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- Social Cognitive Theory -

    According to social cognitive theory, we are neither good nor bad, but are shaped by the Interaction of three factors:

1.   Cognitive - personal factors
 1.   Behaviors
  1.   Environmental factors

Bandura's social cognitive theory assumes four cognitive factors that influence personality:

1.   Language ability
 1.   Observational learning
  1.   Purposeful behavior
   1.   Self-analysis

Three SCT specific beliefs that can be used to understand behavior:

1.   Locus of control (Julian Rotter) - Internal or External
 1.   Delay of gratification (Walter Mischel)
  1.   Self-efficacy (Albert Bandura) - Your self-efficacy is how competent you feel to do something; your self-esteem is your sense of self worth. - A skilled thief might feel high self-efficacy & low self-esteem.

Evaluation of social cognitive theory, limitations:

     •  The theory's comprehensiveness & complexity make it difficult to operationalize.
     •  Many applications of the SCT focus on one or two constructs, such as self-efficacy, while ignoring the others.

General Psychology
Robert C. Gates