• Learning theories focus on how people learn
and acquire new knowledge.
• This is an interdisciplinary topic of interest that
often draws upon information from psychology,
education, instructional design, and other areas.
• Rooted in the work of Ivan Pavlov, who was able
to train dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell.
• It is facilitated through concepts such as
modeling and observational learning.
• People, especially children, learn from the
environment and seek acceptance from society
by learning through influential models.
• Social learning theory is a perspective that
states that social behavior is learned primarily
by observing and imitating the actions of others.
• The social behavior is also influenced by being
rewarded and/or punished for these actions.
• Social learning theory was derived in an attempt
by Robert Sears and other scholars to merge
psychoanalytic with stimulus-response learning
theory into an inclusive explanation of human
• Sears and others drew their conclusions from the
psychoanalysis and the rigor of
• Albert Bandura, conversely, abandoned the
psychoanalytic and drive features of the
approach. His approach emphasized cognitive
and information-processing capabilities that
facilitate social behavior.
• Julian Rotter also developed a learning theory.
• In Social Learning and Clinical
Psychology (1954), Rotter suggests that the
effect of behaviour has an impact on the
motivation of people to engage in that specific
• People wish to avoid negative consequences,
while desiring positive results or effects.
• If one expects a positive outcome from a
behaviour, or thinks there is a high probability of
a positive outcome, then they will be more likely
to engage in that behaviour.