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Social Learning Theory and Performance Measurement Essay


Social learning theory

Social learning theory is a general psychological theory deployed for understanding the nature of deviations in behavior as well as predicting confronting behaviors. What is special about this theory is that it has no relation to culture. Instead, it is believed that any social bonds and relations have a significant impact on an individual’s development and behavior in the future (Akers & Gensen, 2007). Significant attention is paid to the impact of social bonds on the formation of criminal ideas.

Social learning theory is based on several central postulates. First of all, it is believed that an individual’s behavior is modeled by parents, closest relatives, peers, and the combination of all of them. It means that if a child becomes a witness of home violence or sees peers smoking, these pictures are considered to become normal causing deviations in behavior. There are four primary constituents of the social learning theory – “differential association, differential reinforcement, imitation, and definitions” (Bell, 2008, p. 17).

The first one stands for the idea mentioned above – it is the closest social environment that has the most momentous influence on the future behavior of a person. The second element, reinforcement, implies treatment. For example, rewards in case of doing something positive and punishing when breaking the rules. Definitions are the third part of the theory. It means defining behaviors and actions as positive or negative. Finally, there is imitation, which is about learning behaviors by copying those belonging to the closest environment (Holt, 2010).

Social learning theory can be investigated from the perspective of different scholars. Albert Bandura, for example, views the development of behavior in the light of observation calling this phenomenon observational learning (Siegelman & Rider, 2015). It resembles imitation, but the primary idea is that people consciously choose and change their environment. Another noticeable scholar is Julian Rotter. His central belief is that the primary concept of the whole theory is potential behavior. It is measured as the combination of expectations, reinforcement value, and subjective perception of a situation. In other words, a particular behavioral outcome is possible to the extent of the expected reinforcement and the personal value of this reinforcement to an individual (Carducci, 2009).

I believe that this theory is still significant because it could be applied not only to determining the causes of deviations leading to crimes and predicting them but also choosing the right way for building social interactions. What is even more paramount, understanding the fundamentals of the theory might be beneficial for bringing up children and guaranteeing their psychological welfare in the future. I think that all components of the social learning theory are still applicable to analyzing behavior. Even though the world and society are constantly changing, this theory could be transmitted to any dimension of social interaction either real-life or virtual.

Measuring Performance

There are different methods for measuring performances including forced rankings, graphic rating scales, management by objectives, etc. In general, there are qualitative and quantitative measurements (Raab, Lobinger, Hoffmann, Pizzera, & Laborde, 2016).

I believe that the worst practice is to estimate performance in quantities (e.g. forced rankings). For example, 20 percent of people within a statistically average community are the best performers, up to 70 percent are mediocre, and the rest are the worst ones (Mayhew, n.d.). These figures are determined by achieving particular objectives or completing tasks. I think that this method is bad because it implies the risk of excess competition for reaching the desired grade ignoring quality. In addition to it, the quantitative method does not reflect the true picture, as figures could be affected by a group of people.

On the other hand, I see qualitative measurements as the best alternative because people know that to become the best performers they should possess in-depth knowledge and strong skills in particular areas. This technique promotes healthy competition and the desire for self-development. Moreover, the qualitative method is expressive, so it is an assessment with a human face.

References

Akers, R. L., & Gensen, G. F. (2007). Social learning theory and the explanation of crime. New Brunswick, NJ: transaction Publishers.

Bell, K. J. (2008). Intimate partner violence on campus: A test of social learning theory (Doctoral dissertation). Web.

Carducci, B. C. (2009). The psychology of personality: Viewpoints, Research, and Applications. Hoboken, NL: John Wiley & Sons.

Holt, T. (2010). Social learning theory: Oxford bibliographies online research. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.

. (n.d.). Web.

Mayhew, R. (n.d.). . Web.

Raab, M., Lobinger, B., Hoffmann, S., Pizzera, A., & Laborde, S. (2016). Performance psychology: Perception, action, cognition, and emotion. San Diego, CA: Elsevier.

Siegelman, C. K., & Rider, E. A. (2015). Life-span human development. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

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IvyPanda. (2020, August 30). Social Learning Theory and Performance Measurement. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-learning-theory-and-performance-measurement/

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IvyPanda. "Social Learning Theory and Performance Measurement." August 30, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-learning-theory-and-performance-measurement/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Social Learning Theory and Performance Measurement." August 30, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-learning-theory-and-performance-measurement/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Social Learning Theory and Performance Measurement'. 30 August.

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