Social Cognitive Theory

Assumption: an individual doesn't learn in issolation, but as an integrated part of a physical space.

Social Cognitive Theory is mainly the brainchild of Albert Bandura. He believed that students can learn though observing models, that not all learning is exibited in behavior, and that students can learn to regulate themselves.

Bandura's theory is much more student-centered than either behaviorism or cognitivism in that it focuses much more on the students' ability to choose how they behave. Thus, he encourages self-regulation which involves goal setting, self-monitoring, self-instruction, and self-evaluation.

Bandura also advocated promoting self-efficacy, or a child's belief in his or her ability to complete a task. The use of modeling plays a key role in promoting self-efficacy as students see others who are successful at certain tasks and are able to learn from them.

Bandura believed in an idea called reciprocal causation, which implies that there is an interdependence between a child's environment, behavior, and person.


  • What do social-cognitive theories of learning have to say about learning and motivation?

  • How does this theory compare with behavioral and cognitive theories?