Slave Training and Social Learning Theories: Social learning is the third set of theories for slave training discussed on this site. The other two are B.E.S.T. slave training and Actualization theory. In some ways they are interrelated and you will see that there are spillovers into each other, but each is an independent approach to slave training. Rotter’s Social learning theory is an expansion of the behavioral theory of B. F. Skinner. It differs in that it does not assume that only one set of techniques is useful. It assumes that each individual is different and thoughts and emotions must also be considered when determining what training methods should be used.


Two different but similar theories are discussed below:

Social learning theory — ONE Socialization slave training:

Socialization is the way individuals learn skills, knowledge, values, motives and roles appropriate to their position in a group or society.

Socialization always involves:

 1) A teacher.

 2) A learning process.

 3) A person to be socialized.

 4) Something that is learned. They are called the agent, process, target and outcome.


In slave training the Master is the agent, the methods used to instill change are the process, the target is the slave and the behavior, emotional, self-image and thought changes are the outcome. This is nothing new to the BDSM lifestyle, but provides a different way of looking at the process. The process can include punishment, discipline training, encouragement, and many other techniques.

In adults, the primary means of re-socialization are role acquisitions, anticipatory socialization and role discontinuity.

Role acquisition is the learning of new skills and knowledge that changes status. It is the changing of roles in life and the learning of the skills for the new role. Role acquisition is directed by an agent (Master for a slave). Learning to be a slave is a form of role acquisition.

Anticipatory socialization is the intentional training before and after a role is acquired and not directed by an agent. Submissives often read books and search the web for information and knowledge about BDSM before the first steps are taken into the lifestyle. They use their imagination and envision being owned in the future. This reinforces their desire to change.

Role discontinuity is when the values and identities of a new role contradict with an earlier role. Former expectations and aspirations must be altered to meet the new role. The old role is replaced with a new role. The woman with a submissive nature, through directed training becomes a slave.


Socialization is based on three processes:

1) Instrumental conditioning: The association of rewards and punishment with an act is a basis for learning both behavior and performance standards.

2) Observation: Behavior and skills are learned by observing a model.

3) Internalization: The acquisition of behavioral standards and making them part of self.


In the theory section I stated that:

B.E.S.T. slave training focuses on reeducation and reshaping the slave to serve, obey and please her Master. The central goal is to train the slave to accept her slavery.

The basic assumption of the training is that a slave will strive for what is crucial to her (her Master’s goals). Her acceptance and adaptation of his goals is critical in her training.

Goals are of no purpose without proper motivation to reach them. Motivations are a product of correct thinking and emotions. The completion of goals produces a positive self-image. Motivations produce long-term behavior changes. The slave’s motivations will be examined, modified if necessary and encouraged.

Since slave training is an interaction between a Master and slave, it seems that many concepts from social learning and related theories can be applied to slave training. Many are an off-spring of Adlerian theory and therefore fit well into the overall concept of B.E.S.T. slave training

B.E.S.T. slave training is a program that focuses on behavior, cognation, environment and is goal directed. It is a basic assumption in slave training that the slave wants to be owned by her Master and is willing to change her behavior and thoughts to master the “art of slavery”. She accepts the goals in training established by her Master and these goals become a guide in her training. She recognizes that her freedom of choice now belongs to her Master. The world around her becomes governed by her Master. The Master has the responsibility for establishing an environment suitable for training, establishing his dominance and providing a means for her growth.

Learning slavery is more than learning the established rules. It is learning the “art of slavery” and going beyond the actual knowledge. It is taking the knowledge gained and transforming it into a wonderful experience enjoyed by her Master and her. This involves not just a change in behavior, but a change in emotions, self-image and thoughts. All molded together in a way that becomes a thing of beauty.


A slave’s behavioral intention is viewed as a function of two factors:

1) The slave’s attitude toward performing can be explained as her positive or negative feeling toward performing the behavior. This is why it is important that a slave adopt the goals of her Master as her own. The slave’s thoughts should be examined in an effort to change and/or strengthen attitude.

