Explain Social Learning Theory, Making Reference to Two Relevant Studies

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Social Learning Theory by Albert Bandura (1977)
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Based on the assumption that people learn behaviors, attitudes, emotional reactions and norms through direct experiences but also through observing other humans (models)
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Social Learning Theory Model: 4 Factors of Learning
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Attention: Pay attention to the model is a condition of learning Retention: Remembering what the model did is a condition for imitating the model’s behavior Reproduction: People must have the capacity for imitating the behavior Motivation: People must be motivated to imitate behavior
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Bandura et al. (1977) Aims
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Two aims: 1.) Wanted to see if children would imitate aggression modeled by an adult 2.) They wanted to know if children were more likely to imitate same-sex models
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Factors of Motivation
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Consistency: If the model behaves in a way that is consistent across situations Identification with the Model: There is a tendency to imitate models who are like ourselves (age/gender) Rewards/punishment: Argues that people can learn from observing what happens to others; they don’t have to experience the consequence themselves (vicarious reinforcement Liking the Model: Warm and friendly models are more likely to be imitated than cold, uncaring models.
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Bandura et al. (1977) Procedure
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– Children 3-6 years old (36 boys & 36 girls) divided into groups – Groups were matched with regard to aggression based on an evaluation by parents and teachers – Group 1: Exposed to adult models who showed aggression toward an inflatable doll – Group 2: Exposed to adult model assembling toys for 10 minutes – Group 3: Served as control not seeing any model (First & second groups – some children watched same-sex models and some watched opposite-sex models – Then placed in room with toys, taken out of room, being told toys were for other children – Put in room with inflatable doll
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Bandura et al. (1977) Results
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– Found that children who had observed aggressive models were significantly more aggressive (physically and verbally) – With regard to second aim, Bandura observed: – Girls: more likely to imitate verbal aggression – Boys: more likely to imitate physical aggression
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Eron (1986) Procedure & Results
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– Carried out longitudinal study, monitoring children’s behavior over a 15 year period – Found positive correlation between the number of hours of violence watched on TV by elementary school children and the level of aggression demonstrated as teenagers – Also found children age 8 who watched TV violence were more likely to be arrested or prosecuted fro criminal acts as an adult
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Acronym: SLT
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(Social Learning Theory)

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