Social Learning Theory Research Paper

The sample paper on Social Learning Theory Research Paper familiarizes the reader with the topic-related facts, theories, and approaches. Scroll down to read the entire paper.

Social Learning Theory: Social Learning is on the nurture side of the Nature Vs Nurture debate. The main concept of the social learning approach is that you learn by observing the behaviour of others and the outcomes of those behaviours. For example, if a child was to see someone getting positively rewarded, they would copy the behaviour to receive the reward.

Whereas, if they were to see someone being punished they wouldn’t copy it. (Van Wagner K, 2005)

Social learning theory explains human behaviour in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioural, and environmental influences. (Learning-Theorists, 2009)

Albert Bandura stated in 1977 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 behaviour is learned observationally through modelling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviours are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.

Modelling is a method used where the client learns from imitation alone, without any specific verbal direction by the therapist. (Wikipedia, modelling, 2008) The conditions that must be in place for effective modelling are:

What Is Social Learning Theory And Examples?

* Attention – A persons characteristics determine their attention level; such as sensory capacities, arousal level, perceptual set, past reinforcement. (Learning-Theorists, 2009)

* Retention – Retention is remembering what you paid attention too, such as mental images, sounds, symbolic coding.

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(Learning-Theorists, 2009)

* Reproduction – This is when you reproduce what it is you paid attention too, such as physical capabilities and self-observation of reproduction. (Learning-Theorists, 2009)

* Motivation – Motivation is having a good enough reason to imitate what you paid attention to in the beginning. Motivation can be past, promised and vicarious. (Learning-Theorists, 2009)

Albert Bandura

Albert Bandura was born on the 4th December 1925, and is a Canadian psychologist that created the Social Learning theory. (Wikipedia, Albert Bandura, 2008)

He first started research on the Social Learning theory whilst he worked in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. Working along side one of his students Richard Walters; they studied human motivation, thought and action which he then furthered to social learning and aggression. This all interlinks to his most famous experiment ‘The Bobo Doll Experiment’.

Bobo Doll Experiment

The Bobo Doll experiment was first conducted in 1961. Its main goals were to help understand behavioural learning in the form of aggression.

The experiment involved 72 children aged between 3 and 6, divided equally by gender, watching a model acting in a certain manner towards the Bobo Doll. The children were then split into groups that were divided by gender, aggressive behaviour and non-aggressive behaviour. They were then split between models that were the same gender or different gender. In total, there were 8 experimental groups. (Wikipedia, Bobo Doll Experiment, 2008)

The children were taken individually into a room which contained a Bobo Doll, lots of toys and a model. The child watched the model for 10 minutes whilst they played with the toys for a minute and then acted aggressively towards the Bobo Doll for the rest of the time, using physical and verbal abuse and also hitting it with a mallet from one of the other toys. (Wikipedia, Bobo Doll Experiment, 2008)

The model would then leave and the child would be taken to a second room which contained the same equipment as the previous room, but this time the model would only play with the toys and completely ignore the Bobo Doll. (Wikipedia, Bobo Doll Experiment, 2008)

The child would then be taken to a third room which contained many appealing toys and a Bobo Doll. The child would only be allowed to play with the toys for a short amount of time until someone would enter the room tell them that those toys were for the other children and that they weren’t allowed to play with them. This was to make the child angry, hoping to cause aggression. (Wikipedia, Bobo Doll Experiment, 2008)

Finally, the child would be taken to a fourth room with contained toys of aggressive and non-aggressive nature, such as the Bobo Doll, a mallet, toy guns, a ball, paper and crayons, plastic farm animals and a tea set. (Wikipedia, Bobo Doll Experiment, 2008)

Bandura recorded the results of the Bobo Doll experiment in 8 different measures of aggression ranging from kicking the doll, shouting insults they heard from the model and using the mallet. After studying the results Bandura found out that children do learn from watching the behaviour of others, discovering that the children that saw the aggressive model imitating the physical aggression, 38.2 from boys and 12.7 from girls. The same results were found for verbal abuse, with boys using it 17 times and girls 15.7 times. It was also proved that males tended to be more aggressive than females, after finding out that there were 270 incidents of males showing aggression, against females showing aggression 128 times. (Wikipedia, Bobo Doll Experiment, 2008)

Social Learning in Health and Social Care

Social Learning is present in school education from teachers and fellow students. Teachers have to help students believe they can do the work and watch others be successful and develop self-efficiency to experience success themselves. Teachers also have to show appropriate behaviour and language whilst around students; this is so they get an understanding of what is right and wrong. (Teachnet)

Teachnet states that “Modelling provides an alternative to shaping for teaching new behaviours. Instead of using shaping, which is operant conditioning, modelling can provide a faster, more efficient means for teaching new behaviour. To promote effective modelling a teacher must make sure that the four essential conditions exist; attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation.”

Social Learning in Health Education

In health education, there is no approach that has been specifically said to work better than the rest. Social Learning could be used in health education to try to advise someone to reduce or stop whatever is harming their health. An example of this would be using the peer-led approach to health education, such as if an ex-smoker was to talk to a smoker about giving up, the ex-smoker could explain about all the advantages to their health and wellbeing, like no loss of breath and no lingering smell on their clothes, hands and hair.

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Social Learning Theory Research Paper. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Social Learning Theory Research Paper
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