Social Cognitive Theory of Personality

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Social cognitivist perspective
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– The S-C perspective views behavior & personality as influed by the interaction b/w persons (& their thinking) & their social context – Ppl learn behavior thru conditioning or thru modeling & imitating the behavior of other ppl – Rather than focusing on how the enviro controls us, S-C focuses on how we interact w/ our enviro
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Albert Bandura
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– argued that our mental capacities interact w/ our enviros to influ our behavior – important determinant = self-efficacy: how much we believe we can achieve specific outcomes
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Reciprocal Approach
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– Refers to the interacting influs b/w personality, enviro factors, & behavior – Personality shaped by our feelings, thoughts, enviro, & behavior – We are products & architects of our enviro – There is no 1 enviro that effects everyone the same – At every moment our behavior is influed by our bio, our social experiences, & our cognition & personality
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Julian Rotter
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– Emphasized our sense of personal control—whether we see ourselves as controlling or controlled by our enviro – Found ppl behaved diff depending on if they believe success was determined by skill or luck – Performed better when thought skill – Argues that ppls behaviors depends on their subjective beliefs – Locus of control – Ppl tend to have a generalized disposition – personality trait – learned from past experiences to believe that rewards are due to our own personal effort or that they are out of our control
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External locus of control
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Rewards (& fate) outside of control
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Internal locus of control
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Individuals control their own rewards More likely to: – Take preventive health measures – Succeed in weight loss programs – Seek info about how to protect themselves during tornado warnings – Resist group pressure in lab tests of conformity – Prefer games of skill over chance [scale does predict behavior, but correlations not high]
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Domain specific locus of control
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– Development of separate locus of control scales for separate realms – High correlation

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