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Personality Theories Most people use the term personality to identify the most obvious characteristic of a person or to refer to a persons social skills Personality theories try to explain why we think and what we think Albert Banduras Social-Learning Theory Walter Mischels Cognitive-Affective Theory and Carl Rogers Humanistic Personality Theory suggest reasons that try to explain our overall behavior These personality theories help explain some psychological disorders as well as psychotherapies and other treatments The social learning theory of Bandura emphasizes the importance of observing and modeling the behaviors attitudes and emotional reactions of others One of his primary components is simply learning through observation By observing models any person one can perform a response for which he or she is rewarded and learning will occur The most common examples of social learning situation are television commercials Commercials suggest that drinking a certain beverage will make us popular and win the admiration of attractive people One models the behavior shown in the commercial and buys the product being advertised Bandura also suggests that environment causes behavior true but behavior causes environment as well He labels this concept reciprocal determinism The world and a persons behavior cause each other Bandura also stresses the effect of an individuals perceived abilities on his or her behavior self-efficacy An individual can believe that a certain course of action will produce certain outcomes but feel unsure as to his own ability to perform those actions The less confident he is in his abilities the less likely he is to engage in the behavior Another personality theorist Walter Mischel developed the Cognitive-Affective Personality Theory Mischel states that trait theories do not predict behavior well and people do not behave consistently across diverse situations Mischel added the notion of five cognitive-affective units 1 encoding how one categorizes information about self others and the environment 2 expectations and beliefs what one expects will happen with a situation also with own
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