• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Via 100 entries, 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook highlights the most important topics, issues, questions, and debates any student obtaining a degree in the field of psychology ought to have mastered for effectiveness in the 21st century. This two-volume reference resource, available both in print and online, provides an authoritative source to serve students’ research needs with more detailed information than encyclopedia entries but without the jargon, detail, or density found in a typical journal article or a research handbook chapter. Students will find chapters contained within these volumes useful as aids toward starting research for papers, presentations, or a senior thesis, assisting in deciding on areas for elective coursework or directions for graduate studies, or orienting themselves toward potential career directions in psychology.

Social Learning
Social learning

Within the discipline of psychology, there are several explanations for the process by which humans and other organisms learn. Social learning, or observational learning, is the type of learning that occurs when we acquire new behaviors, or increase the performance of previously learned behaviors, by observing others. At first glance, the topic of social learning may appear so simplistic and logical that it does not require further exploration. After all, who would disagree that we learn many behaviors and skills by observing another person perform them? As we will discover, however, the process of social learning is complex and influenced by a number of factors.

The goal of this chapter is to build a basic understanding of social learning theory. In order to ...

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