Describe the background of social learning theory according to abnormal psychology?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Albert Bandura's Social Learning Theory explains that we acquire tendencies in behavior through the observation and imitation of the behaviors of others, like the previous editor wrote. In terms of its correlation to Abnormal Psychology, theorists argue that two factors influence how we use what we learn from others: Nature and Nurture.

What this means is that some of us, no matter who our peers are (whether good or bad people) will behave in a way that is genetically inherited and with tendencies that are genetically acquired regardless of social learning. - That is the theory in favor of Nature.

Nurture would be the pure social learning we receive from meeting our basic social, physical, and emotional needs. Through good nurturing the psychological development of the individual is argued to not be corrupted. Yet, that is also theoretical.

So, in conclusion, social learning is always a constant in an individual's development as we are in consistent exposure to others and our social support systems- however- it may very well be ultimately nature which will shape how the social learning is used, and vice versa. Nature and nurture, behavior and psychology are interconnected.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Social Learning Theory states that people learn through observing the behaviors of others. In doing so, they learn about reinforcement, punishment, and consequences. A behavior that can used as an example is aggression. Children may learn from aggressive parents that this is an acceptable behavior and later model that behavior.

Another example that can be used is morals. Children learn morals from the adults that surround them. If these morals are not set into place then it can lead to a socially dysfunctional adult.

Television and video games is other aspect that can be explored. Television and video games can teach children violent behavior. They may then later model this behavior without truly knowing the consequences for this behavior.