Dr. Bandura Is the Classic

Violence is not just programmed and imitated, it is also chosen and controlled by the participant in a complex continuum of stimulus, response and participant interaction via other factors (Hoffman, 2007, 9).


In an article by Stefan G. Hofmann entitled Cognitive Factors that Maintain Social Anxiety Disorder, it discusses the effects of social cognitive theory on social anxiety disorder (SAD). Recent studies have identified multiple psychological factors that could explain the maintenance of the disorder. The model that is constructed in the article makes the assumption that social apprehension is to be associated with unrealistic social standards. This also includes a deficiency in the selection of attainable social goals. When a person is confronted with challenging social situations, people with SAD shift their attention toward the anxiety. They view themselves negatively as a social object. In addition, they overestimate the negative consequences of a social encounter, believing that they have little control over their emotional responses and also view their social skills as not adequate to cope effectively with the social situation. In order to avoid the above situation, the individuals with SAD find themselves reverting to coping strategies that are maladaptive. These include avoidance and safety behaviors, followed on by post event rumination. This further leads to future social apprehension. Possible disorder-specific intervention strategies are considered in the article.

Fountain, Finley, & Finley Article

Social learning theory claims that individual clients learn about other people or groups by internalizing outside information and cues. This idea was first proposed by Albert Bandura and Richard Walters in 1963. This theory suggests that viewers, particularly children, usually model behavior that they see on television or in films. In particular, movies provide models for how we are supposed to behave. Ironically, the least active couch potatoes can later become the most aggressive of all people. Later versions of this theory have brought in more cognitive elements. This suggests that the violent corporate media may present scripts or schemes that will shape the strategies that people will employ when they solve their various problems.

Lab research has even further shown that when people who are already angry view violent images, the signals in that media could trigger aggressive behavior in these people. For example, if someone was angry at his or her spouse when they viewed aggressive behavior perpetrated by an athlete in a sport film or televised sporting event, that person would probably be more inclined to act out in anger against someone else. The experiment participants were consumers of this type of media and most often adopted the behaviors or attitudes modeled in the media by aggressive programming (Fountain, Finley, & Finley, 2009).


In the article on the social learning theory of Bandura and Walters and their successors, the psychological process is explained by which humans acquire behaviors through the observation of their external environments. This provides a useful method for studying communication within a family. The authors paint a very clear picture that social learning theory is heavily dependent upon the work of Albert Bandura regarding aggression and its relationship with other cognitive factors. Bandura built upon Skinners work, but he included other things that affected cognitive behavior other than direct external stimuli. As in the Hofmann article, Bandura has diverged from Skinner considerably as his work has been criticized, moving more and more away from Skinners dependence upon explaining cognitive social behavior as being the sum total of direct external stimuli and the patient responses to them. More recent formulations by Howard & Hollander have involved the study of communication, formulations that also recognized “the role of other people as the agents of reinforcement (ibid, 45).”


Hofmann, Stefan G. (2007). Cognitive factors that maintain social anxiety disorder: a comprehensive model and its treatment implications. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, 36(4), 193-209.

Fountain, Jeffrey, Finley, Laura L., & Finley, Peter S. (2009). “Beyond the box office: an analysis of violent and deviant behavior in popular sport films.” Smart Journal, 5(1), 1-66.

Strassburger, Victor C. (2006). “risky business: what primary care practitioners need.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *