Reciprocal Determinism

Albert Bandura, an advocate of social-cognitive perspective, developed the concept of reciprocal determinism, which proclaims that our thoughts and actions and the environment influence each other. (Nevid, .425)*.  I believe there is a connection to people’s thoughts, feelings and behavior. It also makes sense that these forces both influence the environment and are also influenced by the environment.

I believe by understanding what motivates or stimulates our thoughts and how our thoughts influence our behavior, we will have more control of our behavior rather than letting the environment control it. We cannot blame the environment for our behavior without also blaming our thoughts. If we blame the environment for our behavior, then we forsake control of our lives to the environment. If we, instead, understand that it is not the environment but rather the way we internalize it that determines our choices of action, then we are ready to take control of our behavior.

To awfulize is a word meaning to think of an event as being more awful than it really is. Road rage is a common occurrence of awfulizing.  I know I have awfulized a lot. However, now that I am familiar with that term, I tend to catch myself when I do awfulize, and I tell myself, “Stop awfulizing!  It’s not that bad!”  This is why I believe that understanding our thoughts and feelings is good.


*Nevid, J.S. Essentials of Psychology, Concepts and Applications, (4th, Addition © 2015, 2012 Cengage Learning)