Bandura's Social Learning Theory

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Social Learning Theory Bandura’s social learning theory (1977) is one of the systematic and comprehensive theory for understanding adolescent drug use behaviours. It has a great influence on theoretical development in the field of inquiry and perhaps the most influential of all the learning theories that have continued to dominate research during the past and present years. Bandura’s theoretical foundation suggests the role of cognition in social learning, noting that, children learn a great deal of behaviours through observing, imitating and modelling. According to Bandura (1977), human behaviours are learned through observation, but the magnitude of learning is influenced by the vicarious level of consequences, such as model, imitation, self-reflection, performance and moral conduct. Boeree (2006) and Cobb (2007) posit that through observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviours are performed and later this coded information serves as a guide for action. The premise of Bandura’s learning theory are observational learning and modelling which constitutes four element processes including: attention whereby the learner pay attention to the modelled behaviour; retention whereby the learner or observer must be able to retain part or all of what was done; motivation/reinforcement whereby the observer must have the motivation or desire to carry the action modelled behaviour; and motor reproduction whereby the observer must have motor skills and hence be able to reproduce
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