Evaluate Social Cognitive Theory

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Evaluate Social Cognitive Theory
The Social Cognitive Theory, or the Social Learning Theory was first founded by Albert Bandura and his partners in the early 1960s.The theory explains the way we learn from others, through attention, retention and motivation. The theory suggests that we take an interest and liking to the model, identify with the model and then show consistent similar behaviours as our models. Typically, our parents, teachers or friends serve as our models.

Bandura et al did an experiment demonstrating the Social Cognitive Theory. The aim of the study was to show that learning can take place by observing a model and that imitation can follow after by the learner’s self. Through this study, we find out whether or not children
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Other studies supporting the theory have shown that children are more likely to be aggressive to other children after viewing an aggressive model’s behaviour, such as Williams et al. Bandura’s study lacks mundane realism; the models perform overly artificial acts of aggression. The participant children could’ve thought that the experimenters meant for then to show aggressive behaviour, invoking demand characteristics The theory does not include innate factors in behaviour like aggression. This research studied types of models and behaviours that are most likely to be imitated by children. The procedure throughout the experiment was not standardised; the model's behaviour was later shown on video instead of in real life. Aggression was taught to children, therefore making this experiment unethical. Additionally, the model’s acts of aggression may have frightened the children, again making the study unethical.

Another study that portrays the effects of Social Cognitive Theory is a study done by Charlton et al. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of television on children’s behaviour to show that learning can take place by observing and imitating a model. Through this study, we find out whether or not children who are shown aggressive models would imitate significantly more aggressive behaviour than those shown non-aggressive or no models, whether or not males
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Prior to the introduction of television, the island had a very low rate of behavioural problems with children. After the introduction of television, the rate of behavioural problems did not significantly increase. Due to the immensely small population of St Helena, everyone on the island knew each other, therefore making parents keep a high level of control over their children’s behaviour, which reduces the effects of television. Television did not have the impact it could have had in a less isolated environment. Charlton et al’s study shows that television does not have a significant impact on children’s behaviour. Even if violence was observed, it wasn’t imitated because of the high levels of community control and surveillance and the children’s parents’ control over their

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