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date: 17 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Social cognitive theory is a theory of human behavior that emphasizes learning from the social environment. This chapter focuses on Bandura’s social cognitive theory, which postulates reciprocal interactions among personal, behavioral, and social/environmental factors. Persons use various vicarious, symbolic, and self-regulatory processes as they strive to develop a sense of agency in their lives. Key motivational processes are goals and self-evaluations of progress, outcome expectations, values, social comparisons, and self-efficacy. People set goals and evaluate their goal progress. The perception of progress sustains self-efficacy and motivation. Individuals act in accordance with their values and strive for outcomes they desire. Social comparisons with others provide further information on their learning and goal attainment. Self-efficacy is a critical influence on motivation and affects task choices, effort, persistence, and achievement. Recommendations are made for future research.

Keywords: social cognitive theory, vicarious processes, symbolic processes, self-regulatory processes, goals, self-evaluations of progress, outcome expectations, values, social comparisons, self-efficacy

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