Social Cognitive Theory

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Week One Assignment

Social Cognitive Theory vs. Behaviorism

EDUC 501


This paper will attempt to draft differences between social cognitive theory and behaviorism. I will summarize each theory in the opening section of this paper, and then offer a final conclusion that will offer my personal opinion.

I must admit by saying I wasn’t aware of the various learning models are theories associated with learning or human development. I found the readings at some points confusing, fascinating and thought provoking. The fundamental challenge in this assignment, I believe, was to determine the difference or differences between the social cognitive theory and the theory of behaviorism. In order for any difference to be determined, one must first present the current theories.

The social cognitive theory, according to my readings, is an extension of behaviorism.   But, before I explain the extension portion of this statement, please allow me to offer a summary of the social cognitive theory. Social cognitive theory is a learning theory that is based upon the notion that people learn by watching other people and that the human thought process is essential to understanding our personalities.  Moreover, it juxtaposes that people behave in a specific way to achieve goals. In this model behavior is self-directed and is not directed by any other factors. Central to this theory is the fact that the mind is the central component that directs and controls behaviors.

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Upon reading my readings of social cognitive theory, I discovered that it is nearly impossible to read anything regarding learning theories or social cognitive theory without reading about “behaviorism”. As I mentioned earlier in this paper social cognitive theory was an extension of behaviorism, the two have close similarities. Although they have similarities I have interpreted on major difference that I will discuss in the conclusion this paper. However, let us examine the fundamental concept of the behavior theory.

Behavior theory centers upon the idea that behaviors can be observed and measured. Now, after reading this statement, I was ...

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