Social Cognitive Theory

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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The Social Cognitive Theory The social cognitive theory is a view that people simply don’t learn from environmental influences but often learn and behave due to their own personal thoughts, feelings, motivation and actions. Observing others, thinking about the consequences and setting performance goals are a just a few of the examples of the social cognitive theory. This theory can also be split up into three different but equally valid components: observational learning, self-efficacy and self regulation. Observational learning is the process of learning through observing, imitating and reflecting from the behaviour of others. In most cases, observational learning occurs when someone examines the actions of another and reflects upon the person’s consequences. According to the consequences of the actions, the observer will imitate the behaviour if the outcome is positive or reject it if it is negative. Observational learning in some cases can be seen as reinforcement but it is self-reinforcement. Self-efficacy is another component of the social cognitive theory and is the belief that an individual has about their capability to successfully complete a task. Self-efficacy is a cognitive belief and changes according to the task at hand. It is not a stable personal trait but rather is affected by one’s experiences and past successes while performing the specific task. Self- efficacy is also influenced by perceiving others performing the task, verbal persuasion, encouragement and one’s physical and/or mental state. The last component of the social cognitive theory is self-regulation and it is the applying of learning principles to adjust one’s behaviour. Generally, this process involves observing and then comparing one’s actions to a standard. If the behaviour meet or exceed the standard a reward is granted to one’s self. It is a way to manage one’s own…...

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