There are many theories when it comes to the way people behave and why people behave that way. I found the topic of Social Learning Theory in Chapter 1, to catch my attention and my interest. I found this topic interesting because I work at a daycare and I believe the children learn by observing their parents, myself and other teachers.
The definition of social learning theory is “a cognitive-behavioral approach that strongly emphasizes the importance of observational learning and cognitive variables in examining human behaviors” (Powell). Albert Bandura was the theorist who proposed the social learning theory and it has become possibly the most influential theory of learning and development. Bandura's social learning theory proposed that learning could occur simply by observing the actions of other people. Bandura also proposed the concept of reciprocal determinism, in which environmental events, observable behavior and “person variables are seen as having a reciprocal influence on each other” (Powell).
In Chapter 11 I learned about Bandura’s Bobo doll study. This study was conducted to see how children would react to the Bobo doll after observing adults being aggressive towards the doll. Bandura found some shocking evidence in his study concerning the social leaning of aggression. The children behaved aggressive if they witnessed an adult being aggressive, the aggression was even stronger if the child observed reinforcement of the adult’s aggression. Bandura’s finding support his social learning theory. Children learn social behaviors such as aggression through the process of observing and watching the way other another person acts.
Powell, R. A., Symbaluk, D. G., & Honey, P. L. (2009). Introduction to learning and behavior. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.