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Social Learning

Definition

Social learning refers to the learning that occurs in social contexts. More precisely, it refers to adaptive behavior change (learning) stemming from observing other people (or other animals), rather than learning from one's own direct experience. People acquire and change social behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions from observing and imitating the actions demonstrated by models such as parents or peers. This learning occurs from merely observing the actions of others and from observing the consequences of their actions. For example, if you see someone else touch a hot plate and then pull his or her hand away in pain, you do not have to imitate or repeat the action yourself: You will avoid touching the hot plate as if you yourself had been burned ...

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