Essay on Social Learning Theory of Albert Bandura

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Social Learning Theory of Albert Bandura If you've taken an introductory course in economics, you're already familiar with the policy planner's dilemma of deciding whether to allocate limited resources for guns or for butter. The problem is usually posed to illustrate the impersonal market forces of supply and demand, profit and loss. Yet planners are people, and most individuals come to the war-or-peace decision points of life having already developed preferred responses. Northwestern psychologist Donald Campbell calls these tendencies "acquired behavioral dispositions," and he suggests six ways that we learn to choose one option over another. 1. Trial-and-error experience is a hands-on exploration that might lead to tasting the…show more content…
He uses the term modeling to describe Campbell's two midrange processes of response acquisition (observation of another's response and modeling), and he claims that modeling can have as much impact as direct experience. Social learning theory is a general theory of human behavior, but Bandura and people concerned with mass communication have used it specifically to explain media effects. Bandura warned that "children and adults acquire attitudes, emotional responses, and new styles of conduct through filmed and televised modeling."2 George Gerbner (see Chapter 29) was concerned that television violence would create a false climate of fear. Albert Bandura cautioned that TV might create a violent reality that was worth fearing. Bandura's warning struck a responsive chord in parents and educators who feared that escalating violence on TV would transform children into bullies. Although he doesn't think this will happen without the tacit approval of those who supervise the children, Bandura regards anxiety over televised violence as legitimate. That stance caused network officials to blackball him from taking part in the 1972 Surgeon General's Report on Violence.3 It is doubtful whether TV sets will ever bear an inscription similar to that on packs of cigarettes: "Warning: The Surgeon General has determined that TV violence may turn your child into an insensitive brute." But if Bandura had been picked as a member of the research
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