Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Personality Theories, Social Cognitive
Gail Hackett & Robert W. Lent
Developed over nearly five decades by Albert Bandura, social cognitive theory—which emphasizes the reciprocal interaction of behavior, cognitive, and other personal factors, and environmental influences on human functioning—has been carefully derived from empirical findings and subjected to repeated tests within many areas of human functioning. This reciprocal process of theory development and testing has, over the years, yielded multiple versions of this continuously evolving theoretical perspective. It is important to understand some background regarding the conceptual and empirical underpinnings of the theory before describing the theory as it stands today. Social cognitive theory had its origins in the 1950s and 1960s with the paradigm shift from psychody-namic approaches to psychotherapy to psychothera-peutic interventions increasingly based on learning theories. In fact, Bandura was instrumental in moving psychotherapy from a predominantly intrapsychic, talk-based intervention toward more active, learning-based interventions that relied heavily on performance and mastery. A hallmark of learning approaches was ...