Behaviorism And Social Learning Theory

1531 Words Jun 15th, 2015 7 Pages
Behaviorism and social learning theory are examples of two mechanistic theories that focus on explaining children’s behavior. Social learning theory emphasizes observational learning and imitation. On the other hand, behaviorism is rooted in focusing on how the environment impacts development. The environment shapes the child’s development as the child strives to adapt to the environment. Both theories deal with explaining behavior and consist of similarities, but are composed of different elements of explaining behavior.
While social learning theory emphasizes observational learning and imitation, behaviorism focuses on how the environment impacts development. Socialization, gender roles, and imitation are a few key elements that make up the social learning theory, while classical conditioning and operant conditioning are some key factors in behaviorism. One key element between both theories is that they both consist of reinforcement and punishment mechanisms in order to explain behavior. For social learning theory, children may be exposed to an aggressive environment, such as in the Bobo doll study, where they see an adult punching or engaging in aggressive behavior. If the adult is reinforced, the child will want to perform the behavior. If the adult is punished, the child will most likely not engage in the behavior. In behaviorism, however, behaviors may be reinforced or punished using operant conditioning, which will be explained later. Both the social learning…
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