social cognitive theory in education
Self-efficacy has consistently been shown to influence behaviors in stroke survivors. 26 Social cognitive theory outlines four ways to improve self-efficacy: (1) mastery experiences, (2) vicarious experiences (i.e., social modeling), (3) social persuasion, and (4) states of emotions and physiology. 71 Healthcare providers can provide mastery experiences by encouraging patients to practice the behavior, ensuring that the patient has small successes in engaging in the behavior (i.e., start simple and progress in difficulty), and providing feedback on progress. Healthcare providers can facilitate vicarious experiences by encouraging patients to attend support groups, having them interact with other patients (e.g., group education), and describing success stories of patients engaging in the behavior. Social persuasion and states of emotions can both be addressed by providing education, for example, providing pamphlets on the benefits of exercising or medications, teaching the differences between fatigue felt after exercise and fatigue caused by the stroke, and addressing feelings of depression and/or anxiety. Table 20.1 provides details on implementing behavior strategies consistent with social cognitive theory.
Self-efficacy theory (SET) is a subset of Bandura’s ( 1986 ) social cognitive theory . According to this approach, the two key determinants of behavior are perceived self-efficacy and outcome expectancies. The latter construct refers to the perceived positive and negative consequences of performing the behavior. See Schwarzer and Fuchs ( 1996 ) for a version of this model that incorporates risk perceptions and behavioral intention, as well as components of the action phase of behavior change. No meta-analysis of SET has been published, though there is substantial evidence for the predictive validity of self-efficacy (Schwarzer and Fuchs 1996 ).
One theory that draws on both cognitive and behavior influences and benefits from technology is that of social learning or the social cognitive theory. Learning continually occurs through social interactions and influences from the community, media and the Internet. People determine how these influences will affect them based on their inner thoughts. Through social interactions learning will occur and meaning will be constructed. There are numerous opportunities for people to enhance their learning through social interactions online. Global networking and creating/interacting with educational games as a group are a few resources to enhance social learning. Social learning is ever increasing with the continual advancements of technology and online communications.
Scherba de Valenzuela, J. (2002). Sociocultural Theory. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico. Retrieved Mar. 13, 2009, from http://www.unm.edu/%7Edevalenz/handouts/sociocult.html
For Bandura (1986), the capability that is most “distinctly human” (p. 21) is that of self-reflection, hence it is a prominent feature of social cognitive theory. Through self-reflection, people make sense of their experiences, explore their own cognitions and self-beliefs, engage in self-evaluation, and alter their thinking and behavior accordingly.
Bandura, A. (1993). Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning. Educational Psychologist, 28, 117-148.
An experiment by Schunk and Hanson, that studied grade 2 students who had previously experienced difficulty in learning subtraction, illustrates the type of research stimulated by social learning theory. One group of students observed a subtraction demonstration by a teacher and then participated in an instructional program on subtraction. A second group observed other grade 2 students performing the same subtraction procedures and then participated in the same instructional program. The students who observed peer models scored higher on a subtraction post-test and also reported greater confidence in their subtraction ability. The results were interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that perceived similarity of the model to the learner increases self-efficacy, leading to more effective learning of modeled behavior. It is supposed that peer modeling is particularly effective for students who have low self-efficacy.
Social cognitive theory is a highly influential fusion of behavioral, cognitive and social elements that was initially developed by educational psychologist Albert Bandura. In its earlier, neo-behavioral incarnation called social learning theory, Bandura emphasized the process of observational learning in which a learner’s behavior changes as a result of observing others’ behavior and its consequences. The theory identified several factors that determine whether observing a model will affect behavioral or cognitive change. These factors include the learner’s developmental status, the perceived prestige and competence of the model, the consequences received by the model, the relevance of the model’s behaviors and consequences to the learner’s goals, and the learner’s self-efficacy. The concept of self-efficacy, which played an important role in later developments of the theory, refers to the learner’s belief in his or her ability to perform the modeled behavior.
Such beliefs can impact personal growth and change. For example, research has shown that enhancing self-efficacy beliefs is more likely to result in the improvement of health habits than the use of fear-based communication. Belief in one’s self-efficacy can be the difference between whether or not an individual even considers making positive changes in their life.
Social cognitive theory is a learning theory developed by the renowned Stanford psychology professor Albert Bandura. The theory provides a framework for understanding how people actively shape and are shaped by their environment. In particular, the theory details the processes of observational learning and modeling, and the influence of self-efficacy on the production of behavior.