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Social Learning

Dr. Pham Vu Phi Ho Olson, M. H., & Hergenhahn, B. R. (2009). An Introduction to Theories of Learning (8th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. Jordan, A., Carlile, O. & Stack, A. (2008). Approaches to Learning A Guide For Teachers, pp. 227 - 242. Berkshire: McGraw-Hill. asiaeuniversity

Discussion
1.
2. 3.

At what age/month should the child or your child be sent to the Kindergarten?
What are the benefits or disadvantages that the child might have? Do you have any experience of learning by observation? Describe it!

4.
5. 6.

Do you agree with Durkheims, society is more important than the individual (Alpert 1959).
Schools or home-schools, which is more important or more affected the childs life? I was just consulted by a grad student/ teacher of English (Dip 12A) that she does not want to send her son abroad (either the USA or Australia) because she was afraid that her son will become indifferent to social issues and broke familys value. To her opinion, what benefits the high certificates or degrees bring to her son if he loses his value in life (in terms of Asia culture). What do you think about this issue?

Sociological theories
Society regulates all social life through its institutions and systems. The totality of beliefs and sentiments of societys members forms the basis of the moral and legal codes that integrate society and the individual. This is of great importance to education because it suggests that the business of education is to mould children in accordance with the norms and needs of society.

Three elements in Durkheims model of any society


the totality of organizations and groups in society the links between these organizations and groups the role of these social bodies in realizing the values and expectations of the society

Sociological theories

System

Structure

Function

Social institutions and groups

Learning occurs within social spheres and contexts, which inform, develop, deepen and influence individual identity, thinking, learning and meaningmaking processes.

Family
Experiences and initial social relationships are first developed in the family. The values expressed in this social group are most important in shaping childrens early behaviour and thinking because children model their behaviour and attitudes on family members.

Cont.

Peer groups

Cont.

In peer groups, individuals learn to interact, behave and conform in socially acceptable ways. They acquire social roles, responsibilities and identities, which are developed through relationships and group participation. Group members develop strong emotional ties that unite them in meaningful and affective ways and learn emotional control. Individuals who do not belong to, or participate meaningfully in social groups, run a greater risk of developing mental and emotional problems (Goffman 1961; Laing and Easterson 1970).

Friendship and peer groups

Cont.

The influence of peers becomes more important than that of the family group as children move into their teenage years. Although parental influence is still important in career and money matters, the peer group is more important in establishing social status and identity (Sebald 1986). At this stage of development, belonging to the peer group may be more important than adopting educational values (Hargreaves 1967).

Psychological theories

Social identity

The social groups to which we belong have profound effects on how we act and on how we perceive ourselves. For example, it may be enough to be placed in a team or simply labelled as a group. The members of the group consider themselves to be the in group and other groups to be the out groups. In the in group, similarities are enhanced, as are the differences from the out groups.

Psychological theories

Social identity

Social cognitivists believe that people learn a new behaviour simply by watching what other people do. For examples, students are better reader when their parents read often at home and children become more aggressive when they observe aggressivemodels on television. The watching process is popularly known as modeling.

Social Learning Theory


Social learning theory extends behaviourism. Both behaviourism and social learning theory agree that experience is an important cause of learning. They also include the concepts of reinforcement and punishment in their explanation of behaviour. Furthermore, they agree that feedback is important in promoting learning (Eggen and Kaucak, 2007).

Albert Banduras social learning theory

Observational Learning Most of the principles of the social learning theory were developed by Bandura (Papalia, Olds & Feldman, 2007). Social learning theory believes that students learn by observing or watching and imitating other people. This process is called modelling or observational learning.

One of the most important examples is the effect of watching violent media has on aggressive behaviour as shown in Figure 4.5.

Cont.

EARLIER EXPLANATIONS OF OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING


Thorndike's and Watson's Explanations of Observational Learning Both Thorndike and Watson concluded that learning can result only from direct experience and not from indirect or vicarious experience. In other words, they said that learning occurred as a result of one's personal interactions with the environment and not as a result of observing another's interactions.

EARLIER EXPLANATIONS OF OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING

Cont.

Miller and Dollard did not deny that an organism could learn by observing the activities of another organism. If imitative behavior is reinforced, it will be strengthened like any other kind of behavior. Thus, imitative learning is simply a special case of instrumental conditioning.

EARLIER EXPLANATIONS OF OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING

Cont.

Miller and Dollard (1941) divided imitative behavior into three categories: Same behavior occurs when two or more individuals respond to the same situation in the same way. Copying behavior involves the guiding of one person's behavior by another person. In matched-dependent behavior, an observer is reinforced for blindly repeating the actions of a model. Perhaps this is the rationale behind the old saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

EARLIER EXPLANATIONS OF OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING

Cont.

