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Social-cognitive theory

Social-cognitive theory offers an agentic perspective in which the individual is a self-organizing, proactive, self-reflection and self-regulating entity (Bandura). It proposes that belief in self-efficacy is the most focal and pervasive aspect of human agency, and that unless people believe they can achieve the desired effect and prevent undesired ones from happening, they will have little incentive to act. The interdependence of human functioning by placing a premium on the exchange of collective agency through shared beliefs in the power to produce the effect by collective action is central to how people live their lives. People are partly a product of their environment, and partly responsible for creating it. They can influence the course of events and take part in shaping their lives by their capabilities in human agency.

Human agency is essentially individual agency (Bandura). In many instances, the environment is created by the social structure and so individual agency can only be expressed by the exercise of proxy agency. Proxy agency is often used in the control of areas in which individuals do not have the time or expertise to participate, or the influence needed to have an effect, so they delegate that influence by proxy to the social structure in terms of their political representatives who can get things done.

Social-cognitive theory extends the concept of human agency to collective agency, which is often the only way an individual can achieve the effects they want to achieve (Bandura). People with shared beliefs then use their collective power to produce the desired result. This, again, involves social structure because the effort has to be interactive, cooperative, and synergistic in the transactions. The belief of the individuals in their shared efficiency can influence the type of action they seek to achieve; how well they use their resources; how much effort is put into the group endeavor; their s...

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Social-cognitive theory. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 18:28, February 21, 2017, from