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The Social Cognitive Theory, Term Paper Example

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Albert Bandura presented the Social Cognitive Theory because he was dissatisfied with psychoanalysis and behaviorism principles. The reason for developing the theory is that cognitions role of situations and in motivation were ignored (Bandura, 1977; as cited in Redmond, 2010). Social cognitive theory, as an agentic perspective, is of change, adaptation and development. According to Bandura’s view, people are proactive, self-reflecting, self-organizing, and self-regulating. “This implies that they are contributors to their life circumstances and not just products of them” (Bandura, 2005, p. 1). The emphasis of this theory is on how behavioral, environmental, cognitive, and personal factors interact to resolve behavior and motivation. For example, behavioral factors (performances of employees), influenced by cognitive factors (how workers are affected) through environmental factors (strategies of the organization).

Concepts under this theory include

  • Self-regulation- the development of this concept relies on persistence, goal setting, and planning as primary strategies. I am going to do it! (Bandura, 1997, p. 2).
  • Emotional coping responses– tactics used by a person in dealing with emotional stimuli; training is provided in stress management and problem solving.
  • Reinforcements– a person’s behavior response that increase or decrease the likelihood of reoccurrence. Self-initiated incentives and rewards are promoted (Glanz, Rimer & Lewis, 2002, p. 169).

For nurses, this theory helps them develop efficacy and goal setting beliefs since they are sources of motivation. For example, when a new nurse is employed, it is obvious to assign them hard tasks. In this situation, individuals are likely to experience stress, self-doubt, and increased threat of performing unfamiliar tasks. Nevertheless, when assigned simple tasks, they succeed (Schwarzer, 1992). As a result, hospital managers need to introduce hard tasks slowly to be able to build self-efficacy. In addition, the theory enables nurses to be persistent in their work, plan and implement strategies that promote goal-setting ideas. This increases productivity and enables nurses attend to their patients in a professional manner.

Examples of how social cognitive theory, may be used as a role in my nurse practitioner include:

  1. Social support increases physical activity when exercising patients.
  2. Nurses comprehend factors affecting behavior and gives guidance. Through social environments, successful programs are developed.

References

Bandura, A. (1977). Social Learning Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Glanz, K., Rimer, B. K. & Lewis, F. M. (2002). Health Behavior and Health Education. Theory, Research and Practice. San Fransisco: Wiley & Sons.

Schwarzer, R. (Ed.) (1992). Self-efficacy: Thought control of action. Washington, DC: Hemisphere.

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