“Social Learning Theory”

1:- Learning Objectives:
After reviewing this chapter, readers will be able to:
·         Define what theory is and identify two key dimensions of social learning theory.
·         Describe the principles of social learning theory.
·         Understand the concept of modeling.
·         Identify the most important considerations in social learning theory.                 
2:- Introduction:
“One difficulty with many learning theories is their almost exclusive emphasis on the processes of acquisition of behavior and performance, and their almost total neglect of the content of personality”   
§  Albert Bandura’s (1960s +) Social Learning Theory.                                                                                 
§  Put the “person” back into personality.                                                                                                  The social learning theory proposed by Albert Bandura has become perhaps the most influential theory of learning and development.
§  His theory added a social element, arguing that people can learn new information and behaviors by watching other people. Known as observational learning (or modeling), this type of learning can be used to explain a wide variety of behaviors.                                                                                             
§  Albert Bandura Born December 4, 1925 in Canada.
§   He and his family struggled through many hardships during his younger years He attended his elementary through high school years at the only school in town. The school had very limited resources.
§   He attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver He went on to study psychology at the University of Iowa where he earned a M.A. degree in 1951 and a Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology 1952 In 1953, he joined the faculty of Stanford University where he remained throughout his long career.
§  In social learning theory Albert Bandura (1977) states behavior is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning. Children observe the people around them behaving in various ways. This is illustrated during the famous bobo doll experiment (Bandura, 1961).
§  Individuals that are observed are called models. In society children are surrounded by many influential models, such as parents within the family, characters on children’s TV, friends within their peer group and teachers at school. Theses models provide examples of masculine and feminine behavior to observe and imitate.
§  They pay attention to some of these people (models) and encode their behavior. At a later time they may imitate (i.e. copy) the behavior they have observed. .
3:- What is social learning?
Social learning refers to the acquisition of social competence that happens exclusively or primarily in a social group.
4:- Definitions:                                  
§  “People learn through observing others’ behavior, attitudes, and outcomes of those behaviors. “Most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.” (Bandura).                       
§  “Social learning theory explains human behavior in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, and environmental influences.”
§  Social learning theory is a perspective that states that social behavior (any type of behavior that we display socially) is learned primarily by observing and imitating the actions of others. The social behavior is also influenced by being rewarded and/or punished for these actions”
5:-Basic Social Learning Concepts:                                                                            
There are three core concepts at the heart of social learning theory.                                                      
     1. People can learn through observation.                                                                  Bandura identified three basic models of observational learning:
1.       A live model: This involves an actual individual demonstrating or acting out a behavior.
2.      A verbal instructional model: This involves descriptions and explanations of a behavior.
3.      A symbolic model: This involves real or fictional characters displaying behaviors in books, films, television programs, or online media.
2. Mental states are important to learning.                                                                                            He described intrinsic reinforcement as a form of internal reward, such as pride, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment. This emphasis on internal thoughts and cognitions helps connect learning theories to cognitive developmental theories.
3. Learning does not necessarily lead to a change in behavior.
While behaviorists believed that learning led to a permanent change in behavior, observational learning demonstrates that people can learn new information without demonstrating new behaviors.

