Social skills and social learning theory
- Sample Looks like Sounds like Feels like charts
- Sample procedures for doing social skills
- Match social skill(s) to the behavior
Benefits of Positive Social Skills
Social skills help people to:
Categories of social skills:
Beginning - group 1
- Starting a converstation
- Having a conversation
- Asking a question
- Saying thanks
- Introducing yourself
- Introducing other people
- Giving a compliment
Advanced - group 2
- Asking for help
- Joining in
- Giving instructions
- Following instruction
- Convincing others
Managing feelings - group 3
- Knowing your feelings
- Expressing your feelings
- Understanding the feelings of others
- Dealing with someone else's anger
- Expressing affection
- Dealing with fear
- Rewarding yourself
Alternatives to aggression - group 4
- Asking permission
- Sharing something
- Helping others
- Using self-control
- Standing up for your rights
- Responding to teasing
- Avoiding trouble with others
- Keeping out of fights
Dealing with stress - group 5
- Making a complaing
- Making a complaint
- Answering a complaint
- Sportsmanship after a game
- Dealing with embarrassment
- Dealing with being left out
- Standing up for a friend
- Responding to persuasion
- Responding to failure
- Dealing with contradictory messages
- Dealing with an accusation
- Getting ready for a difficult conversation
- Dealing with group pressure
Planning - group 6
- Deciding on something to do
- Deciding what caused a problem
- Setting a goal
- Deciding on your abilities
- Gathering information
- Arranging problems by importance
- Making a decision
- Concentrating on a task
- Interact appropriately in a social setting
- Have better relationships with others
- Improve problem solving skills
- Improve communication
- Improve understanding of personal feelings and others' feelings
- Increase assertiveness
- Cause less aggressive behavior
- Increase ability to deal with stress
- Are better able to survive
- Increased self-esteem
Social Learning Theory
Social learning theory overview
Bandura and Vygotsky describe human learning as a social event of observing, modeling and interacting with others. Mirror neurons provide a powerful basis for humans to imitate and learn behaviors from others even with out reward or punishment.
If a person sticks out their tongue while a baby watches, the baby will copy them and stick out her tongue.
Babies will pick up toys when they are dropped. They will retrieve tools or other objects when they know another person needs or wants one. Think of the amount of communication required to be able to do this. Need to follow another person's eyes, (dogs can do this too), anticipate, two and 3 steps beyond present. Socialization helps evolve bigger brains.
Learning is also affected by how a person relates to others. Relating best to others who are similar to their personal view of them self. As to each person's cultural identity, racial identity, sexual identity, and the various roles each of us chooses. We look to other people as models and the greater the similarity between us and the other person and the more prestigious that person is, the greater the impact will be. This desire to be like another person correlates to how positive and useful (reinforcing) our mental model of the person's actions.
However, these mental images are limited by how well a person can understand and apply the necessary behaviors successfully for sufficient motivation to attain mastery oriented behaviors.
To learn by watching others perform tasks (playing, creating, singing, dancing, helping others, talking, sports, dating,.. ) and interacting with people a person must focus on the hows and whys of what a person does.
To better insure this happening, thinking aloud to enhance self talk can be used. Examples:
- I can do this.
- If I change this, then this will happen.
- I can fix that if I do this.
This can increase the likelihood of success. Additionally, if several people listen and watch each other practice, analyze their performance, compare their ideas with those of an expert; success is more likely. Examples:
- Discuss how different behaviors obtain similar or different results
- Share what they see happening or not happening.
- Suggest what they need to progress further.
- Try to identify different ways of interpreting what they see.
- Identify and associate different consequences and feelings for both successful and unsuccessful actions.
Motivation for doing and sustaining learning to achieve mastery will depend on how difficult or easy a task is, the likelihood of success and failure, and how others will respond and feel as a result.
It should also be noted that witnessing behaviors will also cause a person to NOT repeat it or NOT want to try the behavior. It can also encourage a deviant behavior - dare, double dare...
