Last Updated 16 Feb 2021

Learning in the Social environment

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The first social environment is our home, where our family dwells. This kind of environment forms our initial learning, behaviors and our characteristics which give us ideas of who we are and how we are going to act and respond on future circumstances. What we usually see in our everyday living contribute much to our totality as human beings. According to Dr. Bilal Iqbal Avan on his researched that “during the first three years of life, development of neuronal connections within the brains is condition by the child’s perception of environmental stimuli conveyed by all modalities of sensation.

This process affects learning ability, behavior and health in childhood, adolescence and maturity.” (See B. I. Avan, “The Social Environment during Early Childhood Development in Sindh”. Department of community health Science: School of nursing, the Aga Khan University).

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Social Environment Affects Learning

In a study entitled “Observational Learning” stated that “observational learning happens when an observer’s behavior changes after viewing the behavior of a model. An observer’s behavior can be affected by the positive or negative consequence, which is called vicarious reinforcement or vicarious punishment, of a model’s behavior. It stated that the observer will imitate the model’s behavior if the model possesses characteristics that the observer finds attractive or desirable. The observer will react to the way the model is treated and mimic model’s behavior. A distinction exists between an observer’s “acquiring” a behavior and “performing” a behavior. Through observation, the observer can acquire the behavior without performing it” (See “Observational Learning”. Funderstanding).

Erin C. Barrett, November 23, 2003, stated that according to Armrod that “learning is a means through which we acquire not only skills and knowledge but values, attitudes, and emotional reactions… Barrett continued that the “behavioral learning theory focuses on the learning of tangible, observable behaviors or responses. Through a continual process of stimulating a desired response and reinforcing that desired response, the learner eventually changes their behavior to match the desired response. She continued that “learning happens in the most basic way and it is something that we can see. As long as the desired behavior is happening, then learning has occurred” (See E. C. Barrett, November 23, 2003. “The Study of Learning: A Thought paper”. Principles of instruction and learning).

Effects of Modeling on Behavior

According from the notes on Ormond’s Human learning, it discussed that “modeling teaches new behaviors. It influences the frequency of previously learned behaviors. It may also encourage previously forbidden behaviors. In short, modeling increases the frequency of similar behaviors (See J. E. Ormrod (1999). “Social Learning Theory” (3rd Ed). Notes on Ormond’s human learning).

Opinion and Recommendation

We have learned that children are just like a “tabula rasa” or a clean slate which means that their learning is up to the things they have seen around them. They are great imitators and really followed what are the older people doing. As adults, we should be careful with our actions especially if we are surrounded with children. We must be responsible enough with our actions and responses in every circumstance that we face because it will bring great effect and impact to the young ones’ lives. We are shaping their characters and behaviors through the actions they have seen in us.


  1. Avan, B. I. “The Social Environment during Early Childhood Development in Sindh”.
  2. Ormrod, J. E. (1999). “Social Learning Theory” (3rd Ed). Notes on Ormond’s human
  3. E. C. Barrett, November 23, 2003. “The Study of Learning: A Thought paper”. Principles

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