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Degree: Applied Psychology (clinical) (Bachelors) - Exeter University
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The social learning theory is a concept that tries to explain human aggressive through direct observation and imitation for example if a child saw their parent act aggressively towards another person they would be more likely to imitate that behaviour themselves. Bandura conducted a series of studies in relation to this theory using a bobo doll. For example in 1961 Bandura et al conducted a study involving male and female ageing from 3-5 and split them into two groups. One group were shown a video of a model acting aggressively towards a bobo doll e.g hitting it on the head, the other group were shown a video where the model was not aggressive. The children were then put in a room with a bobo doll, those in the group who saw the aggressive model imitated the aggressive behaviour they saw, whereas those who saw the non-aggressive model were not violent at all.
Later Bandura wanted to see why children would imitate models. In 1963 Bandura and Walters conducted another study with 3 conditions with young children. All watched a video of a model acting aggressively towards a Bobo doll, however one group saw the model be rewarded for their behaviour, another saw them punished and the third saw no consequence. When placed in a room with the doll after those who saw the model be rewarded acted the most aggressively towards the doll, those who saw the model punished acted the least aggressive and those who had no consequence were somewhere in between. Bandura called this vicarious reinforcement, which states when we are rewarded for our behaviour we are more likely to repeat it.
Bandura also stated that children need 4 things in order to learn and repeat aggressive behaviour. ATTENTION- they must lay attention to the aggressive beanviour, RETENTION- they must remember what they have seen so they can then repeat it later, REPRODUCTION- they must be physically able to reproduce it and MOTIVATION- they must be motivated to do that behaviour e.g. Expect an reward.see more
Schema-a schema is a mental representation of an aspect of the world. Stereotype is a word often used instead of schema. For example if I asked you to write down all the words you would associate with an athletic person the words you write are your schemas. Unlike a stereotype though a schema also involves expectations.
The gender schema theory was created by Martin. and Halverton. They state that children learn schemas related to gender through the media, parents and other children. Once the child has the schema it organises information that is presented to them e.g. They learn the appropriate toys to play with based on gender.
Martin and Halverton also talked about ingroups and outgroups in their theory. An ingroup refers to a group which someone identifies with, so for example if you're a girl you'll identify with the ingroup of girls. Whereas an outgroup is a group that for some reason isn't accepted e.g. If you re a girl the out group would be boys. Once the child has identified with their ingroup they then begin to negatively evaluate the outgroup and positively evaluate the ingroup. So this leads to the child wanting to be more like their ingroup and less like their outgroup, so a young girl would want to wear pink and play with dolls to be more like the girl ingroup and play less sport to not be like the outgroup of boys.
An important aspect of this theory is resilience of gender beliefs which can explain why children's gender beliefs are so strong. Children ignore information that doesn't fit their gender schemas, for example of they saw a video of a man being a nurse they would ignore that information so their schema doesn't change.see more