Quiz 16: Skinner: Behavioral Analysis


Bandura holds that personality is molded by an interaction of behavior, personal factors (especially cognition), and the environment.In contrast, Skinner believed that the environment ultimately shaped behavior. Bandura believes that responses can be learned even in the absence of their occurrence, whereas Skinner contended that responses must occur in order to be reinforced. A fundamental difference between Bandura and Skinner is Bandura's emphasis on cognition.Bandura believes that people have the capacity for symbolization, and this allows them to understand their environment and to regulate it partially, without having had direct experience with every important aspect of that environment. Similarly, Bandura places more emphasis on vicarious experiences and vicarious reinforcement. Bandura holds that, in order for an event to be reinforcing, people must be aware of the connection between actions and outcomes.In other words, conditioning is cognitively mediated and not an inevitable consequence of the environment, as Skinner contended.

Bandura believes that people have limited capacity for self-regulation.By using reflective thought, people can alter their environment and produce consequences of their actions. People also have some capacity to monitor their behavior and evaluate it in terms of their goals. Both external and internal factors play a role in self-regulation.External factors provide people with a standard for evaluating their own behavior as well as with the means for receiving reinforcement. These external factors interact with internal, or personal, factors to produce self-regulation.Bandura identified three internal requirements for self-regulation: (1) self-observation, (2) judgmental processes, and (3) affective self-reaction. The first step in self-regulation is for people to observe their behavior and its consequences. Next, people must judge the worth of their actions.They do this by applying both personal standards and standards of reference.In addition, judgmental processes depend on the overall value people place on an activity and their ability to attribute success or failure to their own efforts. Finally, people use affective self-reaction to regulate their behavior.The consequences of people's behavior are not determined solely by the environment, but by their positive or negative response to how their behavior measures up to their personal standards.

Collective efficacy refers to the level of confidence people have that their combined effort will produce social change.It is the result of the personal efficacy of many individuals working together to bring about social, political, or environmental change. People can have high personal efficacy but low collective efficacy.However, personal and collective efficacy can complement one another to change one's lifestyle. Several factors can undermine collective efficacy.First, in our modern transnational world, events in one part of the globe can affect people in other parts of the world.Second, recent technology that we neither understand nor control can lower collective efficacy.Third, entrenched bureaucracies discourage social change and reduce collective efficacy.Fourth, the scope and magnitude of problems such as war, famine, overpopulation, crime, and natural disasters may leave one with a sense of helplessness.