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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?