Social Cognitive Theory of Learning

Topics: Psychology, Educational psychology, Albert Bandura Pages: 10 (2802 words) Published: May 25, 2010
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Social Cognitive Theory Of Learning
"Of the m any cues that influence behavior, at any point in time, none is more com mon than the actions of others." (Bandura, 1986, p.206) Historical Overview In the early 196 0’s, when many learning and instruction theories were being developed, Albert Bandura and his researchers recognized that many overlooked an important asp ect of learning, the ob servation of others. From this analysis began the social-cognitive theory. I. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES A. Theories of Imitation · Imitation is an instinct -- Observed actions elicit an instinctive drive to copy those actions. · Imitation is limited by development -- Children imitate actions that fit with existing cognitive structures . · Imitation is conditioned -- Behaviors are imitated and reinforced through shaping. Imitation becomes a generalized response class. · Imitation is instrumental behavior -- Imitation becomes a secondary drive through repeated reinforcement of responses matching those of models. Imitation results in drive reduction. A. Rotter's Social Learning Theory · The social learning theory of Julian Rotter represents an integration of learning and p ersonality theories (P hares, 19 76 ). According to Rotter, individuals consider the likely conseq uences of their actions in a given situation and act b ased on their beliefs. · The theory is comprises four major variables: a. Behavior potential refers to the probability that an individual will act in a certain fashion relative to alternative behaviors. b. Expectancy is the individual's belief concerning the likelihood that a particular reinforcement will occur as a consequence of a specific behavior. c. Reinforcement value refers to how much the individual values a p articular outcome relative to other potential outcomes. d. The psychological situation implies that the context of behavior is important. The way in which the individual views the situation can affect both reinforcement value and exp ectancy. · This relationship is symbolized as follows: BP=E & RV A. Bandura's Theory of Social Learning Social cognitive learning theory highlights the idea that much of human learning occurs in a social environment. By observing others, people acquire knowledge of rules, skills, strategies, beliefs, and attitudes. Individuals also learn about the usefulness and approp riateness of behaviors by observing models and the conseq uences of modeled behaviors and they act in accordance with their b eliefs concerning the expected outcomes of actions. Social cognitive theory is a direct response to Behaviorism. Bandura began building his theory of social learning by identifying 3 areas of weakness of Behaviorism: a. the limited range of behaviors possible for research in a laboratory type setting b. the fact that these theories were unable to account for the acquisition of new resp onses to situations c. that is dealt with only one type of learning, i.e., direct learning, where the learner performs a response and experiences the consequences. (Bandura referred to this type of learning as insta ntaneou s match ing. Bandura referred to indirect learning as delayed matching where the learner observes reinforced behavior and later enacts the same type of behavior.

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Define: Social cognitive theory defines learning as an internal mental pro cess that ma y or ma y no t be reflected in immed iate behavioral change (Bandura, 1986). Assumptions / Basic Principles 1. People learn by observing others: Modeling (3 types of modeling). Generally, cognitive modeling involves modeled demonstrations, together with verbal descriptions of the model's thoughts and actions. 2. 3. 4. Learning is internal. Learning is goal-directed behavior. There are 3 types of reinforcers of behaviors: a. direct reinforcement -- Direct reinforcement would be directly experienced by the learner. b. vicarious reinforcement -- Vicarious...
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