Social Cognitive Theory Essay

Saad Bennani Social Cognitive Theory Application Report a. Description of your theory Originally coined from the social learning theory, the social cognitive theory (SCT), evolved to better suit the knowledge of the time of “human information processing capacities”, and “biases that influence learning from experience, observation, and symbolic communication. ” SCT can be divided into five sub-category constructs, which group the key concepts. (a) Psychological Determinants of Behavior: This key construct is characterized by various determinants that influence ones behavior.

Outcome expectations are how apt one is to actually performing the behavior, and the repercussions that ensue. Self-Efficacy is a concept we’ve seen numerous times with other theories this semester, which is ones personal ability to face the behavior, and that applies to a group when in reference to collective efficacy. (b) Observational Learning: This construct deals with how exposure to certain behaviors such as smoking, or binge drinking on television, or others who are directly around you i. e. parents, peers) affects you. “Monkey see, Monkey do. ” (c) Environmental Determinants: Incentive motivation is a reward/punishment system that’s used to promote or demote the performance of behaviors. If the negative behavior is done, punishments are enforced. The opposite is true, and rewarded for positive behaviors or actions. Facilitation is using anything available to you to help ease the process of changing a behavior. An example can be an environmental change, such as removing an ashtray, a common used tool for smokers.

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The removal of bottle openers also makes it more difficult to open bottles of wine, to cease drinking alcohol. (d) Self-regulation: Is the ability to monitor one’s self in a way that makes your behavioral change a success. Setting goals or milestones is one of the most effective ways to cease or promote behavior. Policing yourself results in good self-esteem, and positive attitude towards changing your ways. (e) Moral disengagement: Is a mental approach to the SCT, it requires changing ones way of thinking, and the way it affects impulses of behavior, and those close to you.

Once moral disengagement is acquired, one is free of their old way of believing the way the behavior affected them in the past. b. Description of research or program intervention The research I studied for this theory application report involves the Social cognitive theory, and predicting physical activity within undeserved middle school students. The researches believed that a certain demographic of students in urban, minority, and low-income households weren’t getting the sufficient amount of exercise in school.

They linked this due to the fact, which lower income children were also at a higher risk to obesity, and being overweight. The study observes 506 children from the age of 10 to 14 years old, male and female, from 5 different middle schools in the mid-western United States. The basis for the study was done through questionnaires, with each question tailored to answer questions to better predict, and access how kids get their PA (physical activities), how frequent, which ways, and the factors that directly relate to their exercise. c. Explanation of how the theory is applied.

When it comes to the application of the social cognitive theory, and how the research I studied is relevant, the most obvious construct that I see involved is collective efficacy. Almost every student questioned, responded with physical activity involving group or “collective” participation. Games, sports, and other fun-filled activities required a group effort to achieve the necessary PA to be sufficient enough. If a child were to perform an activity related to exercise alone, such as jogging, or calisthenics it would be less appealing to them, or seem as a chore rather than fun.

The fact that it is a collective activity seems fun. Not only does is get them to perform this positive behavior, but it involves more of the children, rather than a smaller group. A factor that limited the PA, was facilitation. According to the SCT, facilitation involves the use of resources to ease the process of behavioral change. In the case of this research, when the school studied had a lack of resources such as funding, environmental constraints, such as the lack of a gymnasium, the level of group exercise went down. When new equipment was provided, the PA and levels of performance were enhanced. . Critique and lessons learned One flaw that I see from the way this research was conducted was the lack of comparative data. They should have taken 5 schools of the privileged, wealthy middle schools and looked at them side-by-side. If you can take the data from children who have the sufficient facilities, equipment, and funds, and compare that to the data of the children’s schools who lacked the facilities, you can better analyze the causes of the physical education breakdown. -Good explanation on the SCT constructs and its application into the physical activity.