Please read carefully there are two parts one discussion spark and then actual discussion questions

Please read carefully there are two parts one discussion spark and then actual discussion questions they need to be done separately.

Week 6: Social-Cognitive Theories

Tony grew up in an impoverished inner-city community. He was raised by a single mother and had to help with his four younger siblings. As he entered his teen years, the difficulties of living and growing up in his neighborhood began to take their toll. He was skipping school and routinely in trouble with the law. Yet a school guidance counselor recognized Tony’s innate intelligence, his talent as a leader, and his natural charisma, and intervened on his behalf.

Then what happened to Tony? As you might guess, there are many possible outcomes. Here are two extremes: By the time Tony was 20 …

… He had graduated with honors from high school and secured a scholarship to attend college. Since receiving his B.S. in Psychology, Tony has entered graduate school and is working toward an M.S. in Human Resource Management. Tony feels excited and hopeful about his future.

… He had been arrested and convicted of leading a car-theft operation, and went to prison. Since serving his time and being released, Tony has been unsuccessful in finding a job. He feels angry and hopeless about his future.

Consider the clues in Tony’s story about what you will explore as you examine social-cognitive theories of personality. What role has Tony played in how his life is turning out and how he thinks about his future? What are social influences on Tony, such as where he grew up and the guidance counselor who intervenes? How might a social-cognitive theorist explain these very different outcomes for Tony?

Your work in this final week of the course will offer answers. You will consider distinguishing features of social-cognitive theories of personality and how social origins of behavior and cognitive—or thought—processes can shape a person’s development.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze a personal experience from the perspective of reciprocal determinism
  • Evaluate reciprocal determinism applied to factors that influence personality
  • Apply the theory of behavior modeling to evaluate the impact of television/media viewing
  • Evaluate resources to support a position
  • Evaluate the usefulness and applicability of theories of personality for understanding human behavior
  • Demonstrate an understanding of social-cognitive theories

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Cervone, D., & Pervin, L. A. (2019). Personality: Theory and research (14th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Chapter 12, “Social-Cognitive Theory: Bandura and Mischel” (pp. 331-360)
Chapter 13, “Social-Cognitive Theory: Applications, Related Theoretical Conceptions, and Contemporary Research” (pp. 363-393)Review these chapters of the text to support your Discussion and Assignments in Week 6. Also note that the Week 6 Test for Understanding is based on the material in these chapters.


Boeree, C. G. (2006). Personality theories: Albert Bandura. Retrieved from
Continue building your knowledge of noted personality theorists with this profile of Bandura. Consider the information to support your Discussion post and Assignments this week.


Walden University. (2016). Suggested resources: Research project: Analyzing effects of media on behavior. Minneapolis, MN: Author.
This handout supports your Assignment 1 Research Project. The handout features recommended articles from the Walden Library and from websites, as well as a video resource. You may choose two resources from the handout to meet your research requirements for the paper, or you may choose your own resources. However, you are required to access the handout and consider the resources provided.

Optional Resources

TED (Producer). (2012). David Kelley: How to build your creative confidence [Video file]. Retrieved from (11:39)

Discussion Spark

By Day 1

Read the Discussion Spark topic/question or comment posted by your Instructor in the Discussion Thread.

By Day 2

With these thoughts in mind:

Post a 1- to 2-paragraph response to the Discussion Spark.

Submission and Grading Information
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Week 6 Discussion Spark Rubric

Read by Day 1 and Post by Day 2

To participate in this Discussion:
Week 6 Discussion Spark

Discussion: Testing Reciprocal Determinism

Recall the story of Tony from the Week 6 introduction and consider the principle of reciprocal determinism, which was discussed in the reading. Your course text defines the term as “the mutual, back-and-forth effects of variables on one another; in social-cognitive theory, a fundamental causal principle in which personal, environmental, and behavioral factors are viewed as causally influencing one another” (Cervone & Pervin, 2019, p. 424). How might different personal, environmental, and behavioral factors have causally influenced both the positive and negative outcomes for Tony?

Naturally, it is difficult to answer that question about Tony because you have only so much information about him. However, someone that you know a great deal about is yourself and your own experiences. For this Discussion, you will explore the concept of reciprocal determinism by applying it to an experience in your own life.

To prepare:

  • Review the reading in the course text this week, paying particular attention to the explanation of reciprocal determinism on pp. 344 and 345.
  • Consider a personal experience you feel comfortable sharing with colleagues that you could analyze from the perspective of reciprocal determinism.
  • Think back to your response to the question of what causes personality in the Week 1 Discussion. Consider your answer from the perspective of reciprocal determinism and whether you would like to change or amend your response.
By Day 3

Post an explanation that includes the following:

  • Describe an experience in your life that demonstrates the principle of reciprocal determinism. Explain your experience in terms of the interactions of your behaviors, your personality characteristics, and the impact of your environment.
  • Based on your understanding of reciprocal determinism, explain whether your thinking has changed and, if so, how you would amend your Week 1 Discussion answer. Include your reasoning for keeping the original answer or changing it.
  • What are the most useful concepts that you will take away from this course? How have the concepts helped you in understanding human behavior and, specifically, your relationships with family and friends? How can the concepts contribute to success in your future career?

Note: Be sure to support the responses within your initial Discussion post (and in your colleague reply) with information obtained from the assigned Learning Resources, including in-text citations and a reference list for sources used. For information regarding how your Discussion will be evaluated, please review the grading rubric located in the Course Information area of the course.

By Day 5

Respond to at least one of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question and provide insight into how you would answer your question and why.
  • Ask a probing question and provide the foundation, or rationale, for the question.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting by offering a new perspective or insight.
  • Agree with a colleague and offer additional (new) supporting information for consideration.
  • Disagree with a colleague by respectfully discussing and supporting a different perspective.

Support your reply to a colleague’s post with at least one reference (textbook or other scholarly, empirical resources). You may state your opinion and/or provide personal examples; however, you must also back up your assertions with evidence (including in-text citations) from the source and provide a reference.

Submission and Grading Information
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Week 6 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5

To participate in this Discussion:
Week 6 Discussion

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