Social Learning Theory Albert Bandura Thesis

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Social Learning Theory

The Father of Social Learning Theory

Albert Bandura's "Social Learning Theory" represents one of the most important additions to the social sciences and an understanding of human behavior. Built on the foundation of early behaviorists, Bandura's theory discards the one size fits all attitude to human motivation that characterized its early roots. Bandura proposed that individual differences determine motivation and that the affects of an individual have reciprocal affects on others. The following will discuss these theories and the importance of them on modern social sciences. It will support the thesis that Bandura's Social Learning Theory is important in the field of social work today. It will support the concept that a social worker must keep the tenets of social learning theory at the forefront of client interactions in order to be effective.

Key Tenets of Social Learning Theory

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Social learning theory stemmed from the works of early behaviorists such as Pavlov, Watson, and Skinner ("Social Learning Theory," 2008). Albert Bandura based his work on theories by Julian Rotter, which took into account the cognitive factors of human learning. These factors included the expectations that a person would have about an outcome and the importance that they placed on these outcomes ("Social Learning Theory," 2008). Bandura expanded on these theories to include the reciprocal nature of our thoughts and actions on the environment, and on the environment on our thoughts and actions ("Social Learning Theory," 2008). This serves as the basic tenet of Bandura's Social Learning Theory.

Thesis on Social Learning Theory Albert Bandura Assignment

Bandura introduced the term "Self-efficacy" into the body of motivational theory. This idea means that in order for a person to be motivated into an action, they must first believe that they are able to succeed at the task. If the task is too difficult and they do not expect to succeed, they will not be likely to engage in the activity. Bandura's theory took into account personal values and expectation in the decision to undertake an activity. This personal factor was missing from the work of early behaviorists.

Bandura also introduced the concept of social modeling. This tenet holds that if a person behaves a certain way, they will be accepted and the behavior will be reinforced (Ormond, 1999). This explains how fashion develops. When a person dresses in the accepted fashion, they are accepted by the group. This reinforces this mode of dress (Ormond, 1999). The behavior becomes self-reinforcing and is likely to continue. However, Bandura also found that children will model a behavior and continue to model a behavior, even in the absence of reinforcement (Ormond, 1999). This tenet demonstrates that we learn much of our behavior through imitation.

Albert Bandura, a Biography

An article by Dr. George Boeree explores the life of Bandura, highlighting the key developmental milestones of Social Learning Theory. Bandura was educated in a small elementary school in Alberta, Canada (Boeree, 2006). He later graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1949. He married while working on his PhD at the University of Iowa and had two daughters by this marriage (Boeree, 2006). He took a postdoctoral position at the Wichita Guidance Center in Wichita, Kansas (Boeree, 2006). He later started his research and teaching career at Stanford University. This is where he conducted much of his groundbreaking work in motivational theory (Boeree, 2006).

After this short introduction, Boeree then goes into detail regarding the stages and developments that would eventually become Social Learning Theory. The author of the biography feels that Bandura made great strides that would change personality theory and therapies. He felt that Bandura's theories resembled their early behaviorist roots, but that they were action-orient, and used excellent problem solving strategies in their application (Boeree, 2006). According to Boeree, Bandura revolutionized cognitive therapies and treatment strategies (Boeree, 2006). Bandura influenced many… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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