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Critically evaluate ways in which behaviourist concepts may be incorporated into more general theories such as social cognitive theory.

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Introduction

Critically Evaluate Ways In Which Behaviourist Concepts May Be Incorporated Into More General Theories Such As Social Cognitive Theory. Behaviourism is focused on what individuals actually do rather than what they may be thinking or feeling. It is difficult to measure the thinking or feeling of individuals. Therefore observing individual behaviour is important because behaviour can be interpreted: this could be achieved through observation in terms of speech, speed of movement and facial expression. Behaviour can be observed directly and interpreted. Behaviourist theorists have argued that behaviour is environmentally controlled (e.g. B.F. Skinner) Behaviourist have argued that the way an individual behaves is reinforced from the past, for example, if a child is always behaving good it receives no attention from parents therefore parents will ignore the child, the child will then deliberately misbehave to attain attention from parents. Therefore the child will reinforce this behaviour in the future to gain attention from parents. Behaviour is also associated with rewards and punishments; organisations have a tendency of using rewards and punishment to reinforce individual behaviour. Rewards are used to reinforce good behaviour, for example an employee who is never late, never absent may receive a reward such as a bonus, and therefore this is seen as a good gesture. ...read more.

Middle

This is when individuals learn from the reinforcement and punishment experienced by others as well experienced by the individual themselves. The reinforcement behaviour will take place at a later time because the individual does not want to perform the behaviour at that particular time. It is delayed because the behaviour is self- administered. Individuals to see how well they can behave in a given situation could use self-efficacy; this is a good way to predict behaviour. For example how an employee will behave if they where given a task where if successful they would be rewarded. The schema is another key concept in social cognition. It is a structure that individuals use to make sense to situations. Schemas are in effect, which a ready-made framework is therefore; an individual's framework can be made to be placed with experience. "Schemas which involve sequences of actions are termed scripts"(Arnold J, 1998 P. 35) Scripts can be used to guide individual behaviour, it can also influence the behaviour of others as well as the expectations of others in particular situations, for example the way that an employee behaves in a workplace, the employee can use scripts to acknowledge how they will behave and also have expectations of other employees to behave in the same manner (e.g. ...read more.

Conclusion

The results showed there was an improvement in productivity an outline of 50 % for feedback, 75 % for group goal setting and 75% for incentives. The study did not provide conclusive proof of the different effects of the various interventions; the authors felt that incentives added little to improvements brought about feedback and goal setting. However what was found out by this particular study did not back the study which was undertaken by Guzza (1985), their study illustrated that incentives do improve performance, however it is dependent on the way it is applied and the consequences. The implication that social cognition has on work psychology has not been immense, however it is increasing. Work psychology is slow to integrate new theoretical perspectives (e.g. Webster and Starbuck), this is particularly because it takes time and effort to identify how new theories can be applied to the social cognitive theory. The social cognitive theory, therefore they are few problems including its relative complication limits and its ability to generate straightforward techniques that can be applied across a range of situations. However, ideas from social cognition are certainly highly relevant to the world of work. Social cognition is becoming more important in work psychology, especially when correlated with social learning. ...read more.

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