Saturday, November 23, 2013
Albert Bandura believed that our personalities were a result of observational learning. Do you agree or disagree with Bandura’s belief that much of what individuals learn is acquired through observing others? Why or why not?
Albert Bandura, Canadian psychologist proposed the social cognitive theory, which has become one of the most influential theories of learning and development. Bandura emphasized vicarious learning, which is learning through the observations of other individuals. Bandura also stressed the concept that reinforcement can be vicarious; therefore individuals can be reinforced by observing another individual who receives a reward (Feist & Feist, 2009). I do agree with Bandura’s belief that much of what individuals learn is acquired through observing others. This type of observational learning is used for explaining a variety of behaviors. As a father of three children I have seen first hand that children learn through watching their parents, caregivers, and even other individuals, such as classmates. Children can learn simple behaviors through observational learning, such as imitating facial expressions, and mouth movements. Children can also learn complex behaviors, such as playing sports. If a group of children are playing a game, such as baseball and a child who has never played the game before and is unsure of what to do can observe this group of children, and quickly learn the basics of the game and join in on playing the game. Much of what adults learn is through observing other individuals as a child.