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Behavioral and Social Learning Theories

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Kristen McKay

on 29 October 2013

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Transcript of Behavioral and Social Learning Theories

Behavioral and Social Learning Theories
By Kristen McKay
Jenna Pulliam
Alexandra Thomas

Social Theory
The Social Learning Theory was developed by Albert Bandura and states that children learn new behaviors by observing and intimating the behaviors of others.
Social and Behavioral Learning in Elementary School
Social and Behavioral Learning in Middle School and High School
Cook, Joan Littlefield, and Greg Cook. "Exploring Child Development." Child development: principles and perspectives. 2005. Reprint. Boston, Mass.: Pearson, 2009. 8-13. Print.
McLeod, S. A. (2011). Albert Bandura | Social Learning Theory - Simply Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/bandura.html
McLeod, S. A. (2011). Bobo Doll Experiment - Simply Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/bobo-doll.html
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.learning-theories.com/social-learning-theory-bandura.html
Our textbook
Behavioral Theory
Focuses on observable behaviors in a surrounding environment and how the behaviors relate to the environment
Classical Conditioning
Operant Conditioning
Learning Through Observation
We learn through observing the actions and consequences of others.
The people we observe are called models. (Parents, teachers, siblings, friends, T.V shows).
When we observe the behaviors of others we are encoding their actions.
The bobo doll experiment
We are more likely to observe, encode, and imitate a person with whom we identify.
We identify with models who possess qualities that we would also like to possess.
Identification involves a number of behaviors being adopted from a single model.
Identification is the process we use to decide who we will imitate and who we will not.
4 necessary conditions for effective modeling
1) Attention- you must notice a trait before you can imitate it.
2) Retention- You have to remember that you noticed it.
3) Reproduction- Reproducing what you saw in your mind. Remembering how the action occurred.
4) Motivation- You must have reason to imitate the action. This can be direct consequences (What you observed happen), a promised consequence, or some other form of motivation.
behavior controlled by stimulus-response connections
is said to explain the development of many fears
John Watson
Father of American behaviorism
Studied how children learn stimulus- response connections by classical conditioning
Albert and his fear of white rats
Was extended to white furry objects
Ivan Pavlov
A Russian Physiologist
stated that children learn through the consequences of their actions
Reinforcements: increases behavior
Punishments: decreases behavior
B .F. Skinner
• social interactions are mostly with family
• Through play, children begin to improve their social skills and become proficient at performing certain tasks and actions
• They tend to have a naturally optimistic impression of themselves. They often overestimate their own abilities to perform certain actions such as counting to a hundred, jumping rope perfectly, or winning a race against a classmate.


Children learn and imitate behaviors they have observed in other people, whether it be realistic or fictional.
• They act out what they see and hear (what is modeled for them). For example, if a child hears a parent say a bad word, the child is most likely to demonstrate what they just heard at that very moment or later on when parents least expect it.
• Children at these ages mostly recognize and observe their teachers, parents, adult role models, or even fictional TV characters
• Also, children act out behavior that they see in books, films, television programs, and other media. (Dragon Ball Z Example)
• Children will also give an explanation for their behavior sometimes
• Reinforcement (positive or negative) and punishment play an important role in motivating children to demonstrate the desired behavior.
• A child who is experiencing these motivators or observing others (peers, friends, classmates) experience some type of reinforcement or punishment can be highly effective as well. For example, if you see another student rewarded with extra credit for being to class on time, you might start to show up a few minutes early each day.
• They rely heavily on intrinsic reinforcement such as rewards, praise, and incentives. Candy works very well!
• Other types of way they learn to display certain behavior is through scaffolding and classical conditioning activities in the classroom

Social and Behavior (connected)
• When children enter middle school, they tend to drift away from their parents because they become more interested in building relationships with other people outside the family unit
• They move towards caring more about friendships with peers
• Learning how to make and maintain friendships is an important part of the middle school years, whereas in elementary school kids tend not to put a lot of thought into choosing or making friends
• They become much more selective about whom they choose as friends.
• Just as kids compare themselves to others, they also start making judgments about other children.
• Participating in activities outside of school such as playing softball or taking art classes provide further opportunities for developing positive social relationships.
• If a child’s friend acts a certain way, they will tend to act that way as well even if they know it’s wrong or not appropriate
• They really need to feel accepted by their peers and because of that need, peer pressure plays a major role in how a child will act which can lead to bullying, depression, or social rejection
• Their behavior towards themselves can be very negative because they are constantly comparing themselves to their peers and at these ages their self –esteem tend to decrease
• Sometimes children will actually act differently when not around their peers

Middle School
High School
Social and Behavior (combined)
During high school, they still compare themselves and judge others , but they tend to find their own social identity
• They have a greater ability to monitor and control their behavior, emotions, and thoughts
• Learn behavior through multiple factors: religion, family, peers, stereotypes, culture, and the mass media
• Sex-type behavior occurs due to stereotyped gender roles
• Peer pressure still plays a role in how a teenager will act
• Drugs and alcohol can cause a change in behavior
• Their overall self-esteem tends to find a balance (not too high or low)
• They still think about how their peers are thinking, but are able to use their own judgment without given into peer pressure as easily

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