Social Cognitive Theory is a psychological concept that was developed by Albert Bandura. This theory focuses on how people learn from their own experiences and the experiences of others.

According to this theory, learning occurs through observation, imitation, and modeling. In this article, we will explore the main concepts of Social Cognitive Theory.

Observational Learning

One of the primary concepts of Social Cognitive Theory is observational learning. This refers to the process of learning by observing the behaviors and actions of others.

It is believed that people can learn new behaviors simply by watching others perform them. This type of learning is particularly effective when the behavior being observed is modeled by someone who is perceived as knowledgeable or trustworthy.


Modeling is another essential concept in Social Cognitive Theory. Modeling refers to the act of demonstrating a particular behavior or skill for someone else to observe and learn from.

Modeling can be done in a variety of ways, including live demonstrations, videos, or written instructions. The key to effective modeling is that it must be clear and easy for the learner to understand.


Self-efficacy is an important aspect of Social Cognitive Theory that refers to an individual’s belief in their ability to perform a particular behavior or skill successfully. According to this theory, individuals are more likely to take on new challenges if they believe they have the necessary skills and abilities. Conversely, individuals who lack confidence in their abilities are less likely to attempt new tasks or take risks.

Cognitive Processes

Another key concept in Social Cognitive Theory is cognitive processes. This refers to the mental processes involved in learning and decision making. Social Cognitive Theory posits that people engage in four primary cognitive processes when learning from observation:


In conclusion, Social Cognitive Theory is a powerful concept that has significant implications for learning and behavior change. By understanding how people learn from observation, modeling, and cognitive processes, we can develop more effective strategies for teaching new skills and changing behaviors. Whether you are a teacher, parent, or simply someone interested in personal growth and development, Social Cognitive Theory can help you better understand how people learn and grow.