Social Learning Theory

Social learning theory proponents believe that much of our learning occurs through watching, often in social situations, what happens to other people.
Observational learning. Observational learning, sometimes called modeling or in some instances vicarious learning, is a type of social learning. In Albert Bandura's famous experiment, one group of nursery school children observed an adult punch a Bobo clown doll, and one group did not. Later, those children who had observed the punching behavior were more likely to punch the Bobo doll (model the adult's punching behavior) when they were frustrated than were those who had not observed it. Observational learning occurs also through exposure to events and people in the media. One may decide, for example, to copy the clothes or behaviors of television personalities. This tendency is one reason that many object to excessive violence in television programs both for children and for adults.