Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Social cognitive theory

In his famous "Bobo doll" studies, Bandura proved that children learn and imitate actions they have observed in other people. The children in Bandura’s studies witnessed an adult acting aggressively toward a Bobo doll. When the children were later allowed to play in a room with the Bobo doll, they began to imitate the aggressive actions they had previously observed. This observational learning can then manifest itself later on in life as the children become adults. For example, if an adult is smoking and drinking around his children then those same effects will be seen as the child progresses. Constant bad habits’ and unfavorable actions will pose a risk to any child once that action has been done. Another example is when a young child learns the f word or any negative comment they randomly picked up as they played with their toys. Thus, observational learning occurs when a person watches other people’s behaviors and the reinforcements associated with those behaviors .Another example is when a teacher reinforces her strategy for solving a problem .As the student learns how to solve that problem in the future that student will use that same strategy to solve problems. As a result we need to control our actions around our children because they will mimic us down the road as they grow up.It is also important for our children too have good role models because they in turn lead by example.

Which of the theories seemed most appealing to you? Why?

Which theories seemed too complex or confusing? Why?


  1. Ernie I really enjoyed your explanation. You put it in such simple terms anyone could understand. Alot of adults don't realize that young children will imitate most anything they see so we have to be responsible adults around young children. I was confused with the whole concept of social cognitive theory but your explanation cleared up my doubts! Thanks!

  2. I agree, that there is some nature vs. nurture that would also work with your explanation. I agree that we need to watch what is said to and in front of children, but that does not always define who a person is or how they will turn out. There is definite baggage they will carry around with them, but it will not mean that they will grow up to be aggressive, or curse like a sailor. Not to say the child couldn't go either way, but are there genes as well as the environment that define who we are and will become?