Research Paper On Social Learning Theories

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Learning, Theory, Sociology, Psychology, Observation, Attention, Motivation, Brain

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/11/07

Psychology: Behavioral, cognitive, and social learning theories and constructivist theories

Psychology: Behavioral, cognitive, and social learning theories and constructivist theories

The social learning theory that would be interpreted in this essay is the one espoused by Bandura (1963). This theorist contends that people learn from others in their environment. Learning occurs through observation imitation and modeling. More importantly, scholars have interpreted these theoretical assumptions as being a combination of behaviorist and cognitive learning theories. The argument advanced for this perspective relates to its attention, motivation and memory features (Bandura & Walters, 1963).
Bandura (1963) is strong in advancing observation as the major theme in social learning theory assumptions. Most human learning behavior has been proven to be observational. For example, during early childhood, children learn through observation to articulate language. The language development is always consistent with the one spoken by parents or siblings. Even the accent with which words are pronounced is observational (Bandura & Walters, 1963).
Further, the attention phase of observation requires modeling the events of interest. They are performed with precision, affective valence, competence and functional value. The characteristics observed and transferred during the attention observational phase include sensory abilities, perception features of the person modeled as well as linking events to previous exposure. Retention is another significant concept advanced by social learning theorists. Specific learning elements that are evaluated during this phase encompass cognitive organization, symbolic rehearsal and coding as well as , motor rehearsal (McLeod, 2011).
The motor reproduction feature of observation as it pertains to social learning theory espoused by Bandura (1963) involves expressing physical abilities observed and reproducing them with accuracy. This accounts for memory. Accurate reproduction demonstrates that learning has been acquired. Three major concepts directing the efficacy of this social theory pertain to attention, memory and motivation. Motivation requires both internal and external stimulation along with strong self reinforcement skills for learning to be acquired in Bandera’s (1963) social learning theory observation typology (McLeod, 2011).

Description of how the theory matches my own understanding and experiences of learning

Learning through observation definitely matches my understanding of learning and experiences encountered in life. For example, people who get on a keyboard or piano without previously attending musical classes could be interpreted as applying the social learning theory in all three phases, attention motivation and memory. Cognitive skills are involved as well as motor. In on same observation social learning premise I learnt to cook a meal by just observing my mother time after time gather the ingredient and cook the menu. Similarly, turning on the stove and lighting it, were learnt through observing my parents perform the tasks. My attention was stimulated and motivation toward learning was produced. Memory finally completed the learning process.

Professional illustrated examples

At the professional level television commercials offer vivid examples of social learning theory in relation to observation encompassing attention, motivation and memory. From a very early age without formal education children obtain food valuing perceptions from looking at the television. Persons, sound and color catch their attention. Subsequently, they memorize the fast foods logos and identify the buildings when travelling in cars and buses (McLeod, 2011).
For adults it has been theorized that humans are social beings and products of their environment. This is so through observation. Bandura (1963) positedthat symbolic interaction also plays a major role in the learning process. Hence again commercials impact the cognitive as well as motor features of learning in humans daily (McLeod, 2011).


Bandura, A. & Walters, R. (1963). Social Learning and Personality Development. New York:
Holt, Rinehart & Winston
McLeod, S. (2011). Bandura - Social Learning Theory. Retrieved on February, 10th 2015

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Research Paper On Social Learning Theories. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 07, 2020. Accessed June 26, 2022.

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