Bandura's Social-Cognitive Theory

Essay by stealthmasterCollege, UndergraduateA, June 2009

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AbstractThe social cognitive theory is one of the 4 personality theories; that focuses mainly on the full development stages of the personality. The social cognitive theory takes an exhaustive approach to gaining a crystal clear understanding into the inner-workings of how people are heavily influenced by their immediate surroundings and inter-personal associations. The rich history of the social cognitive theory dates back for more than 60 years. It continues to be intensely studied, researched, and further developed; as strides in science and technology continue to advance at seeming light-speed. This theory has many different branches and facets; in particular, triadic reciprocal determinism. Careful study of how surroundings and personal associations directly affect citizens' everyday decisions just may point science in the right direction; to fully understand why people commit crime in the first place.

The history of the social cognitive theory dates back to 1941; through the pioneering research of N.E.

Miller & J. Dollard. Their proposition posits that if humans were motivated to learn a particular behavior that particular behavior would be learned through clear observations. By imitating these observed actions the individual observer would solidify that learned action and would be rewarded with positive reinforcement (Miller & Dollard, 1941). This decisive theory was further researched and developed by A. Bandura & R.H. Walters. However, in 1977 Bandura presented his concept of self-efficacy; which in turn, rejected the earlier theories of the traditional learning theory.

According to Bandura, the social cognitive theory explains how people acquire and maintain certain behavioral patterns, while also providing the basis for intervention strategies (Bandura, 1997). During the expansive course of Bandura's research, he opened the enigmatic envelope of social cognition. Bandura's introduction of triadic reciprocal determinism, in which cognitive and other personal factors, behavior, and environmental influences all operate interactively as...