The Skinnerian explanation of observational learning: First, a model's behavior is observed, next the observer matches the response of the model, and finally the matching response is reinforced.

BANDURA'S EXPLANATION OF OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING

Cont.

According to Bandura, observational learning may or may not involve imitation. Ex: while driving down the street you may see a car hit a pothole, and based on this observation, you may swerve to miss the hole and avoid damage to your car. In this case, you learned from your observation, but you did not imitate what you had observed. What you learned was information, which was processed cognitively and acted on in a way that was advantageous. Observational learning, therefore, is much more complex than simple imitation, which usually involves mimicking another person's actions.

Empirical Observations
Banduras (1965) experiment: children observed a film in which a model was shown hitting and kicking a large doll. In this case, a film showed an adult modeling aggressiveness. One group of children saw the model reinforced for his aggressiveness; a second group of children saw the model punished for his aggressiveness. For a third group, the consequences of the model's aggressiveness were neutral; that is, the model was neither reinforced nor punished.

Empirical Observations

Cont.

Later, children in all three groups were exposed to the doll, and their aggressiveness toward it was measured. As might be expected, the children who saw the model reinforced for aggressiveness were most aggressive; the children who saw the model punished for aggressiveness were least aggressive; and the children who saw the model experience neutral consequences were between the two other groups in their aggressiveness.

Empirical Observations

Cont.

This much of the study is interesting because it demonstrates that the children's behavior was influenced by indirect or vicarious experience. In other words, what they observed another person experiencing had an impact on their own behavior. The children in the first group observed vicarious reinforcement, and it facilitated their aggressiveness;
children in the second group observed vicarious punishment, and it inhibited their aggressiveness. Although the children did not experience reinforcement or punishment directly, it modified their behavior just the same. This result is contrary to Miller and Dollard's contention that observational learning will occur only if the organism's overt behavior is followed by reinforcement.

Learning from a model

Reciprocal determination model


Bandura developed a reciprocal determination model that comprises 3 factors
Albert Banduras Theory

Behaviour
Individuals action, and verbal statement

Environmental factors Resources, other people, consequences of action

Personal factors
Belief, attitudes, strategic thinking, and intelligence

Reciprocal determination model

Cont.

Behaviour, environment and person factors interact to influence learning. They influence and are influenced by each other. For example, a teachers feedback (environment) can lead students to set higher goals (person/cognitive) and these goals will motivate students to put more efforts (behaviour) in their studies.

Reciprocal Determinism
Why do people act as they do? The person, the environment, and the person's behavior itself all interact to produce the person's subsequent behavior. In other words, none of the three components can be understood in isolation from the others as a determiner of human behavior. Behavior influences the person and the environment as it is to say that the environment or the person influences behavior. Reinforcements, like punishments, exist only potentially in the environment and are actualized only by certain behavior patterns. Therefore, which aspects of an environment influence us are determined by how we act on the environment.

Reciprocal Determinism

Cont.

According to Bandura, people can influence the environment by acting in certain ways, and the changed environment will, in turn, influence their subsequent behavior.
But Bandura points out that even though there is an interaction among people, the environment, and behavior, any of these components may be more influential than the others at any given time. e.g. Ones beliefs may be the most influential determiner on ones action.

To summarize, Bandura's concept of reciprocal determinism states that behavior, the environment, and people (and their beliefs) all interact and that this three-way interaction must be understood before we can understand human psychological functioning and behavior.

MAJOR THEORETICAL CONCEPTS


Bandura (1986) lists four processes that influence observational learning.

Attentional Processes
Before something can be learned from a model, the model must be attended to. As was noted, Bandura thought learning is an ongoing process, but he points out that only what is observed can be learned. An observer's selective attention can be influenced by past reinforcements. Models will be attended to more often if they are similar to the observer (i.e., same sex, age, etc.), are respected, have high status, have demonstrated high competence, are thought of as powerful, and are attractive.

MAJOR THEORETICAL CONCEPTS


Retentional processes

Cont.

For information gained from observation to be useful, it must be retained. There are retentional processes in which information is stored symbolically in two ways, internally and Verbally. The imaginally stored symbols are actual stored pictures of the modeled experience, which can be retrieved and acted on long after the observational learning has taken place. Most of the cognitive processes that regulate behavior are primarily conceptual rather than imaginal.

MAJOR THEORETICAL CONCEPTS

Cont.

