Learning theories and models are very critical in the learning of individual behavior. For effective application of the theories and models, people should ensure that they employ factors such as attention, retention, and organization in the course of learning. Cognitive, behavioral, and humanistic theories and models used include the social-learning theory, theory of reasoned action, self-regulation theory, and stages of change model. While these theories and models have similarities that regard their focus on behavior, individual willingness, and emphasis on consequences, they also demonstrate differences that revolve around the approaches that they utilize. The theories and models are useful and employees can apply them in various workplaces such as healthcare centers. Therefore, the theories and models are very useful in learning and behavior change.
Learning is a process where individuals acquire knowledge and engage in desired behaviors. Through learning, people understand their various temperaments and personalities. The theories and models used in learning are very vital because they enhance the process of learning and behavior change. Theories and models such as the social learning theory, theory of reasoned action, self-regulation theory, and stages of change model play a crucial role in determining learning and behavioral change. These theories and models have several similarities, which concern their focus on behavior, individual willingness, and emphasis on consequences. On the other hand, the theories and models have differences that revolve around the approach that they utilize. It is within this context that the paper examines the learning theories and models and compares them about their similarities and differences as well as their application in workplaces.
Description of Theories and Models
Social-Learning Theory and Theory of Reasoned Action
The social learning theory is a cognitive theory that emphasizes the importance of the cognitive features of an individual. The theory explains that people learn through several factors, which include observation and reinforcement. According to Akers and Jensen (2009), social-learning theory elucidates that a person learns by observing the actions of others as well as the consequences of those actions. Moreover, the learning process according to the theory entails the extraction of information from modeling characters, who may be acting in movies and other media. Consequently, the theory of reasoned action is a behavioral theory and a model, which focuses on the connection between attitude and behavior. In the assertion of Brannon and Feist (2010), the theory of reasoned action establishes the behavior of individuals based on their expected outcomes in the aftermath of the action. As such, people learn and behave in ways that align them with expected outcomes.
Self-Regulation Theory and Stages of Change Model
Self-regulation theory (SRT) is a humanistic theory that explains the impulses, which dictate the execution of certain desires. The theory underscores the significance of managing desires in the short term. Carver and Scheier (2001) state that SRT concerns the management of desires and unwanted outbursts that at times lead to criminal activities or loss of friends. The theory highlights that people should strive to manage their desires and control their impulses so that they do not act in a wayward manner. To substantiate its learning discussion, the theory uses elements such as standards, motivation, monitoring, and willpower to explain how people can learn to control their behaviors. The theory states that people should create standards that they need to achieve, develop a motivation to achieve them, monitor the process of achievement, and have the willpower that facilitates achievement of the set standards.
Consequently, the stages of change model, also known as the Transtheoretical model, is a humanistic model, which concerns the steps that individuals can undertake so that they free themselves from unwanted behaviors. Brannon and Feist
(2010) explain that the stages of change model establishes the level of preparedness and provides steps that people should follow so that they can learn to abstain from unwanted behaviors. Pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance are the learning stages that the model provides.
Similarities and Differences
Some of the similarities associated with the social learning theory, theory of reasoned action, self-regulation theory, and stages of change model include a focus on human behavior, the willingness of individuals, and emphasis on repercussions. The theories and models substantiate the importance of good human behavior. The theories and models explain the process through which an individual can learn to attain desired behaviors. The theories and models assert that for their effectiveness, individuals should have the willingness to abide by their provisions. Furthermore, the theories and models dictate that a person must assess the consequences of behaviors before executing them. In the theories and models, the repercussions of the behaviors are the main factors that determine individual learning and behavior. As such, it is clear from the theories and models that people act based on the behaviors present in the aftermath.
Although the theories and models have several similarities, they also demonstrate differences. While the social-learning theory emphasizes the importance of observation in learning, the theory of reasoned action state that the connection between attitude and behavior determines the learning process of a person. The social-learning theory uses observation in its approach and discussion of the learning process. Conversely, the theory of reasoned action utilizes the link between attitude, expectations, and behavior in elaborating its essence in the learning process (Brannon & Feist, 2010). On the other hand, self-regulation theory demonstrates a difference in the approach that it uses in discussing behavior. The theory explains that for effective learning and change of behavior, people need to control their impulses and manage their desires. Consequently, the stages of change model assess the readiness of a person to change and adopt desired behaviors. As such, the theