Social Cognitive Theory: How We Learn From the Behavior of Others
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It is a learning theory developed by Stanford psychologist Albert Bandura in the 60s/70s and provides an understanding of how people get influenced and in turn influence their environment.
It delves into self-learning through observation and modelling, of desirable or undesirable behaviours, and then acting them out on their own.
Behaviourist B.F. Skinner had theorized that learning can only be achieved by individual action.
Social Cognitive Theory, however, states that an individual can learn by observing and imitating models, grasping and reproducing the learning much faster.
Models become a source of inspiration, motivation and are enablers of self-learning. Successful outcomes increase the observer’s self-efficacy and impacts one’s personal growth and change. This positive self-belief can make all the difference in the course of life of the individual.
Example: TV sitcoms in India promoted gender equality and raised women’s status through gripping stories, and made the masses understand the message to emulate.
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