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Social Learning

Social learning is learning through the experiences or observations of others. Behaviors are influenced by environmental antecedents and consequences, which either increase or decrease the chance of the behaviors occurring again. Through social environments, which may include peers and teachers in school, family, coworkers, and supervisors, humans are able to learn various behaviors and in turn shape their own beliefs, morals, and ideas about the world. Influenced by B. F. Skinner’s theory of behaviorism, Albert Bandura coined the term social learning theory, which was utilized by many researchers such as Richard Walters, Robert Sears, and others, to study how humans learn through their social environment. This entry covers social learning theory, its components, and briefly reviews how the theory has been utilized in research.

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