Albert Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory: A Critique and Comparison Analytical Essay by scribbler

Albert Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory: A Critique and Comparison
This paper reviews Bandura's social cognitive theory and compares it to Skinner's behaviorism theory.
# 153223 | 1,230 words | 5 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on May 08, 2013 in Psychology (Behaviorism) , Psychology (Theory)

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The paper explains Albert Bandura's social cognitive theory and describes his approach to understanding learning. The paper compares this theory to Skinner's theory of behaviorism and discusses the three main criticisms of the social cognitive theory. This author posits that there is plenty of room in the field for several theories, since some people with learning disabilities are not going to be able to model behaviors well, while others are innately better at picking up skills from modeling others. The paper concludes that there certainly is a place in the genre for Bandura, Skinner, and others, so long as their explanations are thorough and the setting in which they work relates to the issues at hand.

Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory
How is the Social Learning Theory Different from Behaviorism?
The Main Criticisms of the Social Cognitive Theory

From the Paper:

"Albert Bandura is a giant in the field of psychology in part due to his innovative theories on "self-efficacy." Bandura explains that the best and most effective way to create a strong sense of efficacy is through "mastery experiences" (Bandura, 1994). A mastery experience is accomplishing something important that relates to a way of life or the development of vital skills to be used in life. For a child just learning to stand up without help, a mastery experience could be learning to walk across the room without falling down. Part of the mastery experience is being perseverant, not giving up; hence a child that falls down learns that getting back up is part of mastering an experience.
"The second level of achieving a degree of self-efficacy, in Bandura's theory, is through "...vicarious experiences provided by social models." In the case of a younger person, the social model would likely be his older brother, or his mother, or father. It could also be a child just a year or so older than the toddler, and that child becomes a social model. Bandura's quote is from his book Social Learning Theory (1977, p. 22): "Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bandura, Albert. (1977). Social Learning Theory. Old Tappan, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Bandura, Albert. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V.S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of HumanBehavior (Vol. 4, pp. 71-81). New York: Academic Press.
  • Flamand, Lee. (2008). Critique of Social Cognitive Theory. Retrieved February 23, 2011, from
  • Nevid, Jeffrey S. (2007). Psychology: Concepts and Applications. Florence, KY: CengageLearning.
  • Woollard, John. (2010). Psychology for the Classroom: Behaviorism. Florence, KY: Taylor & Francis.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Albert Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory: A Critique and Comparison (2013, May 08) Retrieved June 27, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Albert Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory: A Critique and Comparison" 08 May 2013. Web. 27 June. 2022. <>