Strengths And Weaknesses Of Social Learning Theory Research

Unit 2 – Approaches to learning theories
Learning is the demonstration of knowledge of an action, which they did not know before” (Honey and Mumford. 1996)
Understanding teaching and coaching it is important to have knowledge regarding the different approaches in learning styles and how they can be applied in a sporting scenario, which enables coaches and athletes to maximize their potential. The definition of learning can be contextualized by two paradigms, which are humanism and behaviorism


This paradigm can be explained as “personal learning is an act to fulfill an individual’s potential” (Maslow. 1962) Humanism is an act of self-development and self-discovery, Huitt (2001) states that people act intentionally with values, meaning
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The view of Saul McLeod (2007) narrows down to two main factors; artificial testing and bias results focuses solely on behaviour.
When testing, behaviorists believe that all behaviour is controlled and a reflection to prior learning (Skinner. 1936). Therefore, psychologists from the other learning theories believe that testing can be easily controlled, consequently creating a false environment being invalid and unreliable. Another weakness also highlighted in Bandura’s ‘Social Learning Theory’ is that behaviorists focus on the direct behaviour and take no other factors into consideration. (McLeod. 2007)

The final limitation is the lack of individuality provided for the tested subjects, focusing on the subject of ‘free-will’. Watson (1913) believes that all behaviour is determined and there is no such thing as free will. The belief is that testing is completed very scientifically based and produces the results that are required to study behaviour, evidence for this would be the published tests including the various animals. This subsequently agrees with those behaviorists that humans and animals are the same when placed in a conditioned situation.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Humanistic
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Such as the study of Pavlov’s dog (1902) and ‘Little Albert’ (1920). This methodology is repeatedly used as humanists believe that it brings a true representation of a subject.

The main weakness that is highlighted by review articles (McLeod. 2007) is focused around the testing of humanism is learning and the methodology. The holistic approach to studying the whole person is seen as a weakness to other psychologists as it is not scientific (Skinner and Hull). Humanistic testing goes against the laws of science, argued by Skinner (1971), the idea of free will is not recognised as a scientific method.
Another highlighted weakness is the data collection and results are very difficult to contrast and compare (McLeod.2007) therefore this denies humanists to provide evidence and back up their work with other published journals.

Contrast of

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