Essay on Bandura Social Learning Theory

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Pages: 8

According to Albert Bandura, observational learning is a learning process of identifying a model and reproducing their behaviour. Reproduction of the observed behaviour can result on the basis of whether the behaviour of the model carries with it positive or negative consequences. This can also be referred to as vicarious reinforcement or vicarious punishment of the model’s behaviour. An observer will more likely reproduce the actions of a model whose characteristics they find attractive or desirable. An observer can acquire a behaviour while not performing it, preferring to utilize the learnt behaviour at an appropriate time. Observational learning can be processed as modelling particular patterns of behaviours and learning emotional …show more content…
(Olsen 2005). Following observation, a human’s ability to form symbols and abstract things enable them to learn much of the behavior observed. That is after paying attention and later retaining the information, the individual is able to make symbols or patterns of behavior that were seen and retained. For example, in a classroom a child may be taught a dance by his teacher, the child watches the teacher performs the dance, he will then form verbal or imaginary symbols of what the teacher is portraying, and is then able to reproduce it after the retention process. After rehearsing what he has seen, the child will now be able to dance long after it was taught. Bandura recognized that though an individual may have the cognitive ability to reproduce what was has been learnt, the individual has to have the motor apparatus necessary to reproduce the behaviours. For example, cognitively, the child may have paid attention to the teacher and retained the information; however, he may lack the maturity and physical capability to reproduce the dance. In addition to cognitive and physical ability to perform the observed behaviour, Bandura believes that a period of cognitive rehearsal is necessary before the observer can match the behavior of the model. In the rehearsal process, the individual observes their own behavior and compares it to their cognitive representation of the modeled