

If one assumes that cognitive processes follow
universal laws then all humans all over the
world, regardless of environment and culture,
would perform the same cognitive tasks with
the same results. Is this the case?
Human cognition is socially and culturally
dependent – i.e. Cognitive abilities are
influenced by the social and cultural context in
which people live. What does this mean?
Explain this concept.


If one assumes that cognitive processes follow
universal laws then all humans all over the
world, regardless of environment and culture,
would perform the same cognitive tasks with
the same results.
Human cognition is socially and culturally
dependent – ie. Cognitive abilities are
influenced by the social and cultural context in
which people live.


Although the processes – memory,perception,
language etc may be universal (etic concepts
of memory) how they function in the context of
social and cultural situations may differ (emic
concepts of memory).
For example, the concept of memory may be
universal, but specific cultures may have
specific ways of categorizing information (i.e.
cultural schemas). You can refer to Bartlett’s
“War of the ghosts” to support this statement.


Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) describes learning
in terms of the interrelationship between
behavior, environmental factors, and cognitive
factors.
It also provides the theoretical framework for
interactive learning used to develop both
Constructivism and Cooperative Learning. It is
the foundation of social learning theory.


According to SCT, the learner acquires
knowledge as his or her environment converges
with personal characteristics and personal
mental schemas.
New experiences are evaluated in comparison
to the past; prior experiences help to
subsequently guide and inform the learner as to
how the present should be investigated. (these
mental representations guide behavior, as
previously stated).
What is social learning? What is one example
of something you have socially learned.
Social learning refers to the acquisition of
mental representations that happens
exclusively or primarily by interactions in a
social group.
Social learning theory focuses on the learning
that occurs within a social context. It considers
that people learn from one another, including
such concepts as observational learning,
imitation, and modeling. Among others Albert
Bandura is considered the leading proponent
of this theory.




There are three core concepts at the heart of
social learning theory.
First is the idea that people can learn through
observation.
Next is the idea that internal mental states are an
essential part of this process. Meaning that the
ability to form memories from what you observe
are key to learning.
Finally, this theory recognizes that just because
something has been learned, it does not mean
that it will result in a change in behavior.


Higher animals, especially
humans, learn through
observing and imitating
others.
Example: The monkey on the
right imitates the monkey on
the left in touching the
pictures in a certain order to
obtain a reward. Hence the
phrase monkey see monkey
do.
10
As previously discussed, mirror neurons in the
brains of animals and humans are active during
observational learning.
Thus, we can create a schema of how to behave
in social situations simply by observing a
behavior
11


Learning by observation begins
early in life. This 14-month-old
child imitates the adult on TV in
pulling a toy apart.
This would suggest that we can
create memory models of how
to act, respond, and adapt to our
environment simply by seeing
something occur. How can this
positively and negatively influence
our behavior from a cognitive
perspective?
12


Albert Bandura’s research in the
1970’s laid the foundation for social
learning.
In his famous "Bobo doll" studies,
Bandura demonstrated that children
learn and imitate behaviors they
have observed in other people.
Summary of Experiment
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=\4586465813762682933#
http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Bandura/bobo.htm
13


The children in Bandura’s studies
observed an adult acting violently
toward a Bobo doll.
When the children were later
allowed to play in a room with the
Bobo doll, they began to imitate the
aggressive actions they had
previously observed. (This can be
used for the ethical considerations
question).
14
Bandura identified three basic models of
observational learning:
 A live model, which involves an actual
individual demonstrating or acting out a
behavior. (Seeing someone perform the
behavior)
What are ecological examples of learning from
a live model?
15
Bandura identified three basic models of
observational learning:
 A verbal instructional model, which involves
descriptions and explanations of a behavior.
This is the foundation of education. Thus,
students learn from teacher descriptions and
explanation. This is also true with sports
What are ecological examples of learning from
a verbal instructional model?
16
Bandura identified three basic models of
observational learning:
 A symbolic model, which involves real or
fictional characters displaying behaviors in
books, films, television programs, or online
media.
 Thus, you can learn how to behave in a social
situation simply from watching it on a
television, or in a movie. What are ecological
examples of learning from a verbal
instructional model?
17



Bandura noted that external, environmental
reinforcement was not the only factor to
influence learning and behavior.
He described intrinsic reinforcement as a form
of internal reward, such as pride, satisfaction,
and a sense of accomplishment.
Thus, we can create mental representations
for things that we find rewarding and
gravitate towards these behaviors.
18


While behaviorists believed that learning led
to a permanent change in behavior,
observational learning demonstrates that
people can learn new information without
demonstrating new behaviors.
In other words, you can learn something
socially without personally showing the
behavior.
19


Unfortunately, Bandura’s
studies show that antisocial
models (family,
neighborhood or TV) may
have antisocial effects.
In other words, his model
suggests that we can
socially emulate positive
and negative behaviors.
20



Researchers argue that social experiences (whether
through live models, verbal models or symbolic models)
can cause people to form a negative (or positive)
social schema.
These schemas, also called working models and
knowledge structures, consist of organized elements of
past behaviors and experiences that form a relatively
cohesive and persistent body of knowledge which
guides one’s subsequent perception and appraisal of
the world (Segal, 1988).
How can our experiences (or encoding/retrieval of
memories) cause us to have negative mental
representations or models?
21



In the area of aggressive behavior, several
studies have identified cognitive structures
consisting of normative appropriateness of
aggressive behavior as an important risk
factor for aggression (Huesmann, 1988;
Huesmann & Guerra, 1997).
This research supports the notion that many
children can model aggression seen in the
home and form a social schema of how to
behave and interact with peers.
Further research on social schemas of aggression:
http://www.ucm.es/info/psi/docs/journal/v13_n1_2010/art190.pdf
22



In addition to influencing other psychologists,
Bandura's social learning theory has had
other important implication in the field of
education.
Today, both teachers and parents recognize
the importance of modeling appropriate
behaviors: as well as creating positive social
schemas that guide behavior.
Many children have been shown to learn
social schemas from teacher and parent
models.
23

SOCIAL LEARNING AND DEVIANT BEHAVIOR: A
SPECIFIC TEST OF A GENERAL THEORY (RONALDL.
AKERS,M ARVIND . KROHNL, ONNL ANZA-KADUCE)
http://www.colorado.edu/ibs/pb/thornberry/socy7004/pdfs/Social%20Le
arning%20and%20Deviant%20Behavior.pdf

Cultural Influences in Decision Making: David F. Noble,
Ph.D., Jonathan K. Sander, Catherine M. Obenshain
http://www.dodccrp.org/events/5th_ICCRTS/papers/Track5/085.pdf

Cultural Influences on Memory: Angela H. Gutchess
and Allie Indeck
http://www.brandeis.edu/gutchess/publications/Gutchess_Indeck.pdf
24