What Is Social Learning Theory?

Social learning theory combines cognitive learning theory (which posits that learning is influenced by psychological factors) and behavioral learning theory (which assumes that learning is based on responses to environmental stimuli). Psychologist Albert Bandura integrated these two theories and came up with four requirements for learning: observation (environmental), retention (cognitive), reproduction (cognitive), and motivation (both). This integrative approach to learning was called social learning theory. 

One of Bandura's most famous experiments is the famous bobo doll experiment. Children observed as adults modeled either violent or passive behavior towards the doll, and this observation was found to influence the manner in which the children subsequently interacted with the dolls. Children who observed violent behavior behaved violently toward the doll and vice versa.

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