Cognitive Aspects to Personality


1. Bandura's Social Learning Theory

"Cognitive Social"
: conceptions and methods dealing with persons both as cognitive and as social beings are essential elements in an adequate psychological theory of individuality.


A. Pavlov/Skinner vs. Bandura












Behavior is learned






Classical conditioning

Operant conditioning








Learning process



Direct link between S and R / or behavior and reinforcer











Lab research with animals








B. Reciprocal determinism: personality develops through a process of reciprocal determinism--Personal, behavioral, and situational factors are continuously interacting to determine what we do and think.


C. Observational learning

Observational learning is the process through which the behavior as one person, an observer, changes as a result of merely being exposed to the behavior of another, the model.








Imitative effects







direct imitation:











Modeling cues are acquired or recalled




indirective imitation (facilitation):








Observation of live or symbolic modeling








Counterimitative effects








direct counterimitation:




Modeling cues are not acquired or not recalled




indirect counterimitation (inhibition):

































a) Acceptance can take one of four forms: Imitation or counterimitation, either of which can be direct of indirect.


b) Imitation is acting as the model did. Counterimitation is acting in the opposite way. When modeling has a direct influence and the observer engages in the same behavior as the model, this is direct imitation. Indirect imitation involves behaving similarly to the model. Indirect counterimitation involves behaving differently than the model.


c) Forms of acceptance of modeling cues


Situation: five-year-old Tom often sees his parents donate money

to charities




Type of acceptance











Tom puts a coin in the collection box at church






Tom shares his toys with his friends






Tom walks past the collection box at church without donating






Tom does not allow his friends to play with his toys






Tom's behavior is unaffected by observing his parent's behavior



** Bobo doll study















d) Three factors that influence modeling


1) The characteristics of the models




2) The characteristics of the observers





3) Vicarious consequences:





        Vicarious reward



        Vicarious punishment:




D. Self

a. Self-reinforcement


Self-reinforcement is at least as important as reinforcement administered by others, particularly for older children and adults : (ex) allowing yourself to buy a car or eat ice-cream.

b. Self-efficacy


a) How well we meet our standard of behavior determines our sense of self-efficacy. It refers to our feeling of adequacy, efficiency, and competence in coping with life. Meeting and maintaining our performance standards enhances self- efficacy;


b) People low in self-efficacy feel helpless, unable to exercise any influence over their life's events. People high in self-efficacy believe they can deal effectively with the events and situations they face.


c) A person's judgment about his/her level of self-efficacy is based on four sources of information.


1) performance accomplishment: it is a powerful source of efficacy information. Previous success experiences provide direct indications of our level mastery and competence.

2) vicarious experience: it can generate expectations in observers that they too can "do it."

3) verbal persuasion: By being told that they can "do it," people come to believe that they can

4) emotional/physiological arousal: our level of fear or calmness in a stressful situations. People are more inclined to expect success when they are not beset by aversive arousal than if they are tense and agitated.


E. Developmental stages of modeling