Social Learning Theory
Social learning theory was introduced by Albert Bandura in the year 1977 that explored the realms of conditioning as a condition and an operation. Through his theory, the behaviorist declared:
- Processes are the result of a certain stimuli and responses.
- Everything you learn is the product of your observation of the environment.
Observing For Social Learning
Grownups, adults and individuals are what form role models in the society for children to watch, observe and grow into. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the future generations are currently surrounded by individuals who possess wise and influential personalities to influence and steer the children in the right direction. This is the very reason why it is important that one controls the information children get at an early age from various sources, the most influential one being the television.
Whatever behavior the role model presents is the one that is ultimately imitated. If a male child grows to watch a father to be aggressive, then the chances of his adhering to aggression will be far higher than a child who had a relatively calmer parent. Similarly, it is very rare that an anti-social mother raises a child who is very social. Whatever behavior individuals with authority depict, the children imitate as their own.
This imitation is almost never consciously done but plays a vital role in how they end up behaving as full-grown adults themselves. There are some rules that apply to this theory, these are:
- It is more likely that children follow adults of the same sex. This is because they are more relatable and make more sense to the influential kid.
- How the child behaves is largely dependent on how the behavior of the adult is received by the environment around. If a father’s aggression is met with more aggression and eventually something far more painful, then the child might learn to stay away from it altogether. Therefore, on the basis of rewards and punishments, the understanding of the child is established.
Hence, the idea of social learning theory is a very important one. The children internalize and adhere to the behaviors that are being continuously demonstrated for and to them. Eventually, this behavior is adopted and imitated. However, during the Oedipus complex the child can only identify with the parent of the same sex, whereas with Social Learning Theory the person child hypothetically classifies with any other person.