Known as social cognitive theorists, Mischel and Rotter suggested that conscious thoughts and feelings determine the difference between people and guide the way they behave (Mischel, 2004). The social cognitive approach is not based on the description of an individual's personality rather than on the principles of human learning. Thus, they think that our personality is formed through the training processes such as observation and interaction with the family and others in social situations.
From an interactionist perspective, people's interaction with the environment predicts their behavior. Rotter suggested that changes in personality can occur anytime but the basic unity that this has prevents it from changing consequently of minor experiences. Rotter talked about the law of effect, therefore, he believed that the way people act is a determinant of your anticipated goal.
According to Rotter, four variables predict human behavior: behavior potential, expectancy, reinforcement value, and the psychological situation. Behaviour potential is the first component of Rotter's theory. Behaviour potential refers to the opportunity of participating in a particular act in a particular situation. A person has a selection of behaviour to acquire in confirmed time and place.
The second variable is Expectancy which refers to the someone's expectancy that a given behaviour will lead to a reinforce. Expectancy can either be General or specific. A particular expectancy is the belief that a specific behaviour at a certain time and place will lead to a outcome. General expectancies are the beliefs that anything one is doing will make a difference. Rotter believed that the combo of the precise and general expectancies lead to reinforcement. The effort a person devote to achieve his goal will be dependant on the full total expectancy.
The third variable is the reinforcement value. Reinforcement value is Rotter's conception of motivation. Finished. a person wants to realize has high reinforcement value. The constancy of expectancies and situational variables when there is certainly preference of reinforcement shape behaviour. According to Rotter the perception of folks known as the 'internal reinforcement' influences behaviour.
The fourth variable considered by Rotter is the psychological situation which is at his prediction formula. He believed that people's interaction with their environment result in their way of behaving. He suggested that different people will interpret the same environment differently.
Moreover, Mischel's cognitive affective theory does suggest that individual's behaviour is characterized by the beliefs that they learn, expectancies and feelings but along start he claimed that these particular characteristics make sure they are different from other folks. He termed these characteristics as cognitive person variables which shows the dimensions of the difference between people differ (Mischel, 2004, 569).
Encoding strategies are someone's belief about his environment and other folks. Unlike the social learning theory, people employ their cognitive processes to form personal constructs from the external stimuli. The way people encode an event is different which shows their individual differences in personal constructs. Also, Mischel suggested that stimulus can be altered by how people interpret experience and what they attend selectively.
Expectancies make reference to the individuals belief of his capacity and what the individual expects from his previous behaviour.
Affects make reference to feelings and emotions. Affective responses emphasize on someone's behaviour depends upon the interaction of people's cognitive processes with a specific situation. The affective responses are not separable from cognitions and they influence other cognitive-affective units.
Goals and values are what the individual want to achieve and have confidence in.
Competencies and self-regulatory plans make reference to the person's capacity in terms of his thoughts and actions, his ability to engage in goal directed behaviour. As people do not focus on all stimuli in the surroundings, they selectively create the planet in which they live. Also, the self regulatory plans make people to plan and keep maintaining their behaviours.
According to Mischel, these cognitive variables as well as the features of the situation have to be identified to predict a person's behaviour in confirmed situation. Hence, the interaction of the person and situation lead to behaviour. Mischel suggested that only if a person come upon a particular behaviour, then his behaviour will reflect the characteristics he has learned for the reason that particular situation (Kammrath, Mendoza-Denton and Mischel, 2005).
Rotter's social cognitive theory was predicated on the locus of control whereas Mischel's cognitive affective theory was based on situation versus person variables. Mischel's theory was an extension of Rotter's social cognitive approach. Exactly like Rotter believed that people's a reaction to environmental forces will be more determined by cognitive factors than immediate reinforcements, Mischel claimed that behaviour depends upon both situation variables (environmental factors: rewards and punishments) and person variables (internal personal factors). Both person variables : expectancies and subjective values in Mischel's theory have the same meaning as in Rotter's model. As an extension of Rotter's social cognitive theory, Mischel added other person variables like competencies, encoding strategies and self regulatory systems and plans.
Mischel strongly believed that the interaction of both environmental and personal factors develops behaviour. He claimed that people have to take into consideration what we realize about a particular person and today's situation to predict the latter's behaviour.
Furthermore, he laid emphasis how emotions and person variables interacted. He argued that negative emotions like depression affects people's interpretation of their activities and expectancies they hold about the near future (Mischel and Shoda, 1995, p. 498). Also, Mischel suggested that emotion variables just like cognition be based upon how people interpret and label their experiences.
The cognitive-affective personality system proposed the consistency paradox which refer to the variability across situations and stability in someone's behaviour. Mischel believed that variations in the behaviour pattern is neither caused by random error nor the situation alone. He rather believed that these variations in behaviour patterns predict behaviour that mirror stable patterns of variation in just a person.
Mischel and Shoda (1995) devised the Itthen framework that they believe can conceptualise the variations in behaviour. The partnership of the ifthen in this framework is as such: WHEN A, then X; but if B, then Y. A and B are taken as situations where the individual is at and X and Y are the ways people behave consequently of the situations these are facing.
