Quiz 17: Bandura: Social Cognitive Theory
Rotter's variables of prediction are (1) behavior potential, (2) expectancy, (3) reinforcement value, and (4) the psychological situation. Behavior is the possibility that a particular response will occur at a given time and place. Expectancy is a person's perceived probability that a particular reinforcement will occur as the result of that person's behavior in a specific situation or situations. Reinforcement value is simply the value a person places on a particular reinforcement when the possibility of a number of reinforcements occurring is equal. The psychological situation is that part of the external and internal world to which a person is responding.
Internal and external control of reinforcement refers to Rotter's theory that people strive to reach goals because they have a generalized expectancy that such strivings will be successful. Rotter developed the Internal-External Control Scale to assess the general tendency for people to see a causal relationship between their own efforts and environmental consequences.This scale is often called the locus of control scale. People who score high on the scale (in an external direction) tend to explain away their successes as due to luck or chance, or conditions beyond their personal control. People who score in an internal direction tend to have generalized expectancies for success that are based on their own performance.That is, people high on internal locus of control believe that their own actions are important contributors to success.They are able to retain a high sense of personal control even after several failures. Scores on the scale are not causes of behavior but must be considered along with reinforcement value when predicting behavior potential. Locus of control is a global rather than a specific concept.It does not predict achievement in a specific situation. The scale should not be used to divide people into two distinct groups.People range from very high internal control to very high external control, but most people score along that continuum. Although internal control is generally valued over external control, people with very high internal locus of control may assume personal responsibility for events beyond their power.
Mischel believes that personal traits, or dispositions, are insufficient to initiate or guide a person's behavior.Conversely, he holds that the situation alone cannot determine and direct behavior.Instead, his person-situation model of dispositions hypothesizes that behavior is shaped by people's perceptions of themselves in a particular situation. Mischel's model emphasizes the importance of specific goals in predicting behavior. Mischel would say that miserly people will not always behave in a miserly manner.People inclined toward miserliness will use this trait along with other cognitive-affective processes to achieve a specific goal (for example, allowing a dining companion to leave the tip). Most people are able to predict, or at least guess, another person's behavior by considering both the situation and that person's individual traits.Therefore, they are able to say that, for example, a certain person will tell a lie in one situation but not in another.