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Title: Development of social learning in infants and young children
Author: Eydam, Angelique
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 8763
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2017
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Social learning is one important way that children learn about the world. This thesis presents and discusses several current social learning theories, exploring how they explain different facets of social learning. In particular, I examined the naïve theory of rational action, the theory of natural pedagogy, the ideomotor approach to social and imitative learning, and the normative account of social learning. Each theory is reviewed on how it explains four facets of social learning: imitation, emulation, action understanding or interpretation, and the consideration of varying social and situational circumstances. The review shows that each theory focuses on only one or two facets, often providing very limited discussion (if any) of the others, and none of the theories systematically varies its predictions of a learner's behaviour as a factor of multiple social and situational circumstances. By means of six empirical studies I show that the social and situational circumstances strongly influence social learning, and that none of the discussed theories can account for the findings at large. I also argue that the current social learning theories explain developmental shifts in different biases that affect social learning rather than core mechanisms of social learning, and that what is needed is a strong social learning theory that explains multiple facets of social learning, in particular making differential predictions as a factor of varying social and situational circumstances.
Supervisor: Nurmsoo, Erika Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology