Social Cognitive Theory And Trait Theory

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Personality can be defined as an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling and acting. Many personality theorists have put forward claims as to where personality is derived from and how it develops throughout an individual’s life. The two main personality theories this essay will be focusing on is the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) (Bandura, 1986) and the Trait Theory – Five Factor Theory (FFT) (McCrae and Costa, 1995). The SCT allocates a central role to cognitive, observational learning and self-regulatory processes (Bandura, 1986). An individual’s personality develops through experiences with their sociocultural environment. Whereas the Trait Theory proposes that all individuals are predisposed with five traits (Extraversion, Openness, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness and Neuroticism) which determines our personality. This theory also puts forward that personality is stable and cannot change as it’s biologically determined. One way in which the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) of personality differs from the Trait Theory (FFT), is that the SCT represents a bottom-up approach (Cervone, 1997; Shadel, Niaura and Abrams, 2000; Zelli and Dodge, 1999). In other…show more content…
“Self-concept consists of knowledge, views and evaluation of the self, ranging from miscellaneous facts of personal history to the identity that gives a sense of purpose and coherence to life” (McCrae and Costa, 1996). With self-concept, we learn who we are by observing ourselves and using our cognitive processes to judge and evaluate our behaviour. However, with self-regulation, we are able to use this knowledge and judgment and apply it to future situations and so predicts behaviour and says a lot about our personality. If we are willing to cognitively analyse past situations and apply it effectively to future situations, this means we are changing our behaviour, thus changing our

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