Critic on Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory
By: Genevie-An Ortega Suico
Albert Bandura is the leading proponent of the Social Learning Theory . This theory focuses on the importance of observational learning, imitation and modeling. According to Bandura (1977), 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 behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for actions.
There are three basic social learning concepts in Bandura's theory. First, is the idea that people can learn through observation or the observational learning. This was demonstrated in his study the “bobo doll”. Results showed that children learn and imitate behaviors they have observed in other people. He then identified three basic models of observational learning: A live model, which involves an actual individual demonstrating or acting out a behavior. A verbal instructional model which involves descriptions and explanations of a behavior. And, a symbolic models which involves real ad fictional characters displaying behaviors in books, films, television programs or online media. Next, is the idea that mental states are important to learning or the intrinsic reinforcement. Here, Bandura emphasized that the environmental reinforcement was not the only factor to influence learning and behavior. He described that intrinsic reinforcement as a form of internal reward, such as pride, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment which he later claimed as the approach of social learning theory. Lastly, Bandura pointed out that learning does not necessarily lead to behavioral change because observational learning showed that an individual is capable to learn new information without demonstrating new behaviors....
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