UNT PSYC 4520 - The Behavioral, Social Learning Theory Contd. 5 (6 pages)

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The Behavioral, Social Learning Theory Contd. 5

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The Behavioral, Social Learning Theory Contd. 5


An overview of self-efficacy, behavior observation methods, and the strengths and criticisms of the behavioral/social learning approach

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Lecture Note
University of North Texas
Psyc 4520 - Personality
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PSYC 4520 1st Edition Lecture 27 Outline of Last Lecture I Observational Learning A What is observational learning B Learning and performance C The Bobo doll experiment Outline of Current Lecture I Application Self Efficacy Therapy A Self efficacy B Expectations C Sources of efficacy expectations D Guided mastery II Assessment Behavior Observation Methods A Behavior as a problem B Direct observation C Self monitoring D Observation by others III Strengths and Criticisms of the Behavioral Social Learning Approach A Strengths These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor s lecture GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes not as a substitute B Criticisms Current Lecture I Application Self Efficacy Therapy A Self efficacy i Lots of people seek help to stop smoking or lose weight but only some of them end up permanently losing their habit most succeed temporarily The successful cases are different due to Bandura s idea of self efficacy people stop their bad habit when they convince themselves they can B Expectations i Bandura says people aren t likely to alter their behavior until they decide to expend the necessary effort He distinguishes between outcome expectations and efficacy expectations ii An outcome expectation is the extent to which people believe actions will lead to a certain outcome An efficacy expectation is the extent to which people believe they can perform the actions that will lead to the specific outcome For example you may hold the outcome expectation that if you study for hours rather than go out you will get good grades You may also hold the efficacy expectation that you are incapable of such devoted work and sacrifice iii Bandura says efficacy expectations are better predictors of behavior than outcome expectations Students are unlikely to work hard for good grades if they don t think it is possible C Sources of efficacy expectations i Bandura identified 4 sources of efficacy expectations enactive mastery experiences vicarious experiences verbal persuasion and physiological and affective states ii Enactive mastery experiences the most important source of efficacy expectations These are successful attempts to achieve the outcome in the past For example sky divers who are suddenly scared before a jump tell themselves that they have done this before and can do it again A history of failures can lead to low efficacy expectations people who fear heights and have never been able to climb a ladder are unlikely to try iii Vicarious experiences not as powerful as actual performances but can still alter efficacy expectations Seeing others do something without adverse effects can lead us to believe that we can do it too iv Verbal persuasion less effective Telling someone they can do something may convince them to do it But this expectation will be easily crushed if the actual performance doesn t lead to the expected result v Physiological and affective states these are the states of the person before performing the behavior A woman who has difficulty approaching men may find her heart beats faster and her palms sweat as she picks up the phone to call a man for a date If she interprets these physiological responses as anxiety she may decide she is too nervous to call However if she notices how calm she is just before dialing she may decide she can D Guided mastery i If successful experiences are the most effective method for altering a client s efficacy expectations this creates a problem How can a therapist give a client a mastery experience of overcoming a fear of heights if the client is afraid even to leave the first floor of the building Then a therapist may use guided mastery arranging the situation so that the client is almost guaranteed a successful experience ii The treatment is broken down into small steps that can be completed with only a little increase in the client s effort A client who fears driving may first drive a short distance on a secluded street This is followed with gradually longer drives on busier streets With each success the client strengthens the belief that he or she can drive This is like desensitization iii Failure to instill a sense of self efficacy in a client may doom therapeutic efforts People who do not believe that they can do something typically will not succeed at it II Assessment Behavior Observation Methods A Behavior as a problem i Behavior therapists focus on observable behaviors rather than the causes for the behavior To them behavior is the problem so objective reliable assessment of behavior is critical They want to know how often a problem occurs the events surrounding the behavior and have a few ways of getting information about the frequency of target behaviors direct observation self monitoring and observation by others B Direct observation i The most obvious best way to find out how often a behavior occurs is to observe the person directly If you want to know how much time a girl spends with kids her own age you can watch her during several recesses ii But the therapist cannot be everywhere such as around a socially phobic person or a married couple having an argument Thus he or she may rely on analogue behavioral observation creating a situation that resembles the real world setting in which the problem behavior is likely to occur For example a therapist may stage a dance for clients suffering from shyness or ask a couple to enter into a discussion that recently sparked a disagreement Therapists may ask clients to role play so clients act out how they would behave in a certain situation iii Good behavioral assessment requires good definitions of the behavior This is simple when talking about the number of times a person smokes a cigarette but if the target behavior is like appropriate classroom responses the therapist must define exactly what appropriate means iv One way to improve the accuracy of behavior observation is to have 2 or more observers independently code the same behaviors For example 2 judges can watch a child during the same recesses If they largely agree on how often they count the target behavior the number is most likely accurate But if they differ greatly we are left clueless One solution is to videotape the behavior so more judges can code it Also behavior therapists must be concerned about bias observers may sometimes see what they want expect to see To solve this therapists should define behaviors in a way that minimizes subjective judgment C Self monitoring i This

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