Factors Affecting Social Learning



As discussed in the Social Learning Theory module, there are several factors that affect observational learning and ultimately one’s performance. Such factors are as follows:


  • Developmental status

As stipulated, there are certain points in one’s life that make his abilities more ready to learn a particular thing. Strengths of one’s memory processing and information retrieval must be enhanced in order to acquire higher levels of knowledge and understanding. Therefore, the principle of teaching from simple to complex concepts must be ensured.

For instance, before my cousin learnt the basics of the fundamental mathematical operations like addition and subtraction, he first learned and mastered how to count numbers.


  • Model prestige and competence

This factor says that learners tend to observe and imitate those who are viewed of having prestige and high status. This is every significant among young learners as they would like to see themselves soon to be like the model they are aspiring of.images

My little nephew used to sing like Justin Bieber as opposed to the local singers or artists that we have since it is very obvious that Bieber is more famous than the others. He learns the style of Bieber not only in singing but also in his acts and physical get-up. Though we are encouraging him to be patriotic in choice of songs, he still insist on his own preference of which I guess we must respect. 😀


  • Vicarious consequences

I would like to share my personal account on this. I had my “idol” professor in college who used to inspire every one of us with her prowess in teaching. She can be readily considered by many as the most intelligent and competent professor. However, her humble attitude keeps her on the ground of being more open to further studies. She believes that there are still lots to learn so she continued studying her PhD degree. Years after, she finished it and we really saw the outcomes of such hardwork. Not to mention what advancement in her career ladder took place, I just convinced myself that someday I will also be like her. That’s why I’m continuously exhibiting my genuine interest towards higher learning. 😀


  • Outcome expectations

elaboration theory diagram


Definitely, people seek what’s better or even best for the thing they’re engaged in. With the belief that hardwork will pay off in the future, then “present” actions will be determined. I remember my friend who used to be a volunteer nurse in a small hospital near our town. I asked her why she keeps on being an unpaid working nurse for about a year. She just replied, Investment ito. Kapag nagkaroon ng opening, siguradong kaming mga nag-volunteer ang uunahin.Clearly, she has the outcome on her mind that makes her continue what she’s presently doing.


  • Goal-setting

It says that observers are more likely to attend or imitate models who demonstrate actions or behaviors that may personally help them in achieving their goals. It is quite common to hear other persons asking another who is successful in studying and learning about his “techniques or strategies” to becoming one. For instance, my classmate used to ask the brightest student in our class whatgoal-setting time and conditions she used to study and she’s going to do the same to achieve her goals of being good in the class also. Sometimes, she would even crack a joke of “Anong kinakain mo at kakainin ko din para makapasa din ako sa exams tulad mo.”


  • Values

Just like with the factor prestige and competence, observers prefer to imitate the actions of those who are respected with their values and attitudes in life. Indeed, it may be the first characteristic of that model that caught an observer’s attention to imitate him/her. Personally, I would like to be not just a competent teacher but also one who can really touch students’ lives by having empathic and understanding attitudes towards the learner. And I do see a lot of teachers who can serve as my role models.  role-modeling-creativity


  • Self-efficacy

It’s often a relief for many to see people almost similar to them who can exhibit success in their chosen endeavour. It actually gives an inspiration and optimistic thinking that “If they can do it, I can too.” I would like to share the experience of my younger sister when it comes to leadership. Way back in senior year of high school, she was then elected as the president of the Science Club. She is obviously silent and shy but the adviser as well as the majority of the students believed in her abilities that’s why she landed in the position.

self1She used to doubt her abilities until she made a reflection of the past presidents of their school organizations. She found out that most of them were not the brightest or even achievers of the class but were brave and responsible enough to handle the pressures of being a leader. To make it short, she told herself, that they did succeed in their leadership, and so she can do as well. They were all trained in a similar institution, almost of the same age by that time, and other things that make them similar were there. So, she capitalized on these things to boost her self-esteem and started believing in her fullest abilities. Fortunately, her sense of self-efficacy (which she partly inherited from others’ experiences) became adequate to make her one of the most successful leaders in the history of the Science Department.


The above-mentioned factors truly play significant roles in facilitating the success of observational learning or role modelling. Almost everyone if not all, possesses some of these keys to become effective in acquiring forms of learning through others. Experiences do really teach us best which are not only exclusive to our own. Indeed, we learn much from others as well.

Happy learning! God bless! 😀 😀 😀


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