When the capabilities so far described are integrated effectively, the self-system acquires a state of self-efficacy (Bandura, 1997). Perceived self-efficacy refers to people’s ability to evaluate their own efficiencies in solving problems and attaining certain levels of performance (Bandura, 1997). The relevance of perceived self-efficacy to the social cognitive theory postulated by Bandura is that self-efficacy judgments have a pervasive role in human affairs.
In the scope of both achievements and interpersonal relationships, people’s stances are calculated by how effectively (and wisely) they can make decisions and how efficiently they can act in fulfilling the decisions taken. From the above perspective, it is evident that evaluation between an individual’s skills and the requirements of the environment is pertinent in determining the courses of action that are viewed as being the determinants of one’s personality. Efficacy beliefs are vital in that not only do they act on overt behavior but they also address the internal psychological affairs of individuals.
This is an important aspect of the social cognition theory with respect to the triadic scheme. This is because an individual’s personality is judged from acts that are done both overtly and covertly. In view of Bandura’s (1997) ideas, people with robust perceptions of their efficacy envisage more positive futures, experience less distressing emotions, and are capable of planning for their life programs more effectively. In addition, such people are able to deal with demanding tasks more efficiently than people who have lower opinion of their efficacy. How personal determinants relate with individual differences and dispositions.
With reference to Bandura (1999), the basic capacities of the social cognitive theory are dissimilar in three ways from the units of measurement employed in the character-related theories of personality. To begin with, the capabilities are not single variable differences with reference to personality. For instance, Bandura (1999) accentuated that a single-difference analysis may hinder the realization of other vital capabilities possessed by an individual. Such an instance would occur if the ability in an individual is rare and is therefore not detected as an important factor in analysis (Bandura, 1999).
As is common with many forms of analysis, there is usually an investigation for a small number of primary units of variation, or for capabilities that are common but possessed to uniformly high level by many individuals. The fact that almost everyone possesses a unique capability (for example the ability to use symbols of the ability to be self-reflective and self–conscious) does not necessarily make the capabilities less important in the context of the functioning of personality. These capabilities are still important in spite of the fact that they may not be identified as the primary dimensions of individual dissimilarity.
The second difference in the context of the capabilities in the social cognitive theory is related to average tendencies. For instance, Bandura’s (1999) category of cognitive capabilities does not just mention the average tendencies. Rather, Bandura opines that self-reflection and self-regulation contribute to both constancy and variability of actions among individuals. Along this line, it is important to note that people’s goals, choices and cognitive abilities are displayed in the manner in which they act and handle different circumstances that they come across in their lives.
This point is of importance in describing an individual’s personality (Bandura, 1999). It implies that dispositional characteristics per se cannot suffice the description of personality as they refer to the average tendencies in behavior and are devoid of reference to particular individuals (Bandura, 1999). In addition, a single individual’s social cognitive may not contribute significantly to the distinct patterns of behavior that are not in line with the contemporary descriptive characteristics that are used in the analysis of standard individual difference categories.
The third point is that the social cognitive theory’s definition of personality and the role personality factors play in contribution to social behavior is significantly different from the dispositional approach. The social cognitive theory does not view dispositional tendencies as personality structures. Instead, the theory realizes personality structures as consisting of cognitive and affective systems, which contribute to the patterns of individuals’ behavior in a much informal way. These, according to Bandura (1999), are the dispositional tendencies.
In this context therefore, dispositions are effects and not causes. Bandura opposed the proponents of personality description based on behavior as being mistaken since the aspects of behavioral description “locate the personality structure in the wrong place” (Bandura, 1999, p 200). Therefore, the Bandura’s social cognitive theory views the standard dispositional units of personality description as being inadequate to fully describe an individual or to explain his or her personality functioning.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 May 2017
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