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Video transcript

- Social-cognitive perspectives view behavior as being influenced by the interaction between peoples' traits or cognitions, and their social context. So if one of the general themes of psychology is the interaction between nature and nurture, we can think of the social-cognitive perspective as talking about the interactions between an individual and the situation that they are in. So let's say that Megan here has an interest in playing soccer, and because of that, she joins the soccer team. And, as a result, she starts to spend a lot of time with the soccer players. So here we have a cognition, the interest in playing soccer, and this leads her to join a certain environment to hang out in, in this case, the soccer team. And as a result of being on the soccer team, she starts to spend a lot of time with the soccer players. So you can see how a cognition can lead to choosing a certain environment, which can then change our behavior. But you can also see how things could be ordered a bit differently. Maybe Megan is new in town, and she winds up hanging out with people who are on the soccer team, because she shares a lot of classes with them, so she sees them a lot, and these friends, perhaps unsurprisingly, spend a lot of time talking about soccer. And so Megan starts to become really interested in it, and as a result, she decides to join the soccer team. So here we have a behavior that leads to a cognition, which eventually leads her to choose a certain environment. And we can also follow the circle in the opposite direction. So once again, let's say Megan is new in town, and she starts to hang out with the soccer players, and because she likes hanging out with them, she decides to join the soccer team, just so she can hang out with them even more. But then, after playing for awhile, she starts to develop a real interest in the game. And of course, now that she's on the team, and now that she's really interested in the game, this reinforces her behavior of hanging out with the team, both on and off the field. So here we have a behavior that leads to an environment, which then leads to a cognition, which at the same time, serves to reinforce the behavior. So we see that these three things, behavior, cognition, and environmental factors, are actually all intertwined. And they're intertwined in such a way that they actually all rely on each other. And as a result, we are shaped by the interaction of these three factors. And this is what social-cognitive theorists refer to as reciprocal determinism, which is just a really fancy way of saying, what we were saying before, that these three things, behavior, cognition, and environment, are all determinants of one another. And this theory was put forth by Bandura, and if his name sounds familiar, it should, because he's also the scientist who did a lot of work on observational learning, or learning that occurs by watching the behavior of others, which I think works really well with reciprocal determinism, because it implies that learning and changes in our behavior, are gained through our interactions with others and through our observation of the behavior of others, which I think fits in really nicely with the cycle.