Social cognitive theory explains human accomplishments and well-being in terms of the interplay between individuals’ attributes, their behavior, and the influences operating in their environment. According to this view, people are contributors to their life circumstances, not just the products of them. They are characterized by a number of basic capabilities. These include cognitive, vicarious, self-regulatory, and self-reflective capabilities that play a central role in human self-development, adaptation, and change.

Symbolizing Capability

People’s extraordinary cognitive capacity provides them with a powerful means for understanding the workings of their environment and for shaping and managing it in ways that touch virtually every aspect of their lives. Cognitive factors, which constitute people’s symbolic nature, partly determine which aspects of the environment are attended to among the myriad activities, what ...

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