Social Cognitive Views of Learning and Motivation

Hello everyone!

This week in ECS 200, we were asked to read chapter eleven of our textbook. This chapter was about social cognitive views of learning and motivation. While reading this chapter, I noticed that I was reading a lot of new information and I had not previously learnt some of the concepts taught in this chapter.

One of the first things that intrigued me was the triarchic reciprocal causality system. This big, complex name for a system is really just a fancy name for how personal, environmental and behavioural influences effect a person’s behaviour and how each factor influences the other in some way (Woolfolk, Winne & Perry, 2013, p. 370). I found this system very interesting because it showed that people are influenced by a number of things that shape behaviour.

Observational learning also stood out to me. Observational learning is watching someone or something do a task to learn how to do it. Observational learning has a few elements to it; which include attention, retention, production, motivation and reinforcement (Woolfolk, et al., 2013, p. 372). Observational learning is very important in the classroom as students must pay attention and retain information, but with technology and internet, it is changing. In the past, in order for students to learn something, they had to pay attention and remember the information given to them in the class. Now, with the assistance of technology, students are able to watch videos over and over again to learn a task. I have used technology in university as a way to learn how to solve a math problem. I watched a “how to” video online multiple times until I understood the concept I did not previously understand in class. Another great example of observational learning is the young girl in the video below that learnt how to dance from watching YouTube videos.

Volition was a term that I was not familiar with prior to this chapter. Simply put, volition is willpower. It is “planning for and protecting opportunities to reach goals” (Woolfolk, et al., 2013, p. 382). I have been using volition a lot in the past month to ensure that I am getting my homework done by going to coffee shops that have no distractions to get my work done on time. I have built this willpower through being busy in high school, but how do teachers teach students to have willpower to finish assignments?

Thank you for reading my blog post! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

Ashley Osachoff


Woolfolk, A. & Winne, P. & Perry, N. (2013). In O’Donnell C. (Ed.), Educational psychology (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education Inc.

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