Comparing and contrasting Bandura’s cognitive theory Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 19 May 2017

Comparing and contrasting Bandura’s cognitive theory

Introduction Perhaps there are as many differences as there are similarities between the ideas expressed in Bandura’s Cognitive Theory and Beck’s Cognitive Theory. Many similarities exist between the two theories because they are both based on the study of human behavior and personality. However, the ideas expressed and mechanisms used in analysis confer some discord between the two theories. It is evident that no two persons in the world would have exclusively similar thoughts about a phenomenon; hence, differences are always abound.

Since studies in similar fields are usually related in a way, prevalence of similarities should not occur as a surprise. For example, the fact that behavior is affected by, among other things, the environment, is embraced in the detail of both theories. The two theorists are also of common opinion that negative thoughts are likely to trigger negative behavior and dysfunction in many activities. For example, Bandura’s theory highlights that people with high opinions about themselves are usually better performers in many activities than those who weigh themselves on a lower scale.

In the same way, Beck’s theory is emphatic of the point that negative thoughts in people lead such people to have low opinion of themselves and evaluate themselves negatively. Bandura’s Cognitive Theory and Beck’s Cognitive Theory both view the environment as a determinant of personality and behavior. While Bandura (1976) used “environmental factors” in his triad, Beck (1976) showed that the “world” (in reference to the environment) is one of the factors that shape a person’s behavior, attitudes and perceptions about various phenomena.

Both theorists agree that the environment acts together with other factors to shape a person’s character and behavior. For instance, Bandura (1986) observed that aggressive behavior in adolescents is caused by the environment, but the behavior as well creates an environment. Bandura referred to such a relationship as reciprocal determinism. On the other hand, Beck (1976) noted that the world shapes a persons character since a person acts in accordance with what is happening in the general world.

Disparities in Bandura’s and Beck’s theories are evident right from the beginning of the model. While there is a similarity of the use of a triad, the constituents of the triads are the source of dissonance. This is in addition to many other instances in the illustration of the applications of the two models. This paper gives an analysis of the similarities and differences in the two theories and the implications or causes of such scenario. Moreover, the paper will highlight the key areas where similarities as well as differences occur between the two theories.

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