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Bandura’s theory

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Bandura’s theory, called Social Learning, supports Skinner’s theory of Operant Conditioning; however, Bandura adds 2 important ideas to it. This shows that behaviour can be learnt through the observation of others demonstrating the behaviour. The two ideas that Bandura included are Mediational process and Observational learning.

Observational learning – Children pay attention to the behaviour of others around them. When they witness the responses the other child receives, this will allow them to make the decision to imitate the behaviour or not, depending on the response being positive or negative.

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Mediational Process – This process is split into 4 sections: Attention, Retention, Reproduction and Motivation. This shows that the observed action has to first grab and hold the attention of those witnessing it, then the ability to remember the action so that it can be imitated at a later date, the third step is the ability to perform the action and lastly is the motivation for the observer to want to perform the action. This depends on the action receiving a positive or negative response.

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