Bandura's Social Learning Theory

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As discussed in Erikson’s stage of development, a stage is complete once the individual has achieved their crisis or in this case once the adolescent has achieved a healthy identity. As it relates to adolescents in foster care, youth have impaired self-identity due to outside forces, thus allowing the youth to have no control over their own environment. Such forces like social media make it hard for others to view these particular individuals in a positive light. Previous stigmas created by biases and assumptions do not allow the adolescents in foster care to have their own identity therefore, making it difficult to adapt in their social environment. An inability to form a healthy identity or sense of self-worth can lead to the maladaptation …show more content…
Bandura believed that individuals learn through observation also known as observational learning. “Observational learning occurs when people observe the models and learn new behavior as a result of those observations. In essence observational learning is an indirect kind of learning (Ashford and LeCroy, 2010 p.101)”. In support of the social learning theory, Bandura and his colleagues developed an experiment utilizing children. During this experiment Bandura and his team divided children into two groups. In one group children viewed a movie which included a great deal of violence and aggressive behavior and in the other group the movie displayed mild content. At the end of the movie, the children were left to play freely with one another. Throughout the children’s free play, the researchers observed children who watched the aggressive movie displaying far more aggressive behavior than those who watched the movie with the mild content. As a result this theory became a classic demonstration of social media having a negative influence on a children’s behavior. An article written by Susan M. Kools concluded Bandura’s notion that behavior is learned through observation. The article stated that adolescents in foster care “may adopt a self-definition and behavioral expectations described by others. ‘I am who others think I am and I will behave accordingly’ (1997, p.267)”. …show more content…
One theory examines human development in stages connected to various tasks during birth to death, while another views the individual as having an effect on their own social environment by imitation and observation. While the two theories have differences, both believe that it is the individual or the maturation of their stage of development which contributes to the individual’s mastery of their social environment. Adolescents especially those who are in foster care combat a number of stigmas and biases because of their situation, all of which impedes on their development. Each theorist partnered with the various articles contributes to the findings of how an individual is affected by their social environment either during the stages of human development or through learned behavior. Furthermore, it is through learned behaviors or observations described in the social learning theory, which help one to function in their social environment during the stages of human development, as mentioned in the psychosocial

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