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.

Recent posts on Social Learning Theory

Most Strangers Are Safe: Learn to Spot Those Who Are Not

As strange as it sounds, most strangers are safe—statistically speaking. Yet in a world of distraction and multitasking, learn how to remain aware of those who are not.

Climate Change: How to Prevent Workplace Harassment

The workplace is our home away from home; let´s work together to keep it predator-free. Here are some methods of preventing sexual harassment from becoming sexual assault.

Sexual Harassment Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Sexual Harassment: Do you know it when you see it? Many people don´t--including the perpetrators.

How Temperament Impacts Entrepreneurship

Let’s look at what pros and cons are tied to different types of temperament in business.

Social Learning: Eyes Provide a Window Into Primate Minds

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 25, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Captive gorillas and chimpanzees demonstrate social learning similar to humans. Using cutting-edge eye tracking technology, we can now use primate eyes to see into primate minds.

Normalizing Drug Use

By Stanton Peele on January 17, 2017 in Addiction in Society
We have entered an era in which drug use is widespread and at the same it is viewed as unmanageable and uncontrollable. We need instead to accept and to regulate it.

113 Chinese "Shame" Terms

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on January 14, 2017 in Minority Report
Shame and honor are inextricably tied together in Asian cultures. To understand this phenomenon further, you should know there are more than 100 "shame"-related terms in Chinese..

The Asian Scarlet Letter

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on January 08, 2017 in Minority Report
Asian shame can be mystifying to those on the outside but it is a very tangible experience for Asians. So what is it?

Of Brothers and Dolls, or How Princess Leia Saved My Life

By Mark O'Connell L.C.S.W.- R. on December 29, 2016 in Quite Queerly
We can encourage our children to play, and to express themselves fully, without having to blame others when they don't get their way.

Why Women Spend So Much Effort on Their Appearance

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on December 22, 2016 in The Human Beast
There is no argument about the fact that women spend a lot more time, effort, and money on their appearance than men do. How they look is clearly important to them. Why?

5 Things Adults Unlearn

By Emily S. Beitiks on December 21, 2016 in The Age of Biotech
Five things I’ve seen young children totally understand about disability that unfortunately, most adults struggle with.

New Research Reveals Neural Roots of Social Anxiety

People with social anxiety disorder have an extreme fear of new social objects or situations. New neuroscience research shows how observational learning plays into this fear.

Female Power And Why We Need It So Badly

“Wait, can a woman become president?” asked my young daughter. Male dominance is not only holding down our daughters, but our entire nation. Empower every single female now!

Stealth Voters Facilitate Trump´s Poll Vault to Victory

By Wendy L. Patrick Ph.D. on November 10, 2016 in Why Bad Looks Good
How could polls be so wrong? Momentum drove math. Undercover Trump voters were quiet about their political views, and quietly cast their votes this week—for the Donald.

Do Trump´s Large Rallies Produce Momentum Over Math?

By Wendy L. Patrick Ph.D. on November 07, 2016 in Why Bad Looks Good
Donald Trump boasts large crowds at his massive rallies. Yet given the state of current polling results, Trump´s problem is not momentum, it is math.

Converging Advances in Online Learning: OTT, OER, and OEI

Online learning & distance education are transforming through “Over-The-Top-Technologies” (OTT) vehicles for new offerings enhancing the integration of (OER) in “Online-Education."

Creativity and Disadvantaged South African Students

By Albert Rothenberg on November 01, 2016 in Creative Explorations
South African black students have suffered from deficits in secondary school education. Creative capacities help produce success in professional and advanced general learning.

Is It a Circumstantial Setback or a Conspiracy Against You?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 01, 2016 in Ambigamy
Sometimes they're out to get you, sometimes it just hard circumstances. We do better when we attend to the difference.

Why We Fear

By Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D. on October 17, 2016 in Beastly Behavior
Researchers have found that it is easier to train humans and other primates to fear snakes than other dangers, indicating a genetic predisposition for the fear of snakes.

Why We Obey and Disobey the Law

By Glenn C. Altschuler Ph.D. on October 06, 2016 in This Is America
Responses to law are shaped by rewards and punishments, peer group influence, and internal motivation. They vary by time, place, and culture, and how information is communicated.

4 Principles Keeping You Together, for Better or Worse

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on September 08, 2016 in Friendship 2.0
A new book explains how those dusty Psychology 101 theories shed light on your behavior and your relationships.

‘7 Strengths’ Supports Emotional and Social Learning

By Pam Allyn on August 23, 2016 in LitLife
We all have a critical role to play in helping our children grow into engaged, empathic, and caring citizens. Reading and self-expression are key tools.

The Social Cues that Lie at the Heart of Fear and Anxiety

Fear is becoming an increasing reality of daily life, but you don’t have to be overwhelmed by this highly negative emotion. New research shows how to prevent it in the first place.

The GOP, Convention Turn Taking, and the Primacy Effect

When voters watch competing messages during both conventions, political turn-taking can benefit the party who goes first. This is true even when controlling for partisan bias.

Leslie Jones Is a Movie Star Who Makes Me Laugh and Cry

The more diversity of characters and actors we see on our stages and screens, the more opportunities we can create for identification and empathy between one another.

The Anti-Psychologists

By Stanton Peele on July 13, 2016 in Addiction in Society
Psychology has been engaged in a decades-long battle for its soul—is it really a field independent of brain psychology? I sometimes view myself one of psychology's last advocates.

Doubling Down on the Woman Card—a Clinton/Warren Ticket

Will a Clinton-Warren ticket defy stereotypical beliefs about women candidates? Research indicates that these two political powerhouses certainly may do just that.

Playing Playfully Is Therapy For Self and Others

By Bernard L. De Koven on June 24, 2016 in On Having Fun
Maybe, just by playing semi-silly, unofficial games that nobody really cares about, you can begin to learn to care more for yourself.

Kids Are What You Eat: Grab a Whisk & An App

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on May 28, 2016 in Screen Time
Families are searching for healthy meals that require minimal prep time. They may benefit from the following recommendations to adjust “attitudes” related to food.

Born Yesterday

By David Ludden Ph.D. on May 14, 2016 in Talking Apes
Social learning helps us to acquire information quickly from others. But not all social models are reliable, and even infants know who to trust and who to disregard.