Albert Bandura proposed the theory of social learning. There are three core concepts. First is the idea that people can learn through observation. Next is the idea that internal mental states are an essential part of this process. Finally, this theory recognizes that just because something has been learned, it does not mean that it will result in a change in behavior. Badura demonstrated observational learning in his Bobo doll experiment. In the experiment, children observed an adult acting violent toward a Bobo doll.
Later when the children were allowed to play with the Bobo doll they imitated the previous aggressive actions. From this experiment, Bandura noted the concept of intrinsic reinforcement. Intrinsic reinforcement is a form of internal reward, such as pride, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment. Bandua also learned from the experiment that learning does not necessarily change behavior. By the children learning observationally from the adult, they demonstrated that people can learn new information without demonstrating new behaviors.
Once you understand social learning you are able to understand how we learn in social environments. Bandura’s idea of intrinsic reinforcement, introduced the idea of internal reward as another influence to learning. This idea on internal thoughts and cognitions helps connect learning theories to cognitive developmental theories. He also changed behaviorists’ previous ideas that learning led to a permanent change in behavior.
Finally Bandua helped us to understand how to successfully learn; through attention, retention, reproduction, and finally motivation. Understanding social learning has changed my view of the world. Understanding the way we learn socially has made me recognize the importance of modeling appropriate behaviors to children or anyone who is following your example. Furthermore, I have learned that importance of encouragement to build self-efficacy, in order, to fully learn in a social setting.
Courtney from Study Moose