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Write 5 page essay on the topic Albert Bandura: Modeling Theory.

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Bandura’s modeling theory is based on three major principles. The first principle holds that individuals learning through observation. Bandura was able to prove this principle in his experiment christened ‘Bobo doll experiment’ where he observed that children learn and imitate what they others around them do (Bandura, 1986). This implies that, if a child observes one behaving well, the child will learn to behave well. However, if the child is exposed to bad behaviors, he or she will learn and imitate such bad behaviors. For instance, in his experiment, he observed that when the children who were exposed to seeing an adult act violently toward a Bobo doll, would later imitate the aggressive actions they observed in the adults, noted Bandura (2006). The second principle of the theory posits that the internal mental states play an important role in learning. In his experiment, Bandura observed that external environmental reinforcements were not the only factors that influence learning and behavior. Instead, he noted that intrinsic reinforcements are also influence learning and behavior (Bandura, 2006). The intrinsic reinforcements, according to Bandura include satisfaction, pride and a feeling of accomplishment. Lastly, the theory acknowledges that the fact that someone learns something does not necessarily result in a change in behavior (Bandura, 1986). Even though behaviorists believed that learning results in a permanent change in behavior, Bandura’s school of thought believed otherwise. In his theory, he believed that observational learning only shows that people are able to learn new things, without necessarily resulting in a change in behavior. Ways in which the theory address differences in gender and culture The modeling theory is regarded as being among the few theories that attempts to address gender and cultural differences. The theory considers gender identity and role as a set of behaviors that people learn from the environment. The theory posits that gender and cultural behavior is learned through observational learning (Bussey and Bandura, 1999). In this regard, children observe people who are around them behaving in some ways, which relates to gender and culture. Since children are very curious, they tend to watch the behaviors of some of these people and end up encoding the behaviors. They will then try to imitate the behaviors, which they have been observing. Bussey and Bandura (1999) noted that the children would imitate the behaviors, regardless of whether the behaviors are ‘gender and culture appropriate’ or not. However, several processes make it highly probable that a child will produce the behavior that its society considers appropriate for its sex. To begin with, it is highly likely that a child will attend to and imitate those individuals it considers as similar to itself. At the same time, a child is highly likely to imitate behaviors by people of the same sex as his or hers (Bussey and Bandura, 1999). This also applies to culture. The behaviors are then reinforced by people to ensure that the child learns appropriate gender and cultural behaviors. This assists in explaining why cultural and gender differences exist in the contemporary society.

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