Social Learning Theory is a psychological theory that suggests that people learn through observing and imitating others’ behaviors, attitudes, and emotions. This theory was developed by Albert Bandura in the 1970s, and it has been widely accepted in the field of psychology. In this article, we will explore the Social Learning Theory example in detail.

Observational Learning

One of the fundamental principles of Social Learning Theory is observational learning. This type of learning occurs when individuals observe and imitate others’ behaviors. For example, a child may learn how to tie their shoes by watching their parent or teacher.

Bobo Doll Experiment

One famous example of observational learning is the Bobo Doll Experiment conducted by Albert Bandura in 1961. In this experiment, children were shown a video of an adult aggressively hitting a Bobo doll with a hammer. Later, when given an opportunity to play with the same doll, the children imitated the aggressive behavior they had seen in the video.

Vicarious Reinforcement

Another key principle of Social Learning Theory is vicarious reinforcement. This occurs when individuals learn from observing others’ experiences with rewards and punishments. If someone observes another person being rewarded for a particular behavior, they are more likely to imitate that behavior.

Smoking Example

Suppose an individual observes their friend receiving praise and attention from their peers for smoking cigarettes. In that case, they may be more likely to start smoking themselves because they have observed that smoking leads to positive reinforcement.


Self-efficacy is another important concept in Social Learning Theory. It refers to an individual’s belief in their ability to perform a particular task successfully. According to this theory, people are more likely to engage in behaviors if they believe they can accomplish them successfully.

Sports Example

For example, if an individual believes they are capable of playing basketball well, they may be more likely to participate in basketball games and practice regularly to improve their skills.


In conclusion, Social Learning Theory is a psychological theory that explains how people learn through observing and imitating others. The principles of observational learning, vicarious reinforcement, and self-efficacy are essential components of this theory. By understanding these concepts, we can better understand how people learn and develop behaviors and attitudes.