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Fig 4.19 – Social Learning Theory

Text: Page 210

Unlike Skinner, Albert Bandura believed learning necessitated observational cognitive processes because humans actively processed the consequences of their behavior and did not automatically respond to positive or negative reinforcement. Between stimulus and response, there were four mediational cognitive processes. First, the modeling behavior had to get attention. After gaining attention, the behavior had to be remembered. After attention and retention, the behavior had to be performed, a reproduction of the modeled behavior. Finally, there needed to be motivation to continue to perform the behavior that was determined by the rewards or punishments that followed the imitated behavior.

Observing unruly children led Bandura to research the sources of violence in their lives. Utilizing his social learning theory, he studied how children and adolescents learned to become aggressive. His initial work on aggression began in the 1940s but culminated in 1961 with the famous Bobo Doll Experiment, which studied the behavior of children toward a Bobo Doll after watching a human adult model act aggressively. The doll-like toy had a rounded bottom and low center of mass that could be hit and rock back to its upright position. Bandura found that children exposed to an aggressive male model would seek physically aggressive behavior compared to those not exposed to an aggressive male model.

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