Social learning theory 81754258

Social Learning Theory
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The social learning model is based on the hypothesis that behavioral development in an
individual is a life-long process influenced by multiple environmental factors (Burdick, 2014).
This study focuses on the impact of the social institutions such as family, religion, politics and
economic systems on the behavior of an individual and how it affects the individual’s
understanding of the society. It also puts into consideration the social interactions between
individuals and how they influence social behavior, change, and patterns. Social learning theory
is based on a sociological perspective as opposed to social cognitive theory, which is based on a
psychological perspective.
In social learning theory, the concepts of observation and modeling are believed to be
paramount in influencing the behavior, attitude and emotional reaction of an individual (Reed et
al., 2010). Learning occurs through observing other people in the society and imitating them in
decision making and in choosing the course of action. The individual can observe passively what
others are doing, without necessarily engaging in active participation. Jonassen and Land (2012)
purport that the role of modeling in social learning include; imitating new behavior, improving
existing ones, removing barrios and provoking emotions to act. Modeling may take the form of
direct models such as living role models in the society, symbolic models such as movies and
book characters and synthesized models where the individual combines actions of various
models (Burdick, 2014).
The social learning theory emphasizes on attention, retention, and motivation (Jonassen
and Land, 2012). For the observer to be influenced by the model, s/he should pay attention and
concentrate on the other person’s actions. The learner should also have a good memory for fast
and long-term retention of the information observed. Similarly, the observer should be motivated
by the outcome of the learning process. The social learning theory is based on three fundamental
principles; that people can learn a particular behavior through observation, which people can
learn through observation and finally that cognition plays an important role in the learning
process (Reed et al., 2010).
According to Nabavi (2012), social learning occurs through a change in an individual’s
understanding of the social and political environment and their relationship to it. Consequently,
the individual can derive abstract concepts from the concrete experience they get in learning and
can reflect differently upon these experiences. This results in an understanding of the social
norms within a particular society. Burdick (2014) accentuates that the different interpretations of
the same concepts in the learning process bring about different viewpoints on social norms,
consequently leading to various social patterns. For instance, some individuals get attracted to
norms, practices, and groups, which are labeled as immoral, unethical or harmful.
Social rules refer to the intrinsic intuition, which guides social relationships and is
responsible for the formation of social patterns (Reed et al., 2010). The rules guide individuals in
the society to acquire and maintain intimate friends, collaborate well and work in harmony. The
environment in, which a child develops influences the ability and extend in, which they develop
the social rules. For example, a child who grows in a morally poor society will probably not
develop such rules, leading to undesirable social behavior, such as conflicts and isolation later in
adulthood. Since learning is an ongoing process, an individual observes, retains and reproduces
others actions and reaction to various emotions (Nabavi, 2012).
Social learning combines behavioral learning theory and social cognitive theory to form
an integrated learning model, based on observation, retention, and environmental learning
requirements. The tenets of social learning theory describe how an individual’s behavior is
developed. The interactions between the individual with the socializing agents is responsible for
adaptation or extinguishment of a certain behavior in the society. Desirable behavior is adapted
through rewards whereas undesirable behavior is extinguished through punishment. The social
learning process and its outcome lead to a different understanding of the society and social rules.
Burdick, C. L. (2014). The Merits, Limitations, and Modifications of Applying Bandura’s Social
Learning Theory to Understanding African American Children’s Exposure to Violence.
Jonassen, D., & Land, S. (Eds.). (2012). Theoretical foundations of learning environments.
Nabavi, R. T. (2012). Bandura’s Social Learning Theory & Social Cognitive Learning Theory.”s_Social_Learning_Theor
Reed, M., Evely, A. C., Cundill, G., Fazey, I. R. A., Glass, J., Laing, A., & Stringer, L. (2010).
What is social learning? Ecology and Society.

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