Social Cognitive Glossary

 1. Modeling in reinforcement, punishment, environment: Modeling plays many roles in reinforcement, punishment and environment. One way is that observers are often reinforced by the model. For example, teacher praise after a correct answer reinforces the correct answer as well as the student’s participation. The observer can also be reinforced by a third person. For example, students may be well behaved for a substitute teacher because their absent teacher will reward them for their good behavior. Additionally, the imitated behavior itself leads to reinforcing consequences. For example, a new runner who imitates other cross country runners by carrying a water bottle around during the day to hydrate will have a more productive run, reinforcing hydrating before running. Lastly, consequences of the model’s behavior affect the observer’s behavior vicariously. For example, if through observation a person sees a certain consequence for a certain behavior, and the behavior is reinforced the learner will experience vicarious reinforcement. If a learner observes a person being punished, they are experience vicarious punishment. This concept is similar to the teacher who reams a student out for being late to class in front of the rest of the class. Other students are therefore reinforced for coming to class on time because they do not want to be publically humiliated by the teacher.

2. Behaviors learned through modeling: Behaviors learned through modeling are academic skills, aggression, and interpersonal behaviors. Academic skills are learned through cognitive modeling where the model demonstrates how to do the skill but also how to think about a task. Aggression is also learned through modeling. When children and teens observe aggressive behaviors they are more likely to engage in aggressive behaviors. Aggression can be learned from live models but also from examples on television and in video games.  Conversely seeing nonaggressive behavior modeled helps to shape behavior as those who see nonaggressive behavior are likely to imitate the nonaggressive behavior. Lastly, interpersonal behaviors are also learned through models. Learners acquire many behaviors through interacting with and imitating others. Like with aggression, models can be in real life but also in the media. Interestingly, what a model does is more likely to be imitated than what a model says.

3. Conditions required for modeling: The conditions required for modeling are attention, retention, motor reproduction and motivation. Attention must be paid to the modeled behavior and the important aspects of the modeled behavior. Retention is important as the learner must be able to remember what the model did. Retention can be achieved through rehearsal, or repeating what needs to be remembered over and over. People store visual and verbal memory codes to serve as a guide for performing observed behaviors. Motor-Reproduction is the actual replication of the behavior that the model has demonstrated. Learners must both have the ability and the opportunity to practice the observed behavior. Learners must lastly be motivated to learn the new behavior and want to demonstrate wheat they have learned.  Children have to have a reason and a motive to do something.

4. Effects of self-efficacy: Self-efficacy is the belief in oneself that you are capable of executing certain behaviors successfully. Those with high self-efficacy are more apt to believe they can complete a task while those with low self-efficacy are more likely to not believe in their own abilities. Therefore if a student thinks they are bad in math or have low self-confidence in their basic math skills, they will not take extra math classes. If they are in math class, when they hear a concept that they are unsure of, they may begin to tune out the rest of the class (this was my experience!) leading to falling farther and farther behind in their math skills, creating a vicious cycle of poor self-efficacy in math. However, if the student feels they are good at a subject (such as history), they are more likely to pay attention in class, study for tests, and read extra material outside of class, therefore making their history skills stronger (also my experience!). Their confidence in their history skills leads to more effort to be exerted leading to strong history skills. Self-efficacy is similar in some ways to self-fulfilling prophecies where the belief is something (in this case, ability) leads it to be true.

5. Self-regulation: Through developing ideas about appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, people chose their actions accordingly.  There are four elements of self-regulation: setting standards and goals, self-observation, self-evaluation, and self-reaction., and self-reflection.  Self-regulated behavior can be promoted through self-instructions, self-monitoring, self-reinforcement, and self-impose stimulus control. Self-regulation can be applied to learning so that learners regulate their learning by setting goals,  taking actions that lead to success in these goals, monitor progress towards the goals, and if the actions or strategies are not working, they will reassess and try a new tactic.


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