Protective Behavior, Conclusions, Key Concepts - Child Psychology

Protective behavior

In the theory of social learning, much attention was paid to the protective behavior and anxiety of children. Their occurrence is associated with two causes. First, with the physiological processes that determine the occurrence of certain experiences in the relevant situations, and secondly, with the symbolic models of behavior. Both causes cause two types of negative experiences - immediate and indirect. Immediate experiences are associated with the characteristics of the impact on the child in a particular situation, and the indirect experiences are determined by the nature of the assimilated symbolic models (for example, anticipation of trouble). The latter type of experience is much more easily amenable to correction, since it can be replaced by another symbolic model. For example, if a child is afraid of the dark, but nothing unpleasant happens in the dark with him, then he can demonstrate a symbolic model of successful behavior in the dark (tell the child that there is nothing wrong, that the adult is nearby, etc.). The situation is quite different if the child really did something in the dark (someone frightened him, or he stumbled, etc.). In this case, direct experience can put the application of the symbolic model into doubt, because the child must be sure that there is nothing terrible in the dark room. At the same time, strong negative direct experiences prevent the child from making sure that the situation has changed and there is no more danger. In this sense, we can talk about the limited verbal belief and the need for experience of positive living frightening situation. Due to the presence of mediated experiences, emotional states can be called up using words. Also, the tone itself can cause both positive and negative emotional experiences.

In addition, monitoring the emotional experiences of the other causes the relevant emotional experiences of the observer. This is especially evident in the kindergarten of young children: it is enough to cry to one child, as the whole group will soon cry. If mediated emotional experiences are repeated in any situation, then in the future they can be caused not only by observing the behavior of a person in a particular situation, but also by the attribute of this situation: for example, if at a time when children were crying, an unfamiliar adult came in, then next time the children could cry at the appearance of a stranger. The existence of this type of learning explains why in the presence of different people the child behaves differently: "When the father was at home, Billy was simply an exemplary child. He knew that for his bad behavior, his father would subject him to prompt and impartial punishment. As soon as his father left the house, Billy went to the window and waited for the car to hide behind the corner. And then he changed dramatically ... He climbed into my closet, tore my smart dresses, peed on my clothes. He broke furniture, rushed around the house and pounded the walls until he plunged everything into complete ruin. "

Thus, it can be noted that A. Bandura's position allows not only to explain the emergence of specific forms of behavior observed during child development, but also to outline specific steps to change the undesirable samples demonstrated by the child. The main task that confronts an adult raising a child in this case is to analyze the environment of the child and those patterns of behavior that are demonstrated to children.


The approach to understanding the child development of A. Bandura has unconditional advantages. He claims to analyze human behavior in specific circumstances and to build a relatively reliable prediction of his subsequent actions. Within the framework of this theory, practical suggestions are formulated for the development of desirable forms of behavior, and clear recommendations are given on how to develop a sense of self-confidence in children. The theory of Pandora should be attributed to behavioral theories, therefore it has all the advantages and disadvantages of such a point of view. First of all, it is necessary to point out a purely quantitative understanding of development. Bandura proceeds from the notion that any behavior can be effectively changed if appropriate methods of action are found for this. The theory of social learning goes away from the terminology "stimulus-reaction", but to a large extent it, albeit in an implicit form, continues to be present as a methodology for analyzing the behavior of children. This is especially evident when explaining the need for repeated repetition of the motor forms of activity to achieve the result set in the model. However, in the theory of A. Bandura there are differences from behaviorism. First of all, they are connected with a holistic understanding of the symbolic model of behavior. Introduction to the explanatory behavioral scheme of symbolic models allowed Bandura to set a whole series of new tasks before the development psychology: a description of behavior patterns in different cultures, a description of the sequence of mastering various behavioral patterns, studying the influence of the media as translators of verbal and figurative behavior patterns, etc. This approach allowed to more meaningfully understand the process of socialization of the child, which is associated with the development of various models, taking into account their status. A. Bandura's approach also allowed to describe new forms of learning in childhood.

The theory of A. Bandura refers to second-order theories, since it combines the principles of discreteness and integrity. The principle of integrity is that the model is a single structural unit, but at the same time, individual behavioral acts unfold on its basis. Moreover, the very development of a child is understood as the accumulation of models that are organized into an integral personal structure. Development in this case is understood as an externally conditioned process, since all models are borrowed from the environment.

Key Concepts

Simulation (imitation) - learning through observation, i.e. learning, carried out without direct reinforcement (in comparison with classical (conditional) conditioning, operant learning, or learning by trial and error.)

Modifying Behavior - Modifying the behavior model.

Self-efficacy is the belief of the subject in his own ability to plan and implement directed actions in order to achieve the desired result.

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