Cognitive Social Learning Theory Strengths and Weaknesses
Rotter and Mischel have advanced learning theories in the areas of thinking, values, and goal-direction for humans instead of laboratory animals. Even though this is true, the validity of the cognitive social learning theory depends on the ratings it receives from the six criteria of a useful theory. Cognitive social learning theory has generated an excellent abundance of quality research. The locus of control concept developed by Rotter has been one of the most researched topics in psychology. Both Rotter and Mischel’s theories are considered internally consistent. Rotter wisely defines his terms, making sure each term has one meaning and Mischel’s theory is considered consistent because he developed his theory from empirical research. Rotter’s theory is considered a helpful guide to therapists but Mischel’s theory suggests people behave differently in different situations, which is believed only moderately useful. The cognitive social learning theory is considered simple because it does not explain all human personality. One weakness of Rotter and Mischel’s theories is difficulty verifying or falsifying research. Rotter’s basic prediction formula and general prediction formula cannot be accurately tested (Feist & Feist, 2009).
Social Cognitive Theory Strengths and Weaknesses
Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory is balanced between innovative speculation and accurate observation (Feist & Feist, 2009). Bandura’s use of these two important components of theory building increase the chances of his hypothesis producing concrete results, and it increases the chances of producing supplementary hypotheses. The way social cognitive theory is constructed has generated thousands of research studies rating Bandura’s theory high on its ability to produce research. In the area of falsifiability social cognitive theory rates high. According to Theories of Personality, Bandura states self-efficacy theory suggests “people’s beliefs in their personal efficacy influence what courses of action they choose to pursue, how much effort they will invest in activities, how long they will persevere in the face of obstacles and failure experiences, and their resiliency following setbacks” (p. 505). His statement opens up the door for possible research leading to falsification of the theory. Social cognitive theory organizes knowledge well. The triadic reciprocal causation model proposes a reasonable description for the learning of many observable behaviors. The guidelines are specific making the theory easy to use, and the theory is internally consistent. Furthermore, the social cognitive theory is simple and straightforward making it parsimonious.