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Skills for Higher Education : Social Cognitive theory

Added on - 20 Jan 2022

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Research Skills 2 (Skills for Higher Education)
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Social Cognitive theory and its aspects with the case studies
Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) was initiated by the renowned persona Albert Bandura in the
year 1960s through the Social Learning theory which highlights that learning occurs within a
social context through a dynamic as well as a reciprocal interaction between a person, behaviour
andenvironment(Luszczynska&Schwarzer,2015).SocialCognitiveTheoryworkson
identifying the unique methods which areutilised by individuals in acquiring and maintaining an
effective behaviour along with the consideration of the social environment within which the
individualsperform thespecificset of behaviour.The theoryevenensurestotakeinto
consideration the past experiences of an individual which works as a factor whether a certain
behaviourwouldoccurornot.Thepastexperiencestendtoinfluencereinforcement,
expectancies and expectations, all of these work on collaboration to ensure whether a person
would engage in certain behaviour along with the reason being the engagement. This essay
would introduce the series of factors of Social Cognitive Theory in association with two
individual case studies.
The Social Cognitive Theory was studied by Bandura with the famous experiment of aggression
by the adults towards the doll which was observed and interacted back by the children in a
similar manner. The studies byBandura stated that observation alone does not contribute to
learning but tye motivation along with the mental state of an individual contributes largely to it.
Ithasbeenrecognisedthatlearningisacombinationofexternalaswellasintrinsic
reinforcement. For example, in accordance with the first case study of the Grand UK holidays,
the company was highly dedicated towards its staff to engage into learning through effective
training but the entire learning process got limited due to differences in mental state of the
individualswhichresultedindissatisfaction.Theolderemployeesengagedinthinking
themselves to be inferior in pacing with the training abilities and considered the older policies
more efficient. The younger and new employees were unhappy to serve the older people on the
trip. Altogether, it contributed to demotivating factors which impacted the efficiency of learning
through the training process.
It has been established by many behaviourists that learning often leads to a permanent change in
terms of behaviour but Bandura opposed the entire idea. According to Bandura, one can indulge
in observing, imitating and even modelling out something but might not end up learning the
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entire process effectively. Bandura highlighted four differentiating steps which are important for
an observable behavioural change within an individual. First one is attention where a learner
needs to remain fully attentive in learning new skills or ideas, and any form of distraction can
interfere with the quality of learning. This could be identified in the first case study of Grand UK
holidays and its training process. The existing employees were distracted with the idea that the
training was all the same while others panicked with the inability to match up with the new staff.
This caused distraction and interfered with the learning process. The new staff were demotivated
with the idea that they have to travel with only older people which can be hectic. But for some, it
was interesting and a unique model as it would be unique to know broader aspects of people
along with adding to the specialisation of the people.
Second one is retention which deals with the ability to store the information learned. In order to
keep up with effective learning, it becomes important for individuals to track the development
(Bandura, 2014). This was ensured by the Grand UK Holidaysorganisation through the
introduction of the training session even for the existing staff who are familiar with the processes
and requirements. The organisation surely valued their employees for the success but in order to
retain the abilities it assumed the need for training for all the employees, which included the
existing ones as well. Next is reproduction which is an outcome of attention and retention.
According to Bandura, practicing through reproducing what is learned by being attentive and
retaining the information is important to sharpen the skills along with effective improvement
(Bandura, 2005). This can be highlighted in the secondsecond case study, where people only
through observation from distant works on the assumptions of coach tours being boring and poor
where undifferentiated mass is identified to be clogging around. Even in the first case study, it
has been identified during the training period that many new staff were unwilling with the idea of
travelling with the older people. But it has been highlighted by the Coach tour insider that it is an
exceptional experience which helps to meet other people and make wonderful experiences. It has
been highlighted that older people are a better company to share a tour with as they have more
things to share that have been gathered throughout their lifetime. Thus, it is only after the
reproduction of the learning which is gained through actual experiences that a change in the
observable behaviour can be witnessed.
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