The Social Learning Theory: A Personal Reflection

614 Words3 Pages
As the understanding of human learning evolved, Albert Bandura developed his social learning theory. Skinner and other behaviorists seem to oversimplify learning in human beings. While I do see that there are some human behaviors that can be taught and learned via classical and operant conditioning, humans are also far more complex than dogs. Classical and operant conditioning cannot account for the full gamut of human learning, which is why I appreciate Bandura's social learning theory. Unlike the behavioral theories of learning, the Bandura theory takes variables into account such as socialization. We have all seen the ways children start to imitate their parents' behavior, especially young children. I noticed my friend's little brother started cursing, and I knew it was because my friend curses a lot. Therefore, his brother was what Bandura would have called "learning in the flesh." The little brother was directly listening to the curse words and repeating them as they sounded. However, I realized that there was also operant conditioning going on. My friend smiled and laughed when his little brother cursed. This was the positive reinforcement his young brother needed to continue the behavior. In Bandura's terms, the little brother went through the stages of exposure, acquisition, and acceptance. First he was exposed to the sounds of the curse words. The acquisition was his verbalizations in imitation of his older brother. I noticed that he also imitated my friend's body
Open Document