Feminism and Social Cognitive Theories

Topics: Observational learning, Albert Bandura, Mass media Pages: 8 (2879 words) Published: February 26, 2013
Social cognitive Theory and Feminist Theories

The goal in this individual assignment is to apply the social cognitive theory and feminist theories to contemporary media content and to compare and contrast different theoretical perspectives. Attached to this paper there will be a print advertisement specifically chosen to analyze how and whom these theories reflect on in new media today. After analyzing the two perspectives, the theories will be compared and contrasted, showing the similarities and differences between them and their approach to the advertisement. Throughout the paper the usage of examples from the specific advert chosen will conclude to the appliance and defined terms to support the arguments that will be debated. The social learning theory furnishes a framework that allows usto analyze the human’s psychological functions that produce certain behaviors (A. Bandura, 1986). The concept describes the mental processes at work whenever a person learns (Bandura, 1944). The theory of socialization explains humans thought and the personal factors that make learning a cognitive process to all agents such as, social groups, parents and siblings, teachers, schools and religious leaders, neighborhoods and media.(Eyal, 2012)According to Bandura, the theoryproves that belief and behavior are determined by three different factors that interact and impact each other, known as the triadic reciprocal causation, examining behavior, personal determinants and characteristics such as cognitive and biological qualities like age, race, sex or height, and environmental factors or events (Bandura, 1944). Bandura’s social cognitive theory of mass communication and the broader social learning theory serve as the foundation for volumes of research in all areas of media effects study today (A. Bandura, 1986). A study of this theory presenting the process of modeling has been conducted by Albert Bandura during the study of the bobo dolls by including the four component processes: attention, retention, motor reproduction, and motivation. Later to be discussed in relevancy to the advertisement chosen.Proving that a person that observes other peoples actions and the consequences of those actions can learn from what they have observed, called observational learning, which then can be reenacted by the observer, known as modeling (A. Bandura, 1986). According to the research done in the bobo doll studies, Bandura’s method was to create a lab experiment with kindergarten children, by exposing them to different versions of movies with aggressions toward a bobo doll. Focusing on the children in the experimental groups, these children were aware of what they have watched and this is where the modeling process originates. Attention has been elevated. The experimental group children sat and thought through the film alsopossessing the necessary components and skill, while perhaps thinking of their capabilities and self-efficacy perceptions,known as motor reproduction in terms of the process. In order to later imitate the aggressive acts, training what they’ve cognitivelylearnt and seen, known as retention, rehearsing of the act in order to properly mock the material exposed. In conclusion to the observational theory, children seemed motivated to model the behaviors they learnt in the film. Children who had watched the violent film were less inhibited about performing other violent acts they had learnt in the past, and not portrayed through the given film. The film therefore, had a disinhibitory effect upon the children who saw it (Bandura, 1963). “Disinhibitory effects disinhibit or lift previously learned internal restraints on certain behaviors (Bandura, 1963 p.73) as explained in the study Bandura conduced on the school kids and the fact they used the violence seen in the film, and not violence that has been shown to them throughout their lives. In addition, the theory also serves as a common denominator among many media effects and hypothesis...

References: Bryant, J., & Thompson, S. (2002). Fundamentals of media effects(Chapter 4). Boston,
MA: McGraw-Hill.
Hodkinson, P. (2011). Media, culture, and society: An introduction(Chapter 11, pp.219-242).
Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Cantor, M. G. (1988). Feminism and the media.Society, 25(5), 76-81.
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