Reciprocal determinism says personality is best understood as the interaction of an individual’s thoughts, his or her behaviors, and feedback from the environment.Social cognitive theory views personality as the result of three interacting forces: the person’s thoughts, his or her behavior, and feedback from the environment, including other people. No single one of these factors is more important than the others in shaping personality. Rather, each factor can influence any other factor.
Are you wondering what it is that makes us behave the way we behave? Why do we like to meet our friends after work? Why is aggression is shown in traffic jams every day? For many of us these issues can not even arise. The answer for most of us is that it may simply be normal behavior. But do you ever wonder what drives our behavior? That is exactly what the theory of reciprocal determinism explains.
Example of reciprocal determinism
Suppose you have a friend named June who generally seems outgoing, energetic, cheerful, and friendly. You might say that she has an extroverted personality. To understand why June seems extroverted from the standpoint of reciprocal determinism, you would need to study her thoughts about her behavior (“l feel confident that I know how to interact smoothly with others”) and her thoughts about the environment (“l will be rewarded for opening up to others”). Then you would have to study how reinforcement from the environment shapes her thoughts and her behaviors. For example, when she is cheerful, other people say nice things about her.
Finally, you would need to study her behaviors themselves. Does she act in a socially skillful way that would influence her thoughts (“Hey, I really know how to behave in social situations”)? And does her behavior influence the environment itself: June might behave in a way that increases the reinforcement provided by other people. For instance, she might go to parties where her extroverted behaviors are likely to be reinforced. To understand someone’s personality,then, we must understand the interaction the person’s thought,interaction and response of the environment.
Why Reciprocal determinism Is Important In Judging Person Behavior
Albert Bandura, a renowned psychologist, raised the brilliant concept of reciprocal determinism. Among the other notable and famous theories of Bandura is the Theory of Social Learning . Bandura’s theory says that a person’s behavior is influenced by the environment and vice versa. In simpler terms, this means that the environment tends to make changes in the behavior of the individual, and, on the other hand, the behavior of the person is also responsible for changing the environment. Therefore, it means that not only the environment influences the person, but the person also influences the environment.
Determinism is the theory that describes that a person’s actions such as behavior or decision are just a result based on events that happened in the past. This means that our actions are reactions of what has already happened. The way people behave today is just a reaction to past events. According to the theory of determinism our behavior and actions are the result of past events, at the same time the environment is also affected by our behavior.
You will get a better understanding of this in the example given below. Imagine a person who does not want to work in a particular company, but the circumstances are such that he can not leave work. Therefore, this person does not like his work, which can negatively affect the performance of his work. In short, the person will act inappropriately, making colleagues or their superiors not like not only their work, but the individual as well. The behavior of the person will only make the situation worse for both parties. Therefore, the social environment and physical behavior create a restrictive environment and, at the same time, lead to more behavior disorders