Bandura and Skinner

Powerful Essays
Topics: Reinforcement
A Comparison and Contrast of Learning Theories:
Albert Bandura and B.F. Skinner

Introduction

Two prominent researchers, B.F. Skinner and Albert Bandura, have developed theories which provide differing perspectives and explanations regarding the learning behavior of individuals. The purpose of this writing is to explore the theoretical perspectives of Operant Conditioning Theory developed by B.F. Skinner and Social Learning Theory developed by Albert Bandura. An overview of both theories is presented, followed by a discussion of their similarities and differences.
Methods

B.F. Skinner: Operant Conditioning Theory

B.F. Skinner’s theory of Operant Conditioning has at its foundation a desire to demonstrate a “cause and effect” relationship between behavior and reinforcement and focuses on predicting and controlling behavior in observable ways (Skinner, 1953, p. 23). Unlike many of his predecessors, which delved within the personality of the individual to explain behavior, Skinner believed that behavior was actually external to the individual, being shaped by stimuli and reinforcements. He argued that it would be illogical to consider personality traits or inner motives as explanations for behavior, because inner causes can involve circular reasoning. (Cloninger, 2008, p. 288). Instead of attempting to examine internal states that cannot be directly observed and measured, Skinner sought to utilize the scientific method, examining observable behavior through analyzing empirical evidence, based on direct observations: “The practice of looking inside the organism for an explanation of behavior has tended to obscure the variables which are immediately available for a scientific analysis. These variables lie outside the organism, in its immediate environment and in its environmental history. They have a physical status to which the usual techniques of science are adapted, and they make it possible to explain behavior as other subjects are



References: Bandura, Albert. (1965). Vicarious processes: A case of no-trial learning. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 1-55). New York: Academic Press. Cloninger, Susan C. (2007).  Theories of Personality: Understanding Persons (5th Edition). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Skinner, Burrhus F. (1953). Science and Human Behavior. New York, New York: Macmillan Company.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Skinner vs. Bandura

    • 2206 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Behaviorism has been a major school of thought in psychology since 1913, when John B. Watson published an influential article. Watson argued that psychology should abandon its earlier focus on mind and mental processes and focus exclusively on overt behavior. He contended that psychology could not study mental processes in a scientific manner because they are private and not accessible to outside observation. In completely rejecting mental processes as a suitable subject for scientific study, Watson…

    • 2206 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    BANDURA

    • 207 Words
    • 1 Page

    Gesselys Nunez September 10, 2014 Psychology Ms.Serelis Albert Bandura Albert Bandura is associated with the Social Learning Theory. Bandura states behavior is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning. Unlike Skinner, Bandura believes that humans are able to process certain information that allows us to think about the relationship between our behavior and the consequences that follow. He argues that children observe the people around them…

    • 207 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Bandura

    • 2731 Words
    • 11 Pages

    Bandura, Ross and Ross (aggression) Bandura, A., Ross, D. & Ross, S.A. (1961) Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models Background This study is a laboratory experiment investigating the effects of observing aggression and was carried out by Albert Bandura who is, perhaps, best known for his role in developing social learning theory. Social learning theory is an approach to child development which states that children develop through learning from other people around…

    • 2731 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    BANDURAS

    • 1480 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Albert Bandura was born in Mundare, Alberta, on 4 December 1925 and died on His entry into psychology was by chance. As a member of a car-pooling group of students at the University of British Columbia, Bandura arrived early for his classes and took a psychology course to fill his morning hours. In 1949, he graduated with a B.A. and moved to the University of Iowa, where he took his M.A. and, in 1952, a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. A year later, Bandura joined Stanford University, becoming a professor…

    • 1480 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Bandura

    • 634 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Bandura - Social Learning Theory by Saul McLeod email icon published 2011 In social learning theory Albert Bandura (1977) states behavior is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning. Unlike Skinner, Bandura (1977) believes that humans are active information processors and think about the relationship between their behavior and its consequences. Observational learning could not occur unless cognitive processes were at work. Children observe the people around them…

    • 634 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Bandura

    • 1202 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Albert Bandura is considered the most important representative of the social cognitive learning theory along with Rotter and Mischel. His various principles include learning through direct experience and observational learning which he regards as the most significant role in acquiring behavior. In this essay, I will discuss the strengths and weaknesses with regards to his theory of observational learning and thereafter how certain visual media platforms can use these principles to encourage more…

    • 1202 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Skinner

    • 318 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Skinner and his Contributions to Psychology University of Phoenix BEH/225 Skinner and his Contributions to Psychology Burrhus Fredric Skinner is an American psychologist and behaviorist. He has made many contributions to psychology and most are still used today. They are used to treat some phobias and addictive behaviors in humans. He also thought of radical behaviorism which is his own philosophy of science.…

    • 318 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Bandura

    • 401 Words
    • 2 Pages

    In 1941 Miller and Dollard proposed the theory of social learning. In 1963 Bandura and Walters broadened the social learning theory with the principles of observational learning and reinforcement. Bandura provided his concept of self-efficacy in 1977, while he refuted the traditional learning theory for understanding learning. The Social Cognitive Theory is relevant to health communication. First, the theory deals with cognitive, emotional aspects and aspects of behavior for understanding behavioral…

    • 401 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    for ensuring that each child meets the requirements laid down in EYFS. We strive to form strong relationships with each child, so that a bond of trust is built. We can then ensure that we help every child to reach their full potential. Bandura Bandura created a theory which supposes that children learn from watching others. They do not need to be taught directly, but will and observe and mimic what those around them are doing. This is a natural process and does not require the coercion of…

    • 797 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Bandura

    • 1174 Words
    • 5 Pages

    TMA 01 Part 1. In 1963 the Bandura et al experiment was conducted. This was to examine the effect media violence, and social learning has on children. In this experiment there were five groups made up equal number of both genders. Four groups were shown either a live or filmed model acting aggressively towards a doll. The fifth group, the control group, were not. For reference the importance of the control group for Bandura was to: A.) add significance and understanding on the influences…

    • 1174 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays