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Reciprocal Determinism

  • By: Edward Raymond Hirt & Timothy Scott Reilly
  • In: Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology
  • Edited by: Neil J. Salkind
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), Educational Psychology, School Psychology
  • Keywords:persons

Reciprocal determinism is a phrase coined originally by psychologist Albert Bandura in describing the workings of his social learning theory. It describes the reciprocal relationship between person variables (genetics, individual differences); overt behavior; and the social environment. Simply stated, it posits that a person's behavior is both influenced by and is influencing a person's personal factors and the environment. According to this view, a person's behavior can be conditioned by the environment through operant conditioning (e.g., the use of consequences like reward and punishment), but a person's behavior can also have an impact on the environment. Thus, it is not the case that individuals are merely shaped and influenced by their environment; individuals also influence the environment around them—each affects the other.

Theoretical Significance

Reciprocal determinism represented ...

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