Quiz 18: Rotter and Mischel: Cognitive Social Learning Theory


Kelly believed that human behavior is shaped both by reality and by an individual's perception of reality. Although the universe is real, Kelly insisted that different people construe it in different ways.Thus, personal constructs, or a person's way of interpreting and explaining events, are the basic units of prediction. Kelly believed that people, in their daily decision making, behave much like scientists.That is, they observe, ask questions, anticipate answers to those questions, perceive relationships between events, hypothesize about possible solutions, and predict potential outcomes. Kelly also held that we should perceive scientists and scientific theories with the same level of skepticism that we hold for other individuals and ideas.Each theory is but a set of half-truths and should be open to future restructuring. Because people continually strive to make sense out of their continuously changing world, they potentially have alternative ways of looking at things.Kelly coined the term "constructive alternativism" to refer to his contention that our present interpretations of the world are subject to revision or replacement.

Kelly's fundamental postulate is that people's processes are psychologically channelized by the ways in which they anticipate events.That is, people's behavior (thoughts and actions) is shaped by the way they see the future. Kelly's theory was solely concerned with each individual person functioning as a total being.Drives, needs, and motives play no part in his theory. People move with a direction through a network of flexible pathways and are capable of directing their movement toward some end or purpose. People guide their actions according to the ways they predict the future.Their present view of the future-not past experiences or the future itself-determines their present behavior.

Kelly's notion of role is embedded in his sociality corollary, which holds that to the extent that we construe the construction processes of another person, we may play a role in the social processes of that person. Role refers to a pattern of behavior which results from our understanding of the constructs of people with whom we are interacting.Our construction of our role in relation to another person need not be accurate, yet it shapes our behaviors and thoughts toward that person. People have both peripheral roles and core roles.With our core role, we define our self in terms of who we really are.Our core role gives us a sense of identity and provides us with a set of directions for daily living.Our numerous peripheral roles are less central to our self-concept and allow us to appear different to different people.