MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences : Social Cognitive Theory

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Social Cognitive Theory

Which of the examples below is an example of social cognitive theory?

Possible Answers:

Dave was really disappointed when his son Nicholas drew with crayons on the wall. Nicholas could tell that his dad was upset, and so he did not do it again. 

The muscle builds by constantly exercising it. If you stop, it will atrophy. Behavior works the same way. 

Suzette keeps a calendar of all the times she goes to the gym to workout and she rewards herself with a treat if she goes more than 4 times a week. 

Shareen grabbed fruit for dessert in line at the cafeteria. Monica really wanted chocolate pudding, but given that Shareen had set a good example, she followed and chose fruit. The next day, when Monica went to lunch alone, she selected the fruit. 

Everytime I hear the whistle, my heart starts racing as though I'm about to start a cross-country race. I know it's crazy, that's just how I was conditioned after competing for four years. 

Correct answer:

Shareen grabbed fruit for dessert in line at the cafeteria. Monica really wanted chocolate pudding, but given that Shareen had set a good example, she followed and chose fruit. The next day, when Monica went to lunch alone, she selected the fruit. 

Explanation:

The correct answer is the example about choosing fruit over chocolate pudding, because the positive example was modeled. The examples about drawing on the wall or logging workouts relate to systems of rewards and punishments, not modeling. The example concerning the whistle is about conditioning, not modeling. Finally, the example about the muscle is an interesting metaphor, but it is not relevant here. In fact, once certain patterns of behavior are established through modeling, they may remain intact without continuing the modeling, as would be required by this example. 

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