His conclusions led to the development of the social cognitive theory. Through the findings, he established that modelling was an important aspect in the acquisition of morally desirable behavior. Through further research, Bandura (1986) established that not only were social behaviors acquired but also they have a cognitive perspective. He concluded that cognitive processes played a pivotal role in learning. The theory has continued to attract more research especially based on self-efficacy, agency, and self-regulation.
Psychologists agree that the environment in which an individual has been brought up is a good indicator of their behavior hence personality. This is a cognitive aspect since the influence of the environment is based on what a person is able to observe from the environment. Bandura (1986) has defined the theory as “an internal mental process that may or may not be reflected in immediate behavioral change.” This means that the behavioral impact of an observation may not be immediate but it is ultimately retained in the subconscious hence it reveals after some time. The theory establishes that people learn when they observe others do various things. It also pinpoints that learning is an internal and a goal-directed behavior. According to Bigge (1992), the theory places emphasis on three methods in which behavior can be reinforced. We have direct reinforcement, vicarious reinforcement, and self-reinforcement.
This is a key component of the social cognitive theory that is vital in the understanding of learning processes. Most of the human behavior occurs without any immediate reinforcement as pointed out by Bandura (1986). This indicates that self-regulation is a key component in the development of a future behavior as opposed to a current one.