Social Learning: Knowledge Acquisition in a Social Context

Last Updated: 13 Oct 2022
Essay type: Problem Solution
Pages: 6 Views: 577

Social learning theory posits that knowledge acquisition is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can occur purely through observation or direct instruction, even in the absence of motor reproduction or direct reinforcement. In addition to the observation of behaviour, learning also occurs through the observation of rewards and punishments, a process known as of vicarious reinforcement.

Role Model Theory

Social learning theory states that people learn from the people that they look up to; this has a huge effect on children of young age and because of their age and knowledge they don’t fully know what’s wrong and what’s right, so that’s why most children look up to celebs on T. V and they want to achieve what they have achieved, sometimes a child’s biggest role models are their parents and they will imitate their behaviour for example if the father of a child is abusive and rough with them than the child might grow up thinking that was normal and imitate the behaviours when they are older.

Order custom essay Social Learning: Knowledge Acquisition in a Social Context with free plagiarism report

feat icon 450+ experts on 30 subjects feat icon Starting from 3 hours delivery
Get Essay Help

Social learning theory was first introduced in 1977 by Albert Bandura and he stated that behaviour is learned from the environment around us and through the process of observational learning, for example a child’s environment and upraising is very important in influencing the child’s behaviour in later life, if the child’s environment is a rough area and are brought up by rough parents then the child is more likely to copy the actions and the behaviour of the parents when they grow up.

This is clearly illustrated in the Bobo Doll experiment in 1961 by Bandura. Bobo Doll Experiment In 1961 Albert Bandura selected 36 boys and 36 girls from ages between 3 to 6 years old, bandura also chose 2 adults a male and a female; he wanted the adults act aggressively towards the Bobo doll while 24 of the children watched, he wanted the adults act as role models for the children so he can analyse what effects that has on the children, the adults were told to throw the doll about and attack it with various weapons like toy guns, hammers and sticks.

While 24 of the group of children watched the 2 adults hitting the doll, the other group of 24 children were watching a non-aggressive adults and the final 24 child were used as a control group and not exposed to any model at all. After the children experienced the adult’s (whether they were aggressive, non-aggressive or no adult) they were taken in the room with toys and they were also told not to play or touch the toys, as the children got angry and frustrated over the rule of not playing with the toys they were taken to another room where there was a Bobo doll and aggressive and non-aggressive toys that they were allowed to play with, the experimenters recorded the children behaviour.

Bandura found out that the children who were exposed to the aggressive model were more likely to act in aggressive ways than those who were not exposed to the aggressive model, those children who were exposed to the aggressive model started hitting the doll with a toy gun and a hammer and also started to punch, kick and throwing it while shouting at the doll. But the children that were exposed to non-aggressive models did not react aggressively towards the Bobo doll instead they just played with the toys and the Bobo doll. Self-full filling prophecy

Self-fulfilling prophecy a positive or negative expectation about people that may affect a person’s behaviour towards another in a manner that causes those expectations to be made true. e. g. “treat others how you would like to be treated “This happens because our beliefs influence our actions. A child might have low self-esteem so he/she will not try out for any sports teams because their belief is that they are not confident and good enough so he/she will make that belief and prediction happen because they have no self-esteem and confidence.

Anti-discrimination behaviour Anti-discrimination behaviour is action taken to prevent discrimination against people on the grounds of race, class, gender, disability etc. Anti-discriminatory practice promotes equality by introducing anti-discrimination policies in the workplace, this is a good way to preventing discrimination in the workplace because it makes the employees aware of the rules and the horrible effects that discrimination could have on people including self harm and suicide.

Another really good way of preventing discrimination on a wide scale is to get popular celebrities to promote a campaigned against discrimination on T. V so it can be seen by millions. Because the campaign is promoted by a popular celebrity it will have lots of followers and supporters, this is because the celebrity acts as a role model and will influence their fans to prevent discrimination from happening.

As well as celebrities preventing discrimination and promoting anti- discrimination, other people who aren’t celebrities can also promote anti-discrimination but it will take longer than celebrities because not everyone is well known and have that many supporters or fans to follow them, this can be done by a person encouraging family and friends together and telling them to let others know about anti-discrimination and after a while more and more people will be promoting the campaign.

With lots of supporters. An example of a celebrity promoting anti-discrimination is David Beckham and he promotes the “SAY NO TO RACISIM” campaign through videos, conventions and also by telling supporters to spread the word, because is well known and liked around the world he has a huge number of followers on twitter which he also uses to promote his campaign. Groups and effects of others (Asch experiment)

Solomon Asch conducted a series of experiments in which he studied the willingness of an individual to fit in a group while answering a question, even when those answers were obviously wrong. In the experiment, subjects who were unaware of the actual experiment were told that they were participating in a vision test. In reality though, each subject was placed in a group of people for the experiments. The people in the group were fully aware of the true purpose of the study.

The aim of the experiment was to investigate the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform. They seated the group in a classroom and they were asked a variety of questions about an image on which was placed in front of them which contained straight line labelled A, B and C and they were asked how long line A was, which line was longer than the other, which lines were the same length, etc.

The group was told to answer each question out loud in front of the rest of the group, with the accomplices of the experiment always answering before the subjects and always giving the same answers as the others. They answered a few of the questions correctly, but then started answering incorrectly on purpose. The results of this experiment were that nearly 75 percent of the participants in the conformity experiments went along with the rest of the group at least one time even though the answer was obviously wrong.

The results showed that people feel pressured go along with the majority of people because they feel pressured to fit in with the group and not stand alone against them. Health and Social Care An example of a positive role model for children to look up to and be inspired by is a doctor because they are respected by society and also they help people in need as they save the life’s of hundreds, this makes children look up to them because they see them as hard working, intelligent and respected professionals who make sick people better.

Another reason a doctor is a good role model is that their professional achievement is an indication that they have finished education and worked hard to get to where they are, so that influences children to do work hard to and do well in school to get to where they want to be. They are also positive role model because they promote a healthy living and the majority of them promote anti-discrimination and these influence kids to be health and not to judge people because of their skin or background.

Cite this Page

Social Learning: Knowledge Acquisition in a Social Context. (2016, Sep 04). Retrieved from

Don't let plagiarism ruin your grade

Run a free check or have your essay done for you

plagiarism ruin image

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer