Psychology 2550A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Classical Conditioning, Behaviorism, Albert Bandura

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Chapter 14 – Social Cognitive Conceptions
Development of the Social Cognitive Level
Social cog approach began 60s
At that time 3 theoretical camps
oFreudians, personality trait, radical behaviourists
George Kelly’s work bridged the phenomenological-humanistic and social cognitive
level of analysis to benefit of both
Linking cognition and social behaviour
60s, personality psychologists who were attracted by scientific emphasis of behavioural
drew on principles of learning established in experimental work with animals
traditional behaviourists asserted stimuli control behaviour
oin fact, perceiver’s mental representations and cognitive transformations of the
stimuli can determine and even reverse their impact
Kelly had argued this but had poor empirical evidence
What is in a childs heads – not what is physically infront of them – determines their
ability to delay
oTalking about young child left during waiting period w/ desired object in front
oIt is what is inside the childs head that is influencing behaviour, not external
How people think and represent the world has to be taken into account to understand
what they are doing and why they are doing it
George Kelly – bridge to social cognitive level
Critizied behaviourists
Before cognitive psychology exists, Kelly created cognitive theory of personality
oIn which how people construe and think is at the core
He anticipated implications of cognition for personality theory
oThought people are active agents who influence and change their lives
oCore of his psychology was his belief that personal constructs are basic units and
that it is personal constructs, rather than stimuli that are crucial
Greatest incompleteness of Kelly’s thinking was that it provided powerful theory of
construing but gave few guides for linking peoples’ constructions either to past or future
Kelly’s theory is a theory of how we categorize and what those categorizations do
Cognitive Revolution
Studies showing what child thinks about a stimulus (anticipated rewards) and represents
it mentally influences impact of stimulus part of important developing in 50s
Cognitive revolution which started as a revolt against the then-dominant behaviourism
but went on to literally transform psych and all the behavioural sciences
Cognitive rejected behaviourist view can only look at observable behaviours
Became new field growing in 70s and 80s focusing on how people represent knowledge
about the world, how such representations develop and are accessed in processing of
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Impacted both personality and social psych
oPersonality  led to theories and research in personality psych referred to as
social cognitive
Albert Bandura: social learning theory
Third type of learning independent of classical and operant
Showed how people learn cognitively by observing others, not merely be experiencing
rewards for what they do themselves
Much social learning occurs through observation without any direct reinforcement
administered to the learner
Learning through observation (modeling)
Learning that occurs w/out learner’s receiving direct external reinforcement
Occurs even without the persons ever performing the learned response at all
Often indirect, and does not depend on actually observing an event
oMass media are highly effective means of communicating experiences and
New response patterns can be learned by observing others performing them
Important for learning a language
Observing other peoples outcomes: what happens to them might happen to you
People learn about the possible consequences of various behaviours from observing
what happens to other when they engage in similar behaviours
Your expectations about the outcomes of a particular course of action depend not only
on what has happened to you in the past, but also on what you have observed
happening to others
More likely to do something if seen model sobtain positive consequences for a similar
Models inform us of the probable consequences of particular behaviours and thus affect
the likelihood that we will perform them
Observation also influences the emotions we experience
By observing the emotional reactions of others to a stimulus its possible vicariously to
learn an intense emotional response to that stimulus
oWatching another be shocked when buzzer goes off
oPairing of buzzer and response made confederate develop physiological fear
response to the sound of buzzer
Importance of Rules and Symbolic Processes
Many studies showed that people don’t need trial by trial shaping; but seemed to be
helped most by the rules and self-instructions they
Studies have indicated that it helps not only to reward appropriate behaviour but also
specify relevant underlying rules so can more readily learn and adopt
oAdopt rules easier when clear verbal rules
Cognitive plays a role even in classical conditioning
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In the development of therapeutic methods to change behaviour, they began to more
directly engage the person’s thought processes and social knowledge for therapeutic
oSuggested more social cognitive approach was required to take into account how
individual characteristically deals mentally and emotionally with experiences
In mid 80s Bandura introduced broad social cognitive theory that addresses much in
human social functioning, combing within it the contributions of diverse researchers and
oCovers how people acquiring cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural
competences, and interact with – and create – their social worlds
oGives attention to importance of cognitive, vicarious processes in enabling
adaptive social behaviour and change
Agentic, Proactive person
Bandura emphasizes human capacity to be agentic and exercise self-regulation and self
reflection as people generate behaviour that rather than being reflexive, is proactive
Human functioning reflects the continuous interplay of personal, behavioural and
environmental influences
Calls attention to importance of the human ability to symbolize events and experiences
and to anticipate consequences, plan events and direct one’s goals and activities
purposefully through forethought
Self regulation and motivation of ones behaviour involves a process in which self
standards are adopted, subsequent behaviour is self-regulated by the positive and
negative consequences they produce, including through self-reward and self-
devaluative reactions
In Bandura’s broad theorizing, most important and central construct is self-efficacy
Refers to the individuals belief that he or she can successfully execute the behaviours
required by a particular situation
Perceptions of ones own efficacy importantly guide and direct one’s behaviour
High association was found b/w the degree to which persons improved from treatment
and their perceived self-efficacy
Clear links between self-perceptions of ones competence and ability to actually behave
Perceived self-efficacy influences the goals people set for themselves and risks that they
are willing to take
oGreater their perceived self-efficacy, higher the goals they choose and the
stronger their commitment and perseverance in pursuing them
Role of self-efficacy in personality and behaviour change
Behaviour therapy and other forms of intervention in Banduras POV work by increasing
efficacy expectations and leading people to believe they can cope with tricky situations
Any methods that strengthen expectancies of personal efficacy will help the person
perform the relevant behaviour
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