Bandura wanted to focus on thinking (cognition) and self processes (people are given control and personal agency: their goals, self-evaluation, self-efficacy). The theory should have useful applications in therapy. Mischel found traits too broad, they didn’t account for variability across situations and showed trends for population but were no good for individuals. Hence SCT arose because these people thought that other approaches did not adequately address human psychology (and personality for that matter); e.g. the evolutionary perspective ignores most things, the behavioural approach states that we don’t have control over our actions, and the traits theory is too broad.
A theory should
The main ideas of SCT are
1) competencies and skills
2) expectancies and beliefs
3) behavioural standards
4) personal goals
These four make up personality and cause personality fluctuations in different situations
So, SCT beliefs that you (i.e. your thoughts) are organised through these four key structures. What furthermore affects you though are
1) Schemas – set of knowledge/rules about something, expectations, product of your own experiences
i) self-enhancement: focus on good information when good and bad are present
ii) self-verification: ‘confirmation bias’ – hold on to good/bad information (e.g. when you do something good you think it’s just look but you’re actually still bad at it – can lead to health problems!)
iii) ideal vs ought self: schema of your ideal self vs behaviours you should do
2) Self-regulations; we are active agents that can reflect and act and thus motivate ourselves. An active and self-directed process involves a) setting goals b) avoiding distractions c) monitoring progress and c) looking to the future
a) motivation: your (un)satisfaction
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