Evaluation of Social Learning Theory

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Social Learning Theory Evaluation Evaluate Social Learning Theory with reference to research. Social Learning Theory, first proposed by Albert Bandura, suggests that people's behaviours are molded through observational learning, that their inherent characteristics have an effect on learning and behaviour, and that learning does not always constitute a change in behaviour. The theory has been extensively researched and explains common phenomena such as behaviour being passed down through generations or within cultures. Also, it can be applied to change people's behaviour positively. However, the theory has some weaknesses, as there are criticisms with the theory and its studies. In 1961, Bandura et al. conducted a study that was critical to Social Learning Theory since it clearly displayed humans observing and imitating behaviour. Bandura hoped to discover whether children would imitate violence demonstrated by adults and if they were more likely to imitate adults of their own sex. A group of 36 boys and 36 girls of ages three to six were split into three groups. The first group observed an adult hitting an inflatable Bobo doll; the second group observed an adult assembling toys; and the third group, the control group, did not see a model. In the first two groups, some of the adult models were of the same sex as their subjects while others were of the opposite. After observing their models, the children were put into a room with a Bobo doll. Sure enough, the children who had seen aggressive models reciprocated their violent behaviour with physical and verbal aggression to the doll. This occurred significantly more in the aggressive model group than in any other group; therefore, observing aggression clearly changed the children's behaviour, providing strong evidence for the existence of observational learning and its effect on behaviour. Bandura also found

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