Major differences between the two theories Essay

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

Major differences between the two theories

The obviously notable difference between Bandura’s social cognitive theory and Beck’s cognitive theory is the bias that each has towards behavior. For instance, Bandura’s model is more behavioral, whereas Beck’s model is inclined towards psychotherapy or seems to provide psychological solutions to problems. The social cognitive theory (by Bandura) is presented in an agentic perspective. It explains why people exhibit differences in self-organization, being proactive, participation in self-reflection, and in self-regulation (Bandura, 1986).

In essence, the theory does not just show that human beings have different capabilities, it also shows that other factors such as the environment play a major role in shaping behaviorism (Bandura, 1986). The theory further describes human beings as producers as well as products of what they make (the proverb manners maketh man should be true). Bandura’s theory also gives the socio cognitive aspects of human beings, for example, why they act in particular manners and what elicits such behavior.

Additionally, the theory also gives reasons why the human nature is vast in terms of capabilities and how humanity is fashioned by direct and observational experience that is integrated in a variety of forms. In contradistinction, Beck’s theory gives a picture of the phenomena underlying dysfunctional beliefs (Beck, 1976). This theory does not just describe personality, but provides solutions to psychological problems. This is achieved by the model’s blow-by-blow analysis of the casual agents of depression and how depression can be remedied (Beck, 1976).

Beck’s theory seems to give mediation approach in solving psychological problems by encouraging patients to be participants of the problem solving process rather than passive and helpless respondents. Another difference between the two theories is the triad used in each of the theories, which forms the basis of the entire illustrations and discussions. Bandura’s model is a triad with behavior, environmental factors and personal determinants as the main elements. On the other hand, Beck’s cognitive model consists of behavior, antecedent events and consequences (Beck, 1976; Beck, 1998).

The triads may seem to portray a similarity between the two models but in real sense they exhibit differences since the explanation of how the elements in the triads affect each other or act on their own is slightly different. For instance, in Bandura’s theory, the description of how the factors in the triad affect each other revolves around cause and effect. One of the factors, such as the environment is implied to be a cause (or a factor that determines) of behavior. Thus, there is emphasis on reciprocal determinism.

On the other hand, Beck’s triadic illustration of the factors that shape personality and character is influenced by the person (self), the world and the future. In this context, it is evident that personality is affected not just by behavior but also by other events that occur in life. In fact, Beck (1976) describes the person (self) as the main source of ideas to solve depression problems with reference to the world and anticipation of a better future. Conclusion Bandura’s Cognitive Theory and Beck’s Cognitive Theory seem to have more similarities in that they describe personality and the factors shape it.

Many elements described in each theory’s triad show convergence in meaning. Major differences between the two models lie in the description of the models. While Bandura’s model is inclined towards behaviorism, Beck’s model provides an explanation of psychological dysfunctions and possible remedies.

References Bandura A. (2006). Psychological modeling: Conflicting theories. Chicago: Aldine Transaction. Bandura, A. (1997). Self-Efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W. H. Freeman Company Bandura, A. (1986).Social foundations of thoughts and action: A social cognitive theory. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Professional Technical.

Bandura, A. (1976) Social learning theory. New York: Prentice Hall Bandura, A. (1971). Psychological modeling: Conflicting theories. Chicago: Aldine- Atherton. Beck, A. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford Press Beck, A. (1976). Cognitive therapy & emotional disorders. NY: International Universities Press. Beck, A. (1998). The Integrative Power of Cognitive Therapy. New York: Guilford Press.

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