Social Cognitive And Behavioral Drinking Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Psychology Type: Essay Paper: #36859638 Related Topics: Social Skills, Social Aspects, Informative, Social Influences On Behavior
Excerpt from Essay :

Social Cognitive, Behavioral Drinking

Social Cognitive/behavioralist Drinking

Drinking behavior provides informative demonstration of how social cognitive and behavioralist theories provide complementary rather than competing explanations of human agency. Bandura (1999) casts social cognitive theory against various determinist and materialist theories on the assertion humans are "sentient agents of experiences rather than simply undergoers of experiences" because people explore, manipulate and influence the environment they discover (p. 4). This contrasts against "automaticity," habit, "tendencies to repeat responses given a stable supporting context" (Oullette and Wood, 1998, p. 55). Oullette & Wood (1998) compare habit learning to skill development, where practice can lead to "nonvolitional, frequent, and consistent experiences in a given context" but new situations require deliberation (p. 55). Wood and Neal (2007) largely reiterate this summary as repeated learned behavior (843). The present inquiry is particularly interested in how and why particular behaviors become repeated after negative consequences have been demonstrated possible, and thus the behavior carries risk. If unpleasant consequences become probable or the only option, psychology could contribute explanation as to why individuals repeat costly and unpleasant / dis-satisfying behavior patterns.

This applies particularly to new drinkers because they don't have a prior source of reference yet. They may have heard about or know people who have suffered consequences from drinking too much but this is secondary experience and many more people do not suffer consequences so by definition a new drinker does not have first-hand negative experience. This core epistemological constraint of not knowing what one does not know, requires they must have...


5), but cannot assess the functional value of something they have not experienced yet? Therefore habit entails either an initial desire for perceived benefits or a first accidental, "fortuitous" (Bandura, 1999, p. 11) experience, which then become perpetuated through agent-environment reciprocity. If the first experience was unpleasant some personalities may crave those as second-best substitutes. Therefore habit begins when pleasurable and for some even negative consequences result from some fortuitous fact-finding incident. Bandura (and thus social cognitive behaviorism, largely) calls this "triadic reciprocal causation" (1999, p. 5), where agents encounter, select and create different aspects of their environment rather than simply respond to unidirectional external stimuli (determinism).

Consensus generally accepts belonging as a plausible possible motivator for the functionally similar population 'new / young drinkers aged around twenty,' for which my example provides a potential case study. Other plausible justifications include stress relief and desire for new or reinforcing situations but if a drinker is new then there can be no reinforcement without an initial precedential experience. With new drinkers (who match the case), belonging becomes associated with contextual factors and so those come to represent or become associated with factors that transmit successful belonging satisfaction (Oullette & Wood, 1998, p. 835). This process leads to nonvolitional (habit) response, particularly if the increasing probability of negative consequences resulting from a growing sample of experiences reduces the intensity of belonging reward. Thus occurs a transference from specific individuals onto the settings and referentiality of the once-pleasurable experience and, as substitutes were necessarily pursued less often given the exclusive social drinking time, there would be…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bandura, A. (1999). A social cognitive theory of personality. In L. Pervin & O. John (Ed.),

Handbook of personality (2nd ed., pp. 154-196). New York: Guilford Publications. (Reprinted in D. Cervone & Y. Shoda [Eds.], The coherence of personality. New York: Guilford Press.)

Ouellette, J. & Wood, W. (1998). Habit and intention in everyday life: The multiple processes by which past behavior predicts future behavior. Psychological Bulletin 124(1), 54-74.

Wood, w. & Neal, D.T. (2007). A new look at habits and the habit -- goal interface. Psychological Review 114(4), 843 -- 863. Retrieved from DOI: 10.1037/0033-295X.114.4.843

Cite this Document:

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