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). 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 the most famous experiments performed by Bandura 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.

Recent Posts on Social Learning Theory

Why Isn't Common Core Working?

Two-thirds of graduating seniors are not ready for college. Seventy-five percent failed the math test and sixty-three percent failed the reading test.

Another Kind Of Numbers Game

By Bernard L. De Koven on April 27, 2016 On Having Fun
What if people aren't having fun?

Babies' Brains May Process Social Thinking Via Motor Systems

A new study published today reports (for the first time) that motor systems in the brain may drive infants' earliest social learning, thinking, and behavior.

Beyoncé Backlash

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on February 25, 2016 Minority Report
Can Beyonce's performance during the Super Bowl and her video simply be a pro-Black position or does pro-Black insinuate anti-white?

"I Wish I Was White"

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on February 20, 2016 Minority Report
"I wish I was white" is a phrase I hear as a psychotherapist and diversity speaker when I address issues of race and culture. White audience members hearing this quickly realize..

When Stereotypes Affect Our Thinking

Cognitive abilities are affected by many factors. Is the role of gender stereotypes as important as some believe in explaining sex differences in cognitive abilities?

Kids Who Play Together Work Better Together

By Bernard L. De Koven on January 06, 2016 On Having Fun
Do children learn anything just from playing their childish games of tag and hide-and-seek? You have to ask?

The Lake Wales High School Keystone Project

Lakes Wales High School developed a student-faculty based program addressing proper, interpersonal and ethical behavior for students. And it had a huge positive impact.

Demystifying Sport Concussion Baseline Testing

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on December 08, 2015 Brain Trauma
While the controversial movie "Concussion" draws attention, one important preseason test plays an important supporting role. Here's the bottom line on baseline testing.

Should Bullying be Made Illegal?

Police Chief Ault authored an ordinance that fines the parents of repeat offenders of bullying. The ordinance, which imposes a $124 fine, turns school disciplinary codes into law.

Being a Sedulous Ape: Good or Bad?

Learning by example, when intentional and directed, underlies true learning that is enduring and meaningful. This short piece is a “how to” discussing motivation and skill development.

Discovering Who I Am

Developing a coherent, personal identity is a basic human need. The establishment of our identity is an integral outgrowth of our relationships with important people in our lives.

Why We Love to Hate Politicians

You may think politicians deserve the hate spewed at them because others seem to feel that way. It helps to know that the mammal brain bonds around common enemies. The mammal brain seeks safe ways to oppose power. The mammal brain mirrors others and relies on old pathways. Your inner mammal feels good when you hate politicians, which lures you to forget that it's hate.

The True Value of Ignorance

By Madelyn Blair Ph.D. on September 15, 2015 Resilient Leadership
Venturing out of your comfort zone is dangerous. Discover why Twyla Tharp loves this uncomfortable space.

5 Lessons From Informal Sports

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 20, 2015 On Having Fun
“Real life is an informal game. The rules are endlessly modifiable and you must do your part to create them. In the end, there are no winners or losers; we all wind up in the same place." - Peter Gray

What Are the Five Mistakes That Wealthy People Rarely Make?

By Bobby Hoffman Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 Motivate!
How do you compare to the psychologically rich?

Hot Bread and Butter - the game

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 18, 2015 On Having Fun
Sometimes kids games are pure theater. Here's one that captures the drama of becoming adult.

When Confusion Is Funny

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 14, 2015 On Having Fun
Sometimes, failing is more fun than winning.

Technology, Turing and Child Development

What happens when you go with kids to the Tech Museum of Innovation? You start thinking about kids, technology, and learning machines.


Playing well together

My Dad's Silly, Simple, Crazy Way to Make Decisions

My mom's death forced my dad to make one of the biggest decisions he had made in a long time. His approach to the decision turned out to be genius. And all this time, I thought I was the one who knew how to make decisions. Man, was I wrong.

9 Reasons You Procrastinate (and 9 Ways to Stop)

Researchers tend to agree that the reason any particular individual procrastinates can vary. The best cure is usually to respond to whatever reason might be specific for you.

Do Teens Imitate the Sex They See in the Movies?

Although research finds that exposure to sexualized media is linked to more sexual partners and unprotected sex among teens, it is premature to suggest that sex should be edited out from the movies entirely.

Here’s A Smart Monkey!

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on June 01, 2015 Screen Time
All good preschool children’s programs include several factors that make them successful and long running, which can be explained by the included content and the medium through which it is delivered.

Where Do Babies Come From? From Peer Pressure, Apparently.

We commonly consider fertility outcomes to be idiosyncratic or accidental. But parenthood spreads through social networks, passing between siblings, friends, and co-workers. Why might the baby bug be so contagious and how do prospective parents catch it?

Expanding the Heart While Educating the Mind

The Hippie gene has made its way into the Millennial’s DNA. The “old school” approach to work and education is not right for them. A Millennial would rather be a “freelancer” than a “cog-in-the-wheel” of so-called progress. Their highest aspiration is to become “independent freelancers and global citizens who make a difference in the world.”

How Does Body Posture Affect Early Learning and Memory?

A fascinating new study has combined state-of-the-art robotics with research on human infants to reveal that posture plays a critical role in the early stages of acquiring new knowledge.

Make Social Learning Stick: How Parents Can Help Children

For special needs children, many daily activities and experiences like getting ready for school, going to the doctor, having a play date and celebrating birthdays are very challenging. The good news: these events can become opportunities for teaching and reinforcing expected social and emotional behavior.

Are Humans Unique?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on February 18, 2015 The Human Beast
The argument for human uniqueness is of mostly historical interest. As we gained more understanding of animal behavior, we learned that their psychology has more in common with us than had been imagined previously.

How Abusive Bosses Can Destroy Teamwork

By Ray Williams on January 24, 2015 Wired for Success
There is increasing evidence that there is a clear link between bad leaders and employee health and productivity problems, which is turn, can be a huge liability for organizations.