Chapter 8

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McGill University
Ed Psych & Couns (Psychology)
EDPE 300
Camelia Birlean

8: SOCIAL COGNITIVE VIEWS OF LEARNING Basic Assumptions of Social Cognitive Theory  social cognitive theory has roots in behaviourism  increasingly incorporates cognitive processes into explanations of learning  addresses motivation more than cognitive/behaviourist theories  people can learn by observing others o don’t always use trial and error, observe others instead  learning is an internal process that may or may not result in behaviour change  behaviour is directed toward particular goals o change behaviours in order to attain goals  behaviour eventually becomes self-regulated o people set own standards for acceptable & unacceptable behaviour  reinforcement and punishment have several indirect effects on learning and behaviour o people form expectations about likely consequences of future responses based on how current responses are reinforced/punished o expectations also influenced by observations of consequences that follow other peoples behaviours (vicarious experiences) o expectations affect how people cognitively process new information o expectations affect how people choose to behave o nonoccurrence of expected consequence may have reinforcing or punishing effect in & of itself The Social Cognitive View of Reinforcement and Punishment  expectations o when particular response reinforced every time, expect to be reinforced for behaving that way in the future o when response leads to punishment, expect response to be punished in future o reinforcement increases frequency of behaviour only when students think/know behaviour being reinforced  response-reinforcement contingency  vicarious experiences o vicarious reinforcement: phenomenon whereby response increases in frequency when another (observed) person is reinforced for that response o vicarious punishment: phenomenon whereby response decreases in frequency when another (observed) person is punished for that response  cognitive processing o more likely to pay attention/mentally process information when we believe we’ll be reinforced o less likely to pay attention/mentally process info when we don’t believe we’ll be reinforced  choices of behaviour o incentive: a hoped-for but not certain consequence of behaviour o incentives only effected if obtainable & students perceive it as obtainable  nonoccurrence of expected consequences o nonoccurrence of expected reinforcement = form of punishment o when think response will be reinforced but isn’t, less likely to act that way in the future o nonoccurrence of expected punishment = form of reinforcement o when think response will be punished but isn’t, more likely to act that way in the future Modelling  more likely to follow advice if showed techniques  when children see aggressive models, more likely to be aggressive themselves  when children observe adults demonstrating prosocial behaviours, more likely to demonstrate them  when model preaches one set of moral values & practices another, observers more likely to do what model does  learn motor skills, academic skills, interpersonal skills & moral values through modelling  live model: an individual whose behaviour is observed “in the flesh”  symbolic model: a real or fictional character portrayed in the media that influences an observer’s behaviour How Modelling Affects Behaviour  observational learning effect: occurs when an observer acquires a new behaviour after watching someone else demonstrate it  response facilitation effect: occurs when an observer displays a previously learned behaviour more frequently after seeing someone else being reinforced for that behaviour  response inhibition effect: occurs when an observer displays a previously learned behaviour less frequently after seeing someone else being punished for that behaviour  response disinhibition effect: occurs when an observer displays a previously forbidden or punished behaviour more frequently after seeing someone else exhibit that behaviour without adverse consequences Characteristics of Effective Models  competence  will imitate people who do something well  prestige and power  imitate people who are famous or powerful  “sex appropriate” behaviour model behaviours they think are appropriate for their sex  behaviour relevant to the learner’s own situation  teachers must show students who their behaviours are applicable to the student’s situation Helping Students Learn from Models  attention o must pay attention to the model  retention o after paying attention, must remember what model did o more likely to remember information when its encoded in more than one way o giving descriptive labels to complex behaviours helpful (ball, bounce, hit, ready in tennis)  motor reproduction o learner must be physically capable of reproducing modelled behaviour o best if students imitate behaviour immediately after they watch it being demonstrated o coaching (modelling + verbal guidance + frequent feedback) more effective than modelling o some students may prefer to practice behaviours in private first  motivation o learned must be motivated to demonstrate modelled behaviour Modelling and Aggression  students learn negative behaviours from models ie/ aggression  Canadians believe school-based youth violence most important issue facing public education  estimated 3.5% of 2-4 year olds physically aggressive; 3.3% for boys 5-11 years old; 0.6% for girls  increasing rates of assault & other violent crimes by girls  concern due to immediate consequences & long term consequences  some kinds of aggression learned through past experiences & social conditions  more prevalent in neighbourhoods that encourage/model/condone antisocial behaviour  bullying o form of aggression aimed directly at targeted peer who can’t defend self o cyber bullying o 5-27% students in grades 1-6 report being victimized; 6-17% self-report bullying others o more boys than girls report being victimized o highest levels in grade 10 for boys & grade 8 for girls o boys twice as likely to report physical victimization than girls
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