Social Learning Theory

How Albert Bandura's Social Learning Theory Works

Albert Bandura's social learning theory acknowledges other behaviorist learning theories such as classical conditioning and operant conditioning. However, he adds behavior is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning and that mediating processes occur between stimuli & responses. As the book states, "Bandura was very much interested in imitation, which he referred to as observational learning. It strongly emphasizes the importance of observational learning and cognitive variables in explaining human behavior." Bandura's social learning theory is especially applicable to children's development. Children are surrounded by many influential models, such as parents within the family, characters on children’s TV, friends within their peer group and teachers at school. They pick up behavior from their environment which is why it is important for those models to display behavior they wish to see in their children.