The Psychological Theories Of Alcohol Dependence, Social Learning Theory And Alcohol Expectancy Theory Essay

1471 Words Sep 4th, 2014 6 Pages
Newspaper headlines and public heath reports continually remind us that many abuse alcohol. Despite its many associated consequences, such as: increased hospital admissions, deaths, road accidents and assaults; alcohol dependence remains a prominent issue in today’s society. But what causes alcohol dependence? This essay will critically discuss and compare two psychological theories of alcohol dependence, social learning theory and alcohol expectancy theory.
Bandura’s Social Learning Theory and Its Application to Alcohol Dependency
Social learning theory is the cumulative works of many psychologists and sociologists, the most influential of these, was Bandura (1969, 1977 and 1986) whose works were the first to combine the principles of cognitive psychology and those of behavioural learning (the two prominent theories of the time). Bandura’s (1969, 1977 and 1986) social learning theory contained four major constructs: differential reinforcement (differing consequences for a specific behaviour dependent on the social context and situation), vicarious learning (acquiring new behaviours by observing said behaviours being reinforced in others or through communication), cognitive processes (the belief that cognitive processes such as information retrieval, encoding and organizing, regulate behaviour) and triadic reciprocity (a principle that says, the environment, cognitions and behaviour all mutually influence each other).
Bandura applied the early versions of these constructs…

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