Behavioral production processes


determine the extent to which what has been learned is translated into performance. Any observed discrepancies between one's own behavior and the memory of the model's behavior trigger corrective action. This process continues until there is an acceptable match between the observer's behavior and the model's behavior.

MAJOR THEORETICAL CONCEPTS


Motivational processes

Cont.

In Bandura's theory, reinforcement has two mayor functions. First, it creates an expectation in observers that if they act like a model who has been seen being reinforced for certain activities, they will be reinforced also. Second, it acts as an incentive for translating learning into performance. As we have seen, what has been learned observationally remains dormant until the observer has a reason to use the information. An observer can learn simply by observing the consequences of the behavior of others, storing that information symbolically, and utilizing it when it is advantageous to do so.

MAJOR THEORETICAL CONCEPTS

Cont.

For Bandura, however, learners gain information by observing either the consequences of their own behavior or of the behavior of others. The information gained by these observations can then be utilized in a variety of situations when a need to use it arises. To summarize, we can say that observational learning involves attention, retention, behavioral abilities, and incentives. Therefore, if observational learning fails to occur, it could be that the observer did not observe the relevant activities of the model, did not retain them, was physically incapable of performing them, or did not have the proper incentive to perform them.

Self-Regulation of Behavior
Bandura (1977, p. 107) believes that the intrinsic reinforcement that comes from self-evaluation is much more influential than the extrinsic reinforcement dispensed by others. Persons with high perceived self-efficacy try more, accomplish more, and persist longer at a task than those with low perceived self-efficacy. The former also tend to experience less fear and less shame than the latter (Covert, Tangney, Maddux, & Heleno, 2003).

Self-Regulation of Behavior

Cont.

One's perceived self-efficacy may or may not correspond to one's real self-efficacy. The situation is best when one's aspirations are in line with one's capabilities. People who continually attempt to do things beyond their capabilities experience frustration and despair and may eventually give up on almost everything. On the other hand, if people with high self-efficacy do not adequately challenge themselves, their personal growth may be inhibited.

FAULTY COGNITIVE PROCESSES


Because one's behavior is at least partially determined by one's cognitive processes, it follows that if these processes do not accurately reflect reality, maladaptive behavior can result.
Bandura gives several reasons for the development of faulty, cognitive processes. First, children may develop false beliefs because they tend to evaluate things on the basis of appearance; Second, errors in thought can occur when information is derived from insufficient evidence. Third, fallacies in thinking can arise from faulty information processing. For example, someone who believes that all farmers lack intelligence would necessarily conclude that any particular farmer lacks intelligence. This deduction is false because the premise (belief) is false.

Bandura on Education
Bandura believes that anything that can be learned by direct experience can also be learned from observation. Bandura also believes that models are most effective if they are seen as having respect, competence, high status, or power. In most cases, teachers can be highly influential models. Through careful planning of what is presented, teachers can do more than leach routine information. They can model skills, problem- solving strategies, moral codes, performance standards, general rules and principles, and creativity.

Bandura on Education

Cont.

Reaching a personal goal is also reinforcing, and teachers should help students formulate goals that are neither too easy nor too difficult to achieve.
According to Bandura, retention is largely determined by one's verbal ability. A teacher must, therefore, take the verbal ability of the students into consideration when planning a modeling experience. The teacher must be aware of motivational processes. At this point, extrinsic reinforcement may be useful. For example, students may be willing to demonstrate what they have learned if they are offered points, stars, grades, or the admiration of the teacher. Extrinsic reinforcement is being used to influence performance rather than learning.

Guiding Questions
1. What conclusions did Thorndike and Watson reach about observational learning, and why did they reach them?
2. Describe Miller and Dollards research on observational learning and their explanation for what they found.

3. Briefly describe attentional, retentional, behavioral production, and motivational processes, and describe their influence on behavioral learning.
4. According to Bandura, why is verbal more important than imagination?

5. How does Bandura answer the question why do people act as they do?
6. According to Bandura, do people influence the environment or the environment influence people? Which component is the most influential determiner of a persons actions?

Guiding Questions
7.

Cont.

Describe several ways in which faulty cognitive processes can develop. Give examples of the kinds of behavior that faulty cognitive processes can generate.
Explain why someone who accepts Banduras theory would be very concerned about the content of childrens TV programs. Why do children imitate some behaviors that they observe and not others?

8. 9.

10. For Bandura, as for the Gestalt theorists and Tolman, intrinsic reinforcement is far more important than extrinsic reinforcement. Do you agree with Bandura that extrinsic reinforcement can actually reduce a student's motivation to learn? 11. In order to imply effectively observational learning in the classroom, according to Bandura, what must the teacher take into consideration?