Bandura’s theory is one of the most widely accepted and influential theories in the field of psychology. This theory is known as Social Learning Theory because it emphasizes the importance of social interaction in shaping our behavior and personality. In this article, we will explore why Bandura’s theory is called Social Learning Theory.

What is Bandura’s Theory?

Albert Bandura developed his theory of social learning in the 1960s, which focused on how people learn from observing others. He proposed that people observe and learn from one another’s behavior, attitudes, and outcomes of those behaviors. The theory assumes that people can learn new behaviors and acquire new information by watching others.

Social Learning

Bandura argued that humans are not passive recipients of environmental influences but rather active agents who play a role in their own development. Humans have the ability to learn through observation, imitation, modeling, and feedback. In other words, we can learn by watching others perform an action or behavior.

Observational Learning

Observational learning occurs when we learn by observing someone else’s behavior or actions. We observe what they do, how they do it, and what happens as a result. This type of learning can occur without any direct reinforcement or punishment.


Imitation occurs when we copy someone else’s behavior or actions. This type of learning requires attention to detail and the ability to replicate what was observed accurately.


Modeling involves imitating a specific behavior or set of behaviors displayed by a particular individual who has been identified as a role model.


Feedback allows us to adjust our behaviors based on the consequences that follow them. Positive feedback reinforces our behaviors while negative feedback discourages them.

Social Interaction

Bandura believed that social interaction is a crucial element in the learning process. We learn from the people around us, and we are influenced by their behaviors and attitudes. Social interaction can take many forms, such as observing, imitating, modeling, and receiving feedback.

Why is it called Social Learning Theory?

Bandura’s theory is referred to as Social Learning Theory because it emphasizes the importance of social interaction in shaping our behaviors and personality. People learn through observation, imitation, modeling, and feedback from others. The theory proposes that our environment plays a significant role in shaping our behavior.


In conclusion, Bandura’s theory of social learning highlights how we learn through observing others’ behavior and how social interaction plays a critical role in shaping our personalities. This theory emphasizes the importance of social context for learning and highlights the role of reinforcement in modifying behavior. By understanding Bandura’s theory, we can better understand how people learn from one another and how to apply this knowledge to various fields such as education, psychology, and sociology.