IB Psychology Internal Assessment - Learning Perspective

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        In observing the school classroom, Bandura’s Social Learning Theory was applied. Social Learning Theory was proposed by Bandura and is the theory of learning and development. The theory states that people learn new behavior from one another through reinforcement, imitation, observational learning, or modeling. The general concept or idea of Bandura’s Social Learning Theory is that people can learn through observation. – [1977] A study of observational learning by Bandura, Ross, and Ross (1961) can be a great example presenting Bandura’s Social Learning Theory. The aim of the study was to demonstrate that learning can occur through mere observation of a model, and that imitation can occur in the absence of that model. Design of the method was a laboratory experiment, in which the independent variable (IV) or types of model were manipulated in three conditions as aggressive, non-aggressive, and controlled condition with no model shown. The dependent variable (DV) was the amount of imitative behavior and aggression shown by the children, which are the levels of aggression shown by the children. Matched pairs of 12 boys and 12 girls were assigned to each condition and were observed for both same and opposite sex models. Participants of the study were 36 boys and 36 girls with a mean age of 52 months. The main procedure of the experiment was that the children were individually shown into a room containing toys and played with them in a corner for 10 minutes. While the main procedure was in process, a few other procedures were continuing. The non-aggressive adult model played in a quiet and subdued manner for 10 minutes, or the aggressive model distinctively aggressed against an inflated Bobo doll by punching or kicking it with verbally aggressive statements. As the next step, all children were then individually taken to a different experimental location, and were subjected to mild aggression arousal by being stopped from playing with some non-attractive toys in order to give all groups an equal chance of showing aggression and also to allow the group which has shown the non-aggressive model to demonstrate an inhibition of aggressive behavior. Finally, all children were then shown into another room with both aggressive and non-aggressive toys and were observed for 20 minutes. The main results of the study were that the children in the aggressive model condition showed significantly more imitation of the model’s physical and verbal aggression and non-aggressive verbal responses than any other children, and the children who saw the same sex model were only likely to imitate the behavior significantly more in some of the categories. In conclusion, the experiment was evaluated with gender, methodological, ethical, and cultural criticisms both positively and negatively. As a positive criticism, for example, gender was accounted for in both the model and the children, and the method was tightly controlled with clear IV and DV. Negatively, the mild aggressive arousal may have prompted the children’s tolerance aggressively, and adult behavior was bizarre in the method. Also, it was very unethical and dubious to expose young children to aggression. – [1963]

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        The general concept of Bandura’s Social Learning Theory and its main study give clear idea of the subject and help to reach the aim of the observation in a lower school classroom of the school.


To Investigate How Bandura’s Social Learning Theory Is Applied In An Elementary School Classroom.



Independent Variable (IV) – A Type Of Model

Dependent Variable (DV) – The Amount Of Imitative Behavior


  • Definition:

A common research method observing subjects used by psychologists and other social scientists.

Different behaviors of a model were exposed ...

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