Albert Bandura-social cognitive learning theories

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Essay 4
Pieter van Rooyen

Albert bandura can be regarded as one of the most important representatives of social cognitive learning theories. He’s theory on observational learning (learning by observing behavior) is the single most important form of learning. He argues that people learn most of their behavior through observation and only a little through direct contact. The reason for this is the complexity of most behavior, and that this can’t be learned through verbal instructions. This essay will focus on the principles of observational learning, highlight the strength and weaknesses, and also how observational learning can promote positive intergroup relations on campus at the University of Stellenbosch. Observation is a common learning tool and many, if not most do it unconsciously. The term modeling is used to describe this. This is when an observer observes the behavior of a model and then repeats the behavior. There are a few factors that influence this observational learning. They are the nature of the modeled behavior, the characteristics of the model, the characteristics of the observer, the result of the models behavior and the self-efficacy perception of the observer. The nature of the modeled behavior refers to the actual behavior. The situation in which the behavior takes place and if it is new or old behavior. New behavior attracts more attention than old behavior. The characteristics of the model plays an important role in observation learning. This includes age, sex, race and status. A model with high status is more likely to be imitated. The observer’s characteristics also play a major role in learning new behavior. The motivation and interests of the observer as well as the values and self-confidence has a major impact on the selection of models to imitate. An important factor is the result of the models behavior to determine whom to imitate. The reward gained from a certain behavior is a major motivator to imitate behavior. The...
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