2) The slave’s “subjective norm” with respect to the behavior is defined as her own beliefs of how her Master thinks she should act and what she thinks her Master wants of her. How he wants her to act is a huge factor in her behavior. This is why a Master should be very clear in his explanation of the goals set for his slave and the rules of conduct expected of her. When the slave’s “subjective norm” is aligned with the true thoughts and feelings of her Master, true learning can take place. This is an ongoing process and requires examination often in the beginning of training. In my experience, it is also required from time to time with an experienced slave in long-term training as well.


Learning to become a slave (social learning theory): Goal directed learning:

All learning arises from goal-directed activities and specific knowledge necessary in order to satisfy goals. A slave learns to pursue signs of the overall goal (slavery). Each change in attitude and behavior is a step that she takes in her attempt to achieve the larger goal of becoming a better slave. Slave training by its very nature requires direction by authority. This direction by authority is more effective if goals are established that can be met by the slave. These goals are signs the slave follows leading to the overall goal of slavery or improving slavery. Slavery, by its nature also suggests serving and pleasing her Master. Establishing goals for the slave to increase her service abilities are important as well.

Learning is gained through meaningful behavior: A slave expects to learn the rules of her Master and gain insight into how better to obey please and serve him. Establishing behavior that allows a slave to feel useful to her Master is an important aspect of self-image. She also knows that her Master will expect the behavior of her that he has outlined in her training. If the slave sees that the behavior expected of her deepens her slavery she will accept it. That does not mean that resistance will not occur, but if her overall goal is to be owned by her Master then the behavior in the long run will be seen as meaningful.


Bandura’s concept of social learning as applied to polyandry slave training:


Bandura emphasizes the importance of observing and modeling the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others: Learning to become a slave is a continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral and environmental influences directed by her Master.

Social interaction between the Master and slave provides the fundamental role in the development of the slave’s cognition and behavior. Seeing her Master’s pleasure and displeasure with her actions is critical in training. The Master/slave relationship is a social unit of two.

Observational learning: Is the major way we learn. Observational learning (modeling) has the following components:

 1) Attention: Including modeled events (distinctiveness, affective valence, complexity, prevalence, functional value) and observer characteristics (sensory capacities, arousal level, perceptual set, past reinforcement).

2) Retention: Including symbolic coding, cognitive organization, symbolic rehearsal, motor rehearsal).

3) Motor Reproduction: Including physical capabilities, self-observation of reproduction, and accuracy of feedback.

4) Motivation: Including external, vicarious and self-reinforcement.



 1) The highest level of observational learning is achieved by first organizing and rehearsing the modeled behavior symbolically and then enacting it overtly. Coding modeled behavior into words, labels or images results in better retention than simply observing.

 2) Individuals are more likely to adopt a modeled behavior if it results in outcomes they value (pleasing her Master).

 3) Individuals are more likely to adopt a modeled behavior if the model is similar to the observer and has admired status and the behavior has functional value.


Observing and modeling the behavior, attitude and emotional reactions of another slave is a very useful tool in the overall educational and training process. Short of the actual observation of other slaves, a slave’s imaginary image of the “perfect slave” becomes the focal point and the direction of her behavior, attitude and emotional movement. Attention should be paid to this “perfect slave” image to insure it is realistic, obtainable and conforms to the desires of her Master. There is nothing wrong with having high goals and standards, but goals should not be set so high that frustration replaces enjoyment. It is important for the slave to be able to meet goals during training. If her expectations are not achievable, she and you will never enjoy her learning the “art of slavery.” It should be understood by the slave that the idea of a “perfect slave” is her Master’s perception not hers. The Master’s standards and not hers guide her. REBT may be useful in adjusting her thoughts in this area. Modeling is considered to be both a behavioral and cognitive training tool.

Learning to become a slave and improving the “art of slavery” is the learning of rules which consist of establishing the Master’s sphere of influence, choice in making decisions and courses of action. These rules are established by her Master for her development and a guide after training. Learning and yielding to rules leads to order. Once learned they allow for a freedom of expression within the rules that sponsor a growth in the “art of slavery.”


