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Social Learning Theory

Social learning theory is used to explain how people learn to perform various behaviors by observing and imitating the behaviors of others (also called observational learning, learning by imitation, or vicarious learning). Social learning theory has been used to explain the acquisition of a wide variety of social behaviors, such as aggression, attitudes, and gender role behaviors. It can also explain certain abnormal tendencies, such as maladaptive fears or violent behaviors. One of the original theorists in this area, Albert Bandura, proposed that people are not only simply imitating the behaviors of others but also making their own cognitive interpretations regarding these behaviors. For instance, when a child watches one person hit another person in anger, the child not only learns how to imitate ...

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