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Social learning theory in child psychology - Essay Example

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Albert Bandura’s social learning theory that laid emphasis on the role of reinforcements and the relation between behavior and one’s environment has immensely contributed to the understanding of child psychology. For Bandura, “personality is an interaction of outside…
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Social learning theory in child psychology

Download file to see previous pages... All these theoretical formulations have facilitated child psychologists and therapists to understand child behavior in terms of the interaction among such factors as one’s environment, behavior and psychological processes where positive and negative reinforcements play a pivotal role in modulating the child’s behavior patterns.
Bandura goes on to purport that “children learn and imitate behaviors they have observed in other people” and his social learning theory is rooted on three basic models of observational learning- live, verbal and symbolic model (Cherry). The modeling process involves four stages-attention, retention, reproduction and motivation. This understanding has been proved to be crucial in child psychology as children internalizes many of their behavior patterns and subsequent behavioral problems through observation and modeling from their immediate life environment. However, Bandura also held that external or environmental reinforcement alone does not modulate behavior; he stressed on “intrinsic reinforcement as a form of internal reward, such as pride, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment” through which the behavior of the person is shaped (Cherry). Thus, it is significant that the child develops a sense of intrinsic reinforcement in his behavior along with the large amount of extrinsic reinforcements that he receives from others.
It is also worthwhile to analyze how Beg and Beg regard social learning theory in connection with child psychology. For them, social learning theory, in fact, “combines reinforcement learning theory with psychoanalytic concepts and some of the insights of cultural anthropology and sociology” and as such they hold that the reinforcement aspect of social learning theory has got great relevance in modulating the child’s behavior through appropriate systems of rewards and punishments (Beg &Beg 35). One should also bear in mind that later the concept of rewards and punishments gave way ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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