Many theories have been proposed over the years to explain the developmental changes that people undergo over the course of their lives. The social learning theory proposed by Albert Bandura has become one of the most influential theories of learning and development. Bandura proposed this theory to explain how individuals learn. His theory suggests that people can learn by observing the behavior of others and the outcomes of those behaviors, including such concepts as observational learning, imitation, and modeling. The major factors of social cognitive theory include learning by vicarious reinforcement, forethought activity, self-regulatory capabilities, self-reflecting capability, self-efficacy, and self-reinforcement (Malone, 2002, p10). I will try to explain these important factors to provide a better understanding of the social cognitive theory.
Social learning theory, views people as actively involved in their environments, which means that they are actively involved in learning (Rogers, 2006, p71). Social learning theory suggests that people can learn vicariously, thru modeling, imitation and identification. We learn most from people close to us, like our parents, family and friends; the environment, and we also learn through the media. For example, in his famous “Bobo Doll” study, Bandura demonstrated that children learn and imitate behaviors they have observed in other people. The children in Bandura’s studies observed an adult acting violently toward a Bobo doll. When the children were later allowed to play in a room with a Bobo doll, they began to imitate the aggressive actions they had previously observed. According to the social learning theory, people do not actually have to perform a behavior themselves to learn from it. Rather, people learn by others successes or failures (Rogers, 2006, p78-79).
One of the major factors of social cognitive theory is the exercise of forethought activity, cognitive anticipation of...