Social Learning Theory – TWO: Personal differences are important & goal directed:

Julian Rotter stated that behavior modification requires more than a standard set of classical or operant conditioning techniques. He said that individual differences are important in behavioral training. The individual’s thoughts and emotions play a part in behavioral training. He stated that behavioral potential, expectancy, reinforcement value and psychological situations are factors that should be considered and are a measurement for success.

1) Behavioral potential: The likelihood that a particular behavior will occur in a given situation.

2) Expectancy: The slave’s expectations about the outcome.

3) Reinforcement Value: The importance of the reinforcement to the slave.

4) The psychological Situation: The definition or perspective of the slave about a behavioral training step.


He also stated that a human’s behavior is always directional (goal oriented) and determined by needs that behavior can be inferred by the way the individual interacts with the environment:

Through research, Rotter identified six psychological needs:

1) Recognition-status: the need to be seen as competent in socially valued activities.

2) Dominance: the need to control the actions of others.

3) Independence: The needs to make one’s own decisions and rely on one’s self.

4) Protection-dependency: the need to have others to prevent frustrations or help obtain goals.

5) Love and affection: the need for acceptance and liking by others.

6) Physical comfort: learned needs for physical satisfactions associated with security.


Understanding the slave’s psychological needs is useful in behavioral training:

Each of the above needs has three basic components that aid in reaching goals. (How to succeed at goals:

1) The first component, need potential, or the likelihood that a set of behaviors directed at a goal will be used in a given situation.

2) The second component, freedom of movement, is the expectancy that a set of behaviors will lead to success in meeting a goal. High expectance leads to the anticipation of success.

3) The third component, need value, is the importance an individual places on one goal over other goals.


The law of effect states that people are motivated to seek out positive stimulation or reinforcement and to avoid unpleasant stimulation. This one makes sense to me.

Change the way the slaves thinks or change the environment the slave is responding to and behavior will change.

Humans have a basic inclination toward being a part of a larger social unit. Humans strive to belong and a willingness to serve a greater good for the betterment of the unit. The Master/slave relationship is a social unit. Both Master and slave strive to better the unit.




Social Psychology, Fourth addition, H. Michener & J. Delamater, copyright 1999, Harcourt Brace College Publishers, Orlando, FL.


The social learning theory of Bandura emphasizes the importance of observing and modeling the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others.


Bandura, A. (1973). Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.


The major theme of Vygotsky’s theoretical framework is that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition. . Vygotsky said that “All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals.”


Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


According to structural learning theory, what is learned are rules which consist of a domain, range, and procedure?


Scandura, J.M. (1977). Problem Solving: A Structural/Process Approach with Instructional Applications. NY: Academic Press.


According to Tolman’s theory of sign learning, an organism learns by pursuing signs to a goal, i.e., learning is acquired through meaningful behavior. Tolman emphasized the organized aspect of learning: “The stimuli which are allowed in are not connected by just simple one-to-one switches to the outgoing responses. Rather the incoming impulses are usually worked over and elaborated in the central control room into a tentative cognitive-like map of the environment.


Tolman, E.C. (1932). Purposive Behavior in Animals and Men. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.


Julian Rotter’s Social Learning Theory is that personality represents an interaction of the individual with his or her environment. One cannot speak of a personality, internal to the individual that is independent of the environment. Neither can one focus on behavior as being an automatic response to an objective set of environmental stimuli. Rather, to understand behavior, one must take both the individual (i.e., his or her life history of learning and experiences) and the environment (i.e., those stimuli that the person is aware of and responding to) into account. The law of effect states that people are motivated to seek out positive stimulation, or reinforcement, and to avoid unpleasant stimulation. Rotter combined behaviorism and the study of personality, without relying on physiological instincts or drives as a motive force.


Julian Rotter.


Becoming an Internalized


Locus of Control measure by Julian Rotter


Distrusting others


Social Learning Theory of Julian Rotter


Albert Bandura


Albert Bandura


Bandura, Albert, Ross, Dorothea, & Ross, Sheila A. (1961). Transmission of aggressions through imitation of aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 575-582. [One of the classic “Bobo Doll” studies of the imitation by children of aggressive behavior.]


Social Learning Theory by Albert Bandura