what is social learning theory
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.
He explains in his 1977 book Social Learning Theory, ” most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions, this coded information serves as a guide for action.”
Albert Bandura’s social learning theory suggests that observation and modeling play a primary role in how and why people learn. Bandura’s theory goes beyond the perception of learning being the result of direct experience with the environment. Learning, according to Bandura, can occur simply by observing others’ behavior.