6:- The Modeling Process:
Not all observed behaviors are effectively learned. Factors involving both the model and the learner can play a role in whether social learning is successful. Certain requirements and steps must also be followed. The following steps are involved in the observational learning and modeling process:                                                                                                               
§  Attention:
In order to learn, you need to be paying attention. Anything that detracts your attention is going to have a negative effect on observational learning. If the model interesting or there is a novel aspect to the situation, you are far more likely to dedicate your full attention to learning.                                                                                                                   
§  Retention:
The ability to store information is also an important part of the learning process. Retention can be affected by a number of factors, but the ability to pull up information later and act on it is vital to observational learning.                                                     
§  Reproduction:
Once you have paid attention to the model and retained the information, it is time to actually perform the behavior you observed. Further practice of the learned behavior leads to improvement and skill advancement.                                                                              
§  Motivation:
Finally, in order for observational learning to be successful, you have to be motivated to imitate the behavior that has been modeled.
Reinforcement and punishment play an important role in motivation. For example, if you see another student rewarded with extra credit for being to class on time, you might start to show up a few minutes early each day.
7:- Two dimensions of Social Learning Theory:
§  Vicarious Learning: - others get rewarded or punished in view of the learner.
§  Pure Modeling: - no one gets rewarded or punished.
8:- General principles of social learning theory:
§  People can learn by observing the behavior is of others.
§  Learning can occur without a change in behavior.                                                                    Behaviorists say that learning has to be represented by a permanent change in behavior; in contrast social learning theorists say that because people can learn through observation alone, their learning may not necessarily be shown in their performance. Learning may or may not result in a behavior change
§  Cognition plays a role in learning. Awareness and expectations of future reinforcements or punishments can have a major effect on the behaviors that people exhibit.
§  Social learning theory can be considered a bridge or a transition between behaviorist learning theories and cognitive learning theories.
9:- Terms of social learning theory:
 According to Bandura, behavior can also influence both the environment and the person. Each of the three variables: environment, person, behavior influence each other. (p, be, e)
Self efficacy: Self efficacy means learners self confidence towards learning. People are more likely to engage in certain behaviors when they believe they are capable of implementing those behaviors successfully, this means that they have high self-efficacy.
Self regulation: Self-regulation is when the individual has his own ideas about what is appropriate or inappropriate behavior and chooses actions accordingly.                                                
10:- Examples of Social learning theory:
Ø  Advertisements/TV commercials are the most common examples of Social Learning Theory. We observe (watch)them, and then copy them. Commercials suggest that drinking a certain beverage or using a particular hair shampoo will make us popular and win the admiration of attractive people. Depending upon the component processes involved (such as attention or motivation), we may model the behavior shown in the commercial and buy the product being advertised. (Kearsley, 2007)
Ø Language learning is another common example of Social Learning Theory. Where a student tries to imitate  his/her teacher while the teacher demonstrates. To display imitation a teacher says a word. Student’s response. The teacher praises the effort (reinforcement).

11:- Advantages and disadvantages of social learning theory:
§  It’s an experiment.
§   It's suitable when trying to measure Childs behaviour.
§  Children/people tend to act differently when they're being watched.
§   The observer can be bias.
§   It's not really scientific.
§   The observer can miss things.
12:- Critique of Social Learning Theories:
§  No big picture of the person.
§   It is difficult to predict what all individuals will perceive as positive.
§  Too much focus on situations.
§  Ignore biological factors.                                                                                                                
13:- Final Thoughts                                                                                                                              In addition to influencing other psychologists, Bandura's social learning theory has had important implication in the field of education. Today, both teachers and parents recognize the importance of modeling appropriate behaviors. Other classroom strategies such as encouraging children and building self-efficacy are also rooted in social learning theory.

14:- How to Incorporate Social Learning Theory into Classroom Activities:

Kristyn Hammond
Kristyn Hammond has been teaching freshman college composition at the university level since 2010. She has experience teaching developmental writing, freshman composition, and freshman composition and research. She currently resides in Central Texas where she works for a small university in the Texas A&M system of schools.
Social learning theory requires consistent class management and positive reinforcement.                                                                                                                                                Social learning theory into your classroom you can develop an encouraging classroom environment, which in turn inspires students to engage your lesson and enjoy the learning experience. Social learning theory suggests that students learn through observation, developing traits and habits based on the environment in which they are in. This includes seeing other students participating in class and choosing to participate as well. The negative side of social learning theory also suggests that some actions you take as a teacher can deter your students from participating and restrict their engagement in your lesson.



15:- Classroom Instructions:

1:-Plan a series of rewards for specific actions in class. Include candy rewards for younger students, bonus points on future exams or quizzes and a few class parties during the semester. Select rewards appropriate to the grade level and class maturity, as bonus test points are worth more to older students and treats to younger ones.
2:-Design specific ways for students to earn these rewards; this can include participating in class regularly or a high group average on a test. Include numerous opportunities to receive a reward, such as weekly awards, monthly awards and smaller daily rewards. Also be sure to design individual as well as group rewards, so that students are encouraged to participate and thrive individually as well as collectively.
3:-Create an encouraging atmosphere in class by staying positive and reacting positively to student questions and comments. Regularly praise students for insightful comments and compliment questions, which show a high degree of individual understanding about a topic.
4:-Develop a positive technique for reacting to student failures or misunderstandings, such as a positive way to explain to a student that her answer was wrong without sounding discouraging. Explain the positive points of these works while suggesting a different perspective she can use to reach the correct answer.
5:-Demonstrate new concepts clearly, and praise students when you see them demonstrating the right method to address a question in class. Give your students a positive example of how to address an issue and work towards a solution.                                                                                                                                 
6:-Provide a strong moral example for your students, encouraging them to incorporate those morals into their lives. Demonstrate these morals in your speech as well as your actions in class. For instance, if you have to leave during an exam, tell your students the positive statement, “I have to step out, but I trust you to continue your exam quietly,” rather than the negative command, “I’ll be gone for a moment, so you are not to cheat or talk to each other while I am gone.