Social Learning and Modeling

Scientists agree that people have to learn to be culturally incompetent; it is not an inherited trait. No one is born racist, homophobic, or sexist. So how do children become biased? In order to answer this question, let's take a quick look at social learning theory. Larry Martin, a noted psychologist, defines social learning as “a form of learning that occurs in the context of a social environment, such as home, peer groups, school, and recreational settings”.[i] Through this process, social learning shapes a person’s view of the world, including their values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Albert Bandura, a famous social learning theorist, performed numerous studies over the span of his career, including the [...]