Overview of Social Cognitive Theory

Albert Bandura’s Perspective

Social Cognition
…is rooted in a view of human agency in which individuals are agents proactively engaged in their own development and can make things happen by their actions. People are :  self-organizing  proactive  self-reflecting  self-regulating rather than as reactive organisms shaped by environmental forces or driven by impulses (behaviorism)

Reciprocal Determinism
 How individuals interpret the results of their own behavior not only

informs, but also alters their environments and the personal factors they possess which, in turn, inform and alter subsequent behavior.  The view that (a) personal characteristics (b) behavioral patterns, and (c) environmental factors create interactions that result in a triadic reciprocality.

Insight into Free Will and Determinism
Bandura believes that many occurrences in our

lives are accidental; however, they are not uncontrollable. Life experiences, biology, and the environment, shape our responses to these fortuitous experiences. “It is the way in which people take advantage of opportunity structures and manage constraints under the prevailing sociocultural conditions that make the difference” (Bandura, p.2, 2001).

Agentic Philosophy
Human Agency defined There are four core characteristics of human

agency including: 3) Intentionality - action plans and strategies 4) Forethought – setting goals and predicting outcomes 5) Self-regulation – regulate and monitor personal standards 6) Self-reflection – reflect on personal efficacy, evaluates effectiveness of strategies, and makes necessary changes accordingly.

Self-efficacy
Self-efficacy is an individuals beliefs about how

well they can accomplish a certain task. It plays a role in motivation and behavior of an individual. It is believed that through the development of self-efficacy, students may be able to control their learning and bolster their own academic success independent of the quality of school they attend.

Self-efficacy as a determinate
It has been shown that the choices made in an

individual’s life during his or her formative years shapes, or determines, the course of their lives. Therefore, one can maintain (and this is confirmed via research conducted by Bandura and colleagues) that the development, or lack of development of personal efficacy, impacts a persons future.

Free Will from Agentic Perspective
Remember the four characteristics of Agency?

To what extent is free will a part of these characteristics? *Self-regulatory agency: individuals proactively choose and respond to goals and change them accordingly. Individuals create their environments. They do not simply react to them.

Let's discuss!
Are our actions predetermined for us or do we

truly have choices regarding our behavior? Do we have control over conditions that affect our lives? Is this constant throughout all cultures?

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