For example if Mark is provoked by his wife (situation A), then he'll react with aggression (X). "if" changes therefore, "then" also changes. In the first situation If Mark has been provoked by his wife (situation A), he'll react aggressively (X). In a second situation (B), if Mark has been provoked by his boss then he'll obey with submission (reaction Y). In both of these situations we can easily see that Mark's behavior is inconsistent, but Mischel and Shoda believed that being provoked by two different persons is not the same stimulus. Instead, they suggested that Mark's behavior reflects a well balanced behavior pattern.
Thus this framework claimed that the way people respond to situations be based upon cognitions( for example : perceptions, illusions) and affective (for example feelings) related with them.
Mischel and Shoda (1995) proposed a second example where two folks are qualified as "irritable" but their irritability is caused differently. In the example he said that 2 folks are "irritable": Person 1 loves to be the center of attention and likes interaction with others. Thus, Person 1 gets irritable when no one pays attention to him/her. Person 2 likes to be alone and gets irritable when people commence to relate their lives. In addition to, there are two situations: Situation A reflects no interaction among people (e. g. Business meeting), It is just a boring situation. In situation B, such interactions are mostly frequent (e. g. parties). Therefore, predicated on ifThen Framework, Person 1 will feel irritated in situation A rather than B, whereas Person 2 will feel irritated in situation B and not A.
The Ifthen framework is dependant on the Behavioral Signature of Personality. The Behavioural Signature of Personality is the variation in an individual's behaviour in specific situations. Inside the example of Mark; his Behavioral Signature of Personality is his regular manner to vary his behavior across situations; that is he will not react aggressively in all situations (Feist, 2004).
M ischel took traits under consideration and contend that some basic traits are persistent over time. Mischel himself argued that the thought of consistency of personality across situations is not right. Mischel and Peake (1982) examined the consistency of "conscientiousness" and "friendliness" in college or university students. The effect was that students responded inconsistently across situations. Mischel's social cognitive theory maintains that people's behavior is specific to the context of the situation. For instance, somebody can be honest at the job but can cheat on taxes. This process does not predict depends that behavior will be consistent across situations. Behavior depends mainly on the consequences of the actions (such as rewards). However, according to Mischel, consistency may appear when the same behavior is reinforced in a number of situations or if one is struggling to discriminate among situations. For Mischel traits can be handy as they offer summaries of multiple behavioral observations and therefore have descriptive usefulness. Traits affect behavior differently in several situations under certain conditions. For instance, the trait of aggression will be apparent only under circumstances like when a person feels frustrated or angry. People who have the trait aggressiveness act differently from those who find themselves lower in this trait. Moreover, Mischel's theory considers the prior experiences in life. The last experience are likely involved in situational context. Thoughts and feelings activated by a particular situation will be the results of prior experience with this situations. Therefore, situational variables as well as experience are likely involved in the occurrence of any behavior.
Rotter, on the other hand, attaches great importance to needs of individuals, as needs indicate the direction of behavior. Mischel talks goals only. Whereas Rotter's theory speaks of goals when the focus is on the surroundings and speaks of needs when the focus is on the individual. Rotter and Hochriech (1975) listed six categories of needs: recognition-status, protection-dependency, love and affection and physical comfort.
In my own view, Mischel's theory is better off than that of Rotter's. Mischel even took under consideration the personality traits which he believed account for little of the variance in human behaviour. His aim was to replace traits like 'sociability' or 'dominance' into traits of his own invention.
His theory was closely based on the social learning theory of Rotter but he combined the social learning theory with the data about mental processes from cognitive psychology.
Mischel with the help of his student, Shoda issued an updated version of his original theory. His new version had five variables instead of four and the new variable was "affects", feelings or emotions. The addition of the new variable was due to the research made in 1995 which found that social information and processing and coping behaviour was influenced by impacts and thoughts (Mischel and Shoda, 1995, p. 252).
Another aspect which Mischel contained in the new version of the idea was the description of personality as a "cognitive-affective system. " According to his new theory, he claimed that the importance in the five cognitive social learning person variables lie in their simultaneous interaction. Therefore, personality is a "stable system that mediates how the individual processes, chooses and constructs social information and produces social behaviours" (Mischel and Shoda, 1995). The cognitive affective personality system further claims a person's behaviour will change based on a particular situation but in a meaningful manner.
Mischel and Shoda (1995, 1998, 1999) even devised a framework and suggested that variations in behaviour can be predicted from it and he took into consideration the consistency paradox in explaining people's behaviour.
Moreover, Mischel places his cognitive theory against the original trait theory. As a result, he argued that his theoretical cognitive person variables are more advanced than the traits as they express scientific rather than understanding.
Unlike Rotter, Mischel and his colleagues believed in the importance of moving from a theoretical perspective of personality out of conceptualizations like "irritability" to a far more scientific conceptualizations like "encoding competency. "
Mischel's theory can be an advance in the trait approach as well. His person variables concentrate on the psychological processes in shaping behaviour rather than on the behaviours itself.
Another good thing about Mischel's theory is that each variations in behaviour become conceptualized as patterns not as average levels.
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