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CHAPTER III
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

Overview

The theoretical frameworks that overarch this study are presented in this chapter. Social learning/cognitive theory and Paulo Freire’s dialogical communication are delineated. Finally a rational for the combined theories is presented.



Bandura’s Social Learning/Cognitive Theory


As described earlier, one of the tenets and perhaps the most important theoretical underline of entertainment-education is Albert Bandura’s (1977) social learning theory. This theory developed from experimental psychological studies, which demonstrate how children learn and imitate modeled behaviors. It is a general theory of human behavior, even though derived from the field of social psychology. This framework is also greatly utilized in health promotion campaigns, education and communication research. Bandura stresses the influence of symbolic modeling derived from television, films, and other visual media. Because of the extensive possibility of modeling in mass media production, communication research usually applies social learning theory to explain media effects.

Bandura (1977) argues that people learn from observing role models in day-to-day life, as he explains it:

Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do. Fortunately, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action. Because people can learn from example what to do, at least in approximate from, before performing any behavior, they are spared needless errors .


According to social learning theory, modeling influences learning primarily through its informative functions. Observers retain a symbolic representation of the modeled behavior, which then serves as a blueprint for the behavior. Observational learning incorporates four components: attention, retention, motor, and motivational processes that help to understand why individuals imitate socially desirable behavior (Bandura, 1977).

Bandura additionally (1977) stresses the accessibility of television and the amount of attention that it easily commands when explaining the attention process. Other factors involved in this component are the influence of social groups, and the structural arrangement of human interactions. Retention processes deal with the ability to remember the observed model, as well as mentally organizing and rehearsing the behavior. Motor reproduction comes through trial and error, observation of the behavior or skill, but the motor refinements also need to be present to emulate the behavior. Finally, motivational processes explains that people usually enact behaviors that seem to be effective for other people; “they are more likely to adopt modeled behavior if it results in outcomes they value than if it has unrewarding or punishing effects” (Bandura, 1977, p. 28). This concept explains the choice of characters in entertainment education soap opera, the play between good and bad, and their punishments and rewards according to their behavior. For example, if a soap opera character does not use a condom, the story line might have him acquiring a sexually transmitted disease. The reward/punishment factors are important in bringing the audience’s attention to the behaviors. The vicarious observation of the consequences of the behavior in turn increases the observational learning experience (Bandura, 1977). In summary, the notion of modeling and vicarious experiences is typically the way human beings learn.
In 1986 Bandura refines Social Learning Theory into Social Cognitive Theory.
Bandura posits that children and adults operate cognitively on their social experiences; these cognitions then influence behavior and development. The influences of behavior, individual, cognitive, and environmental factors determine how people interact and learn from each other (Bandura, 1986). The main concepts of social cognitive theory explain human behavior as a dynamic and correlated interaction between the person and the environment. Bandura posits that individuals learn from their interactions and observations, and named the dynamics that are vital to this process: reciprocal determinism, symbolizing capability, vicarious capability, forethought capabilities, self-regulatory capabilities, and self-reflective capabilities (Bandura, 1986).

The concept of self-efficacy and collective efficacy are incorporated in numerous studies in different subjects. Bandura (1995) defines self-efficacy, as the belief that people have in the ability to exercise control over events that affect their lives. Human behavior is affected by self-efficacy beliefs through cognitive, motivational, affective, and decisional processes (Bandura, 2003). According to Bandura (2003):

Among the mechanisms of human agency none is more central or pervasive than beliefs of personal efficacy. Whatever other factors serve as guides and motivators, they are rooted in the core belief that one has the power to produce desired effects by one’s actions, otherwise one has little incentive to act or to persevere in the face of difficulties.

 



 



Table of Contents

Acknowledgements / Dedication - Abstract

CHAPETER 1- INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER II - REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

CHAPTER III - THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
40-41-42-43-44-45-46





Acknowledgements / Dedication -

Abstract


CHAPETER 1- INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER II - REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

CHAPTER III - THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

CHAPTER IV - THE STUDY

CHAPTER V - THE RESULTS

CHAPTER VI - CONCLUSION

APPENDIX - MESSAGES STUDIED

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