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Miguel Llovera Da Corte EPSY 5103 May, Jim November 1, 2012 Highlights of Banduras Social Learning Theory

The Social Learning Theory explained by Bandura highlights the notion of drive and reinforcement experienced by human beings. While developing his theory, Bandura was mainly concerned with how children and adults operate cognitively on their social experiences and how these experiences can affect individuals development and behaviors. It is believed that individuals learn from their direct interaction with the context in which they develop. For example, a child learns how to talk by observing his parents pronounce certain words, and then after hearing the same words over and over again, the child attempts to reproduce them within a period of time. In an analysis conducted of the legacies of Albert Bandura, Joan Grusec explains that through abstraction and integration, individuals mentally represent their environments and themselves in terms of certain crucial classes of cognitions that include response-outcome expectancies, perceptions of self-efficacy, and standards for evaluative self-reactions (Grusec, 1992). In other words, individuals are persistently learning new information, as a means of keeping up with a continuously changing environment. Bandura believed that individuals can acquire new information about rules and events by direct observation. For example, children adopt certain behaviors after watching a particular program on television repeatedly. In Banduras own words, people do not behave like weather vanes, constantly shifting their behavior in accord with momentary influences; rather they hold to ideological positions in spite of a changing situation. In addition to imitating the evaluative

behavior of others, children are also reinforced by agents of socialization for engaging in selfregulation (Grusec, 1992). In other words, the fact that an individual can retain and reproduce the behavior learned will depend on external factors that govern the individuals environment. Banduras Social Learning Theory states that individuals tend to remain engaged in their own development by seeking different ways to acquire new information. Doris Bergen states that these individuals possess self-beliefs that affect their thinking, feelings, and actions, and these personal competency beliefs are derived from how individuals interpret their own performance (Bergen, 2008). According to Banduras Self-efficacy Theory, people develop domain-specific beliefs about their own abilities and characteristics that guide their behavior by determining what they try to achieve and how much effort they put into their performance in a particular situation. If a person genuinely believes he/she can be successful when trying to complete a particular task, then it is most likely that this person will do whatever is required to achieve his/her ultimate goal. When teaching my classes, I always try my best to help students understand that they all possess the skills required to successfully perform different tasks. I do this as a means of gaining my students attention. When an instructor gains students attention, then it is very probable that students will incorporate the new information into their behavior. Additionally, students who are very attentive begin to see connections between new information and previously acquired material. After new information is presented, I ensure that my students are retaining the information by conducting a review of previously learned information before introducing new concepts. By doing so, I help my students encode and retain the information in an accessible manner. Bandura explained that memory is another cognitive skill that enables information about

different events to be retained so that it can guide the formulation of rules and patterns of behavior. Memory is a skill that can be enhanced with practice. As a classroom facilitator, I provide my students with useful information that can be applied in almost every life situation. This practice constitutes an opportunity for students to reinforce what they are learning. Joan Grusec states that the ability to monitor the match between ideas about relations of actions and outcomes and the actual effects of actions, as well as to correct mismatches, is another cognitive skill necessary to enhance memory; thus, allowing successful behavioral functioning (Grusec, 1992).

References: Bandura, A. (2002). Social Cognitive Theory in Cultural Context. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 51(2), 269.

Bergen, Doris. Human Development: Traditional and Contemporary Theories. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. Print.

Grusec, J. E. (1992). Social learning theory and developmental psychology: The legacies of Robert Sears and Albert.. Developmental Psychology, 28(5), 776.