Social learning theory is the theory that people learn new behavior through overt reinforcement or punishment or via observational learning. People learn through observing others' behavior. If people observe positive, desired outcomes in the observed behavior, they are more likely to model, imitate, and adopt the behavior themselves. It also suggests that the environment can have an effect on the way people behave.
Social learning theory is derived from the work of Gabriel Tarde (1843-1904) which proposed that social learning occurred through four main stages of imitation:
* close contact,
* imitation of superiors,
* understanding of concepts,
* role model behaviour
It consists of 3 parts observing, imitating, and reinforcement
Julian Rotter moved away from theories based on psychoanalysis and behaviourism, and developed a social learning theory. In Social Learning and Clinical Psychology (1954), Rotter suggested that the effect of behaviour has an impact on the motivation of people to engage in that behaviour. People wish to avoid negative consequences, while desiring positive results or effects. If one expects a positive outcome from a behaviour, or thinks there is a high probability of a positive outcome, then they will be more likely to engage in that behaviour. The behaviour is reinforced, with positive outcomes, leading a person to repeat the behaviour. This social learning theory suggests that behaviour is influenced by these environmental factors or stimuli, and not psychological factors alone.
Albert Bandura (1977) expanded on the Rotter's idea, as well as earlier work by Miller & Dollard (1941), and is related to social learning theories of Vygotsky and Lave. This theory incorporates aspects of behavioural and cognitive learning. Behavioural learning assumes that people's environment (surroundings) cause people to behave in certain ways. Cognitive learning presumes that psychological factors...