen in different kinds of media such as movies and books. The process starts with attention which entails interest on the part of the observer. After significant amount of attention is paid to the stimulus, retention ensues. This implies that the learner encodes observed information in his memory. Reproduction then happens when the observed behaviour gets replicated by the learner. Motivation comes into play when the observer experiences reinforcement after the reproduction. A learner may repeat the observed behaviour after a reward. Secondly, an individual’s mental condition is essential. Aside from external rewards, internal reinforcement enhances a person’s motivation to pay attention to the model. When one can feel and think satisfied as a result of observing, the social learning will be more successful. Thirdly, observational learning does not always lead to a change in behaviour. Novel knowledge can be earned without palpable alterations in one’s actions. “Social learning theory began as an attempt by Robert Sears and others to meld psychoanalytic and stimulus-response learning theory into a comprehensive explanation of human behaviour, drawing on the clinical richness of the former and the rigor of the latter” (Grusec, 1992, p.776). Though Bandura is most opulently related to this theory, it actually originated from Sears. The history dates back to the time of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis. In 1935, there was a major movement that sought to unify learning and psychoanalytic theories. This resulted to Sears’ focus on socialization as significant aspect of the research. Particularly, he found out that children were being affected by the milieu that he encounters day by day. Children adapt the values and attitudes that their parents portray. Bandura agreed with some assertions of Sears but went against some. “Bandura is clearly the intellectual heir of Sears, influenced by but also reacting against the tradition that Sears represented” (Grusec, 1992, p.776). Together, the two experts utilize learning concepts in explaining how humans develop socially. Sears was more of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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