Contemporary Theorist Project-Albert Bandura Most often associated with the work of Albert Bandura is the social learning theory
Contemporary Theorist Project-Albert Bandura
Most often associated with the work of Albert Bandura is the social learning theory, which involves principles of both behaviorism and cognitive theories of learning. An important part of that theory is reciprocal causation. Reciprocal causation is a phenomenon where three factors-the environments, the person, and the behavior, affect each other indefinitely. In the indefinite cycle either success compounds success or failure compounds failure because the three factors are so interdependent on each other.
Our theorist Albert Bandura is the father of the social cognitive theory. He was born December 4, 1925 in Canada. After graduating from high school in 1946, Bandura pursued a bachelor’s degree, was awarded the Bolocan Award in psychology, and then worked towards a master’s degree in psychology and a doctorate in clinical psychology. Albert Bandura is probably best known for his modeling study on aggression (the “Bobo doll” experiment) which demonstrated that children can learn behaviors- both good and bad- through watching adults (Nolen).
Reciprocal causation is the idea that behavior is controlled or determined by the individual (cognitive processes) and by the environment (external social stimulus events). Reciprocal causation has three factors: the environment (External Spaces, Laws, Objects), the individual/ person (Internal Competencies, Emotional & Physical), and the behavior (actions & decisions) (Cherry). The social cognitive theory in 1986 says that it takes a person’s environment, cognition, and behaviour all interacting to determine how that person functions, as opposed to one of those factors playing a dominant role. (Nolen)
Real life reciprocal causation example one: Loud music like heavy metal is believed to put a person in an agitated state of mind, whereas soothing music enables the person to take decisions in a calm and rational manner. Some teachers may play soft instrumental music in the background during the school day to put students at ease. I myself listen to a lot of instrumental and Broadway themed tunes whenever I need to focus, but if I find myself doing something mindless (walking, working out, knitting, etc.) then I usually listen to stuff like rock or swing music. These could be an example of when environment influences a person’s behavior.
Example two: A student (person-early education or child) is not be a fan of a required class. The student’s dislike of the subject affects how they are in the class (behavior) to the point of a poor performance in the classroom which can lead to tension with the other students or even the teacher (environment). With poor relationships with the people the student sees in the class, it could foster more negative feelings leading to worse behavior.
For different individuals (or for the same person at different times), different motives may cause the same behavior; likewise the same motive may present in different behaviors (Messick). A common theme in Psychology is the interaction between nature and nurture, so we can look at reciprocal causation like the interactions between an individual and the situation they are in. This can link the theory to observational learning which is learning while watching others. It implies the factors that affect our learning are all determinants of each other, and that our learning and the changes in our behavior are gained through our interactions with/ observations of others (Adaptations to thrive in their environment)
Reciprocal causation is a phenomenon where either success compounds success or failure compounds failure because the three factors are interdependent on each other. Awareness of the factors and the influences in each can help teachers understand how to use different teaching methods to help a student improve.