Bandura’s observational learning theory can help us further explain the situation Tommy is going through with his family and foster care. In the textbook Bandura states that observation learning is a ”social situation we often learn much more rapidly simply by observing the behavior of others” (Crain, 205). Children, like Tommy learn this method cognitively and then when they are ready to perform the behavior they can. For Tommy most of his behaviors are modeled after his father and from what he witnessed the night they were both taken away. Behaviors such as acting aggressively towards girls and crashing cars together are how Tommy chose to model after his dysfunctional family.
Bandura also has 4 processes that individuals experience while in Observational Learning; Attention, Retention, Motor Reproduction, and Reinforcement and Motivation processes. In attention process states that an individual “ we cannot imitate a model unless we pay attention to the model” (Crain, 206). For Tommy this may have been something he witnessed his whole life did not know anything other than a dysfunctional family. Next is retention process, which is how we remember the behavior, for Tommy this could relate to his time in childcare when for the first around other girls. When he is with girls in his class he acts more aggressively towards them, which could ...
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...mmediate impulse and considers reality”(Crain, 269) or super ego, “our standards for right and wrong”(Crain, 270). The father doesn’t take the time when he is anger to think what is the best option; he goes straight to attacking his wife. We have Id, ego, and super ego to subconsciously balance ourselves out, not one system has all the power or it will become dysfunctional to the host or those around them.
With these ideas of observational learning, defense mechanisms, and agencies of our mind give us a chance to see how others are thinking so we can better understand where they are coming from. Like with the parents form of coping with their situation, instead of continuing to project or repress may be telling them about sublimation where instead of pressing it down you take your thoughts or aggressions and channel it for something healthier, like writing or art.
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