Social Learning Theory

Topics: Psychology, Albert Bandura, Learning Pages: 5 (1811 words) Published: February 13, 2011
In the field of Psychology, learning theories are there to attempt to explain how people think and what factors ultimately influence their behavior (ETR, 2007). There are various types of learning theories which all include different concepts and approaches to distinguish an understanding of human behavior and thought (ETR, 2007). The social learning theory (SLT) is just one of many theories which fall under the category of learning theories. The social learning theory, which is also commonly known as social cognitive theory, is justified in the belief that human behavior is determined by a triangular effect relationship between environmental influences, cognitive factors, and behavior (ETR, 2007). To have a proper understanding of the social learning theory, one needs to have been adequately briefed in the major contributors of the theory, a thorough description of what the theory entails, assumptions about the theory, and the developmental process and practice which has previously and currently taken place. “Accomplishment is socially judged by ill defined criteria so that one has to rely on others to find out how one is doing (Kearsley, 2008).” This was stated by Albert Bandura, who is one of the two major contributors to the social learning theory. Bandura was born the youngest and only male of six siblings on December 4, 1925, in Mundare, Canada (Pajares, 2004). Fast-forwarding through his childhood, Bandura eventually found himself attending the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. His happening to fall into psychology was simply a fluke for him, for he was planning to get a degree in the biological sciences (Pajares, 2004). Bandura carpooled with peers to school who were all majors in engineering and pre-med, which entailed them to have early morning classes (Pajares, 2004). To fill his workload, Bandura had an open-morning spot to fill on his roster, which is where he fell into an introduction to psychology course (Pajares, 2004). He was instantly intrigued, which led him on his path to becoming one of the great contributors to this field. In 1949, he graduated with the Bolocan Award in psychology from the University of British Columbia (Pajares, 2004). His next task was to knock down graduate school, where he attended at the University of Iowa and received his Ph. D. in clinical psychology in 1952 (Pajares, 2004). Starting already in 1953, Bandura found himself teaching at Stanford University where he came across a well-educated student by the name of Richard Walters (Pajares, 2004). The two found themselves equally interested in the studies of explaining antisocial aggression in young males who came from wholesome households in upper-class residential areas in comparison to demonstrating that multiple opposing conditions may lead to behavioral problems (Pajares, 2004). This particular study led Bandura and Walters to co-write a book, Adolescent Aggression, in 1959 (Pajares, 2004). From there, Bandura wrote a chain of numerous books dealing with the social learning theory. Later he became a found member and elected President of the American Psychological Association in 1973 (Pajares, 2004). The second major contributor to the social learning theory came from a man by the name of Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist who was born in 1896 (Gallagher, 1999). Vygotsky was said to be a connoisseur of literature and philosophy (Gallagher, 1999). He attended the University of Moscow, where he studied and received a degree in law (Gallagher, 1999). It was not until 1924 when Vygotsky became interested in psychology (Gallagher, 1999). He had written a paper, The Psychology of Art, in 1925 which he used primarily in his thesis at the Moscow Institute of Psychology. Between the years of 1924-1934, before his death due to Tuberculosis, is when all his psychology work was practiced (Gallagher, 1999). In those 10 years of research and study of psychology, Vygotsky became an...
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