Social psychology is a field of study in which the primary focus is a number of different types of social interactions. It is also important for a social psychologist to ensure that he or she should also focus on the effects that these social interactions can have on the other individuals and it is also important for the social psychologists to consider the origins of the various social interactions too. In the entire field of social psychology, social cognition plays a very important role too. This is a type of a sub-topic that primarily focuses on how individuals process, apply, or even store some kind of information about the other different social situations and the people that those individuals might interact with during any kind of social interaction. To put all this information into simpler terms, it can also be said that the sub-topic of social cognition primarily deals or focuses on the role that various cognitive processes can play in a number of different social interaction scenarios. However, there are also many theories related to this particular topic. However, out of all the theories on this particular sub-topic, the most prominent and most widely recognized theory is the social cognitive theory. In this essay writing topic, the social cognitive theory will be discussed first before proceeding to learn about the various factors that can affect the social cognition within a family.
The Social Cognitive Theory
This particular cognition theory was originally given by Albert Bandura. This theory was given during the 1960s and since then this theory has been used for achieving a number of different aims. However, before discussing the application the major ideas which were put forward by this cognition theory will be discussed first.
The social cognitive theory (SCT) is also known widely as the social learning theory or the SLT. The basic idea which was put forward by this cognition theory was that learning takes place in a definite social context. And this entire learning procedure is dynamic which occurs through the reciprocal interaction of the individual, behavior, and the environment. The most unique feature of this theory is the fact that it focuses on the social context of learning. This theory also places a certain emphasis on the topics of social influences and the internal and external social reinforcements. This was one of the first theories that considered the ways through which various individuals from all across the globe maintain and acquire their behavior. Apart from these factors, this cognitive theory also successful in considering the role that the entire social environment played in the performance of the behavior of the individual.
The social learning theory was further successful because of the fact that this theory also took into account the past experiences of the individuals and the other social or personal factors that could have an effect on the behavior of the individual. There were also five different constructs which were originally developed as being a part of the social learning theory. And those five different constructs which have evolved along with the social learning theory are mentioned below.
- Reciprocal Determinism: This is the most important aspect of this entire cognition theory. And this term basically refers to the interaction between the person, the environment, and the behavior. This interaction is both reciprocal and dynamic.
- Behavioral Capability: This term refers to the behavioral tendencies or the capabilities of the individual who can perform some kind of task due to the skills and knowledge that they might have acquired in the past. To put it in a simpler manner, this term basically refers to the fact that to perform any task an individual must know exactly what to do and how to do it.
- Observational Learning: This phenomenon refers to the kind of learning in which an individual tends to learn behavior by observing other individuals that might be present in his or her surroundings or environment. This type of learning is also referred to as the modeling of the other individual’s behavior.
- Reinforcements: These are the set of responses that could increase or decrease the chances of a behavior being repeated. There are two different kinds of reinforcements. And those two different kinds of reinforcements are the positive reinforcements and the negative reinforcements.
- Expectations: This particular construct simply refers to the possible outcomes of any kind of behavior. These expectations are majorly derived from the past experiences of an individual.
- Self-efficacy: This is a concept which is rather unique to this cognitive theory. This concept refers to the fact about how much confidence an individual has to successfully perform some kind of behavior.
These are all the major aspects which are related or are a major part of this entire cognitive theory. In the next section, there will be a discussion on the various factors that can affect the social cognition within a family.
The Factors that can Affect Social Cognition within a Family
There are many factors that can affect social cognition within a family. And some of those factors are mentioned below.
It is now widely agreed that every individual is provided with a genetic predisposition that helps that individual in learning and growing as much as possible throughout the entire life. This factor of genetics can also have a very strong effect on the cognition of an individual. While, it is agreed that the members of a family are bound to be similar to one another in many traits but not every one of them will possess the exact same genetics. This could be one of the reasons why members of a family might differ in terms of their cognitive capabilities.
The Past Experiences
It is widely agreed that no to people in this world are alike and similarly not everybody will have the same experiences throughout their life. And even if there are somehow two different people who have similar experiences but they might still have a different take on those experiences. Hence, it is easier to conclude that even the members of the same family are bound to have different experiences within themselves too. These past experiences can then, in turn, have an effect on the learning of the individual. And this can further affect the cognition of the individuals.
These are the two most important factors that can have a strong effect on cognition of the individuals who might belong to the same group or a family. There are also many other factors that can have an effect on the cognition and some of those factors include stress levels, nutrition, peers, participation in other groups, and many other factors.
Social psychology is a field in which the focus of the study is on how an individual basically behaves or thinks or feels when placed in a social situation. Social cognition is one of the most important sub-topics which are included in this field. And it basically refers to the cognitive processes and the roles those cognitive processes can play in a social situation. There are many theories on this topic but the most important theory is the social learning theory which was given by Albert Bandura during the 1960s. There are five major constructs of this particular theory. There are also many factors that can affect the cognition of an individual in a social context or within any particular family. And some of those different factors include the genetics, the past experiences, and the level of stress, the nutrition, other peers, and many other factors.
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