how does social learning theory explain behaviour

how does social learning theory explain behaviour

Social learning theory states that norms, attitudes, expectations, and beliefs arise from an interaction with the cultural or social environment around an individual.
Albert Bandura, the leading theorist in social learning theory, proposed that people learn from their observations of individuals or models. Bandura believed that behavioral theories presuming that environment determines one’s behavior were too simplistic in nature. In response he presented the idea of reciprocal determinism, meaning the environment and one’s behavior cause each other. As the theory developed the term prosocial behavior was coined. Prosocial behavior has been defined by theorists as “helping behavior that benefits others” [ 3 ]. The premise behind social learning theory, unlike operant or classical conditioning, is that the behavior does not have to be performed or reinforced.

Publication date: 1 March 1986
Social learning theory specifically acknowledges that most human behaviour is learned observationally through modelling. The focus of this approach has been teaching leadership across formal and informal settings. This and the behavioural focus is what distinguishes social learning theory from others as a leadership theory. However it will not become a leadership theory unless the behaviours to be imparted to future leaders are outlined. This has not been done in the social learning context. However, because of its growing importance as a theoretical foundation for the fields of psychology and organisational behaviour as a whole, a social learning approach to leadership would seem to have potential for the future.



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