The ABC of social learning : Affect, Behaviour and Cognition

Gruber, Thibaud and Bazhydai, Marina and Sievers, Christine and Clément, Fabrice and Dukes, Daniel (2022) The ABC of social learning : Affect, Behaviour and Cognition. Psychological Review, 129 (6). pp. 1296-1318. ISSN 0033-295X

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Debates concerning social learning in the behavioral and the developmental cognitive sciences have largely ignored the literature on social influence in the affective sciences despite having arguably the same object of study. We argue that this is a mistake and that no complete model of social learning can exclude an affective aspect. In addition, we argue that including affect can advance the somewhat stagnant debates concerning the unique characteristics of social learning in humans compared to other animals. We first review the two major bodies of literature in nonhuman animals and human development, highlighting the fact that the former has adopted a behavioral approach while the latter has adopted a cognitive approach, leading to irreconcilable differences. We then introduce a novel framework, affective social learning (ASL), that studies the way we learn about value(s). We show that all three approaches are complementary and focus, respectively, on behavior toward; cognitions concerning; and feelings about objects, events, and people in our environment. All three thus contribute to an affective, behavioral, and cognitive (ABC) story of knowledge transmission: the ABC of social learning. In particular, ASL can provide the backbone of an integrative approach to social learning. We argue that this novel perspective on social learning can allow both evolutionary continuity and ontogenetic development by lowering the cognitive thresholds that appear often too complex for other species and nonverbal infants. Yet, it can also explain some of the major achievements only found in human cultures.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Psychological Review
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©American Psychological Association, 2021. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at:10.1037/rev0000311
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?? history and philosophy of sciencegeneral psychologypsychology(all) ??
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Deposited On:
30 Jul 2021 15:35
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 11:41