What do the textbooks say?

According to 'Social Psychology - Goals in interaction' by Kenrick, Neuberg and Cialdini The social learning perspective is "A theoretical viewpoint that focuses on past learning experiences as determinants of a person's social behaviors" (p. 9). What does this mean? This means that the cause of a person's social behavior stems from their environment. This perspective suggests that it is each individuals 'unique' experiences that guides their future behavior. It also involves the observations of others, and the outcomes of the observed behaviors.

Behaviorists suggest social learning is driven by learning experiences that have involved reward and punishment. The individual is repeating or avoiding certain behaviors because of the outcomes of the behavior, or similar behavior in their past experience. These rewards and punishments can act directly and indirectly on an individual.

Social Cognitivism builds on the beliefs of behaviourists, but also suggests that social learning is driven by internal reinforcements, and continuous interactions between behaviour, the environment and cognitions. This explains why we do not replicate everything we observe. Behaviour is also said to be goal-directed, and therefore, self regulated. We will initiate and evaluate our behaviours to ensure they lead to the appropriate goals.