Case Study 23
Application Questions: Using Bandura's social cognitive theory explain Ruth's
personality by answering the following questions.
1. What does Bandura mean by reciprocal determinism? Find an example of it in
the case and describe the interrelationships between the factors.
Bandura believes that person factors (P), behavior (B) and the environment (E) all
influence each other. An example of this is the instance when Ruth felt sorry for herself.
Ruth's thoughts of her blindness (P) impacted her expression of frustration (B) and her
expression of frustration (B) influenced her thoughts of blindness (P). Her expression of
frustration (B) influenced her mother (E) and her mother's crying (E) stopped Ruth from
expressing her frustration (B) any more. Ruth's blindness and her thoughts of it (P)
obviously would impact her mother (E) and her mother's distress over Ruth's blindness
(E) influenced Ruth's thoughts of her own blindness (P).