Research Methods: Hypothesis and Rationale According to the Social Learning Theory, people acquire their personal attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors from social interaction. Put another way, humans learn by observing the behaviors of others and by reinforcements, whether they are positive or negative. Moreover, it is said that children learn gender roles at a young age through indirect reinforcement. For example, a little boy might learn that boys don’t play with Barbie dolls by watching his male friend get chided for doing so. Young children can also learn to distinguish between gender roles by imitating others, most importantly their parents or guardians. Conversely, the Cognitive Development Theory argues that children learn to distinguish between female and male by their own reasoning. For example, when a girl reaches the age of 3, she knows that she is a girl and prefers “girl things” because that is what she likes and that is what is familiar to her.
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- Fall '08
- Social Learning Theory