It seems people learn four general things from watching other people:
- Self-talk or metacognition
It is also apparent some variables necessary to learn from social interactions include:
- Focus or attention on what is being learned
- Able to remember and apply what is learned when an appropriate situation arises
- Able to do what is learned
- Motivated to remember and apply it.
Various research studies related to socialization
- Google (2016) found, as a result of a massive investigation to find out how to build the perfect team, that psychological safety is the most important element for team work, increased productivity, creativity, and cooperation.
- Joshua Green in Moral Tribes notes that research has found that when people are asked to make decisions, that the decisions they make are more cooperative in nature when the decisions they make are made faster. Suggesting that faster decisions are a result of people's intuitive thinking and therefore a product of our moral inheritance being primarily cooperative.
- Albert Bandura (1965) had five year olds watch videos of a child hitting an adult sized "Bobo doll" toy with three different endings: 1. rewarded with candy, 2. spanked and criticized, and 3. no response. Following th viewing the child was left in a room with Bobo. The children who watched an ending with no punishment were more likely to imitate the aggression. Boys were also more likely to imitate the aggressive act than girls.
- Researchers found a positive correlation between children's time spent playing violent video games and them favoring aggression for solving problems.
- Researchers also found a positive correlation between the amount of time spent watching violent television programs and their performance of aggressive and violent acts.
- Stephanie Sloane, Renée Baillargeon and David Premack conducted an experiment where babies watched two giraffe puppets dance. After which toys were presented in different ways: one toy to each giraffe or both to one of them. Three-quarters of the babies gazed longer when one giraffe got both toys. The longer gaze being interpreted as the babies thinking something was wrong.
- In a second Sloane, et. al. 21 month old children saw two women play with toys and then asked to clean up. They then saw either: one women put the toys away, while the other kept playing, but both got a reward. Or Both put the toys away and both got a reward. Similarly infants gazed longer when the worker and the slacker were rewarded equally.
- Sloane claims: we seem to be born with a general expectation of what is fair and it gets shaped differently depending on our culture and environment.
- Paul Bloom, Karen Wynn and Kiley Hamlin conducted an experiment where a yellow square would help a circle up a hill and a red triangle would push it down. Later the children were offered to play with the helper or hinderer on a tray, they overwhelmingly preferred the helper puppet to the hindering one.
- Tajfel's experiments showed how subconscious mental processes usually cause people to assume all the members of a category, say Americans, as being more similar to each other than they in fact are. This assumption has consequences when compared to different groups. The consequences being the belief that members of different groups, say Iranians, were more different from Americans than Americans were from each other. This kind or reasoning sets up stereotyping and In group and Out group conflict.
- When people are presented with additional information the believe it makes a situation more likely when in most cases it decreases the likelihood. Are there more tall athletes than tall men. Are there more nerdy librarians than nerds.
- Pygmalion effect, also Robert Rosenthal effect - reality can be influenced by a person's expectations. Studies have been conducted where teachers have been told that their students were gifted or other times not and in both cases created self-fulfilling prophecies. It has been demonstrated that unconscious behaviors can be interpreted by others without either person being aware of the communication. There has even been a recorded case where a horse, Clever Hans, was able to interpret solutions of math problems by interpreting the unconscious behaviors of the trainer and audience as the correct answer was approached and reached.
- Even in labs where lab technicians were told that the rats and mice they were training were either enhanced or retarded in solving problems or mazes influenced the technicians so the outcomes became reality. Even in when the animals were worms trained to locate a target.
- There have also been studies that showed a statistical difference between students that were asked to check or not check their ethnicity. Or in other cases students were reminded that a certain group of students did well on tests or not. These studies reported a significant difference in directions that fit typical stereotypes for testing. Differences were even recorded for students that were told to mistakenly select a specific ethnicity.
Procedures for teaching social skills
- Indirect procedure for planning social skill lessons
- Cooperative learning procedure for planning social skill lessons
- Direct procedure for planning social skill lessons