Strengths and Weaknesses of Social Learning Theory in Explaining Language Acquisition 


Albert Bandura was a Canadian-American psychologist who is renowned for his social learning theory. Unlike other psychologists, he does not view learning to directly stem from reinforcement, punishment, and conditioning. Instead, he asserts that observation, imitation, abs modeling are key in learning human behavior. His social learning theory states that human beings learn social behavior through the observation and imitation of the behavior of others. His social learning theory is regarded as the bridge between cognitive and behaviorist learning theories which encompasses motivational processes, memory, and attention.

Strengths of the Social Learning Theory

The strengths of the social learning theory are as follows:


The theory is based on various experiments and research due to which it is scientific.

Emphasizes environment

The theory puts emphasis on the importance of the environment and role models.

Adequate Explanation

The theory gives an adequate explanation as to how many behaviors such as aggression are learned.


The theory is seen to be precise and it can be tested. It provides sufficient clarity of learned behavior.

Useful Application

The theory enables one to apply useful knowledge in real-life situations.

Weaknesses of the Social Learning Theory

The weaknesses of the social learning theory are as follows:

False setting

The experiments are done in a false setting and hence, they may not reflect real behavior.

Ignores the Role of nature

The theory does not acknowledge or put emphasis on the role of nature in learning.

Ignores Biological Factors

Biological factors are not taken into account in this theory of learning.


The theory’s explanation of learned behavior is considered to be too simplistic.

Ignores life span changes

The changes that occur throughout one’s life span are not taken into account in this theory.

These are the various strengths and weaknesses of Bandura’s social learning theory.

It is scientificExperiments are conducted in a false setting
It emphasizes of environmentIt ignores the role of nature
It has an adequate explanationIt ignores biological factors
It is preciseIt is simplistic
It has useful applicationIt ignores life span changes
Strengths and Weaknesses of Social Learning Theory

follow on google news