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Social Cognitive Theory

  • By: Albert Bandura
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

Social cognitive theory is founded on a conception of self-development, adaption, and change based on the idea of human agency. To be an agent is to deliberately influence the course of events by one’s actions. People exercise their influence through three different forms of agency. In personal agency, exercised individually, people bring their influence to bear on what they can control directly. However, in many spheres of functioning, people do not have direct control over conditions that affect their lives. They exercise proxy agency. They do so by influencing others who have the resources, knowledge, and means to act on their behalf to secure the outcomes they desire. People do not live their lives in individual autonomy. Many of the things they seek are achievable ...

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