Explain social learning theory

Explain social learning theory, making reference to two relevant studies

  • Bandura (1977) suggested social learning theory (SLT) as an extension of existing learning theories (classical and operant conditioning). SLT is based on the assumption that people learn behaviors, attitudes, emotional reactions and norms through direct experiences but also through observing other humans (models).
  • We learn consequences of behavior from watching what happens to other humans (vicarious reinforcement). Once such information is stored in memory it serves as a guide to future actions. People are more likely to imitate behavior that has positive consequences.
  • Social learning can be direct via instructions or indirect (e.g. role models and no direct instructions).

Studies to use: Bandura and Ross (1961) and Charlton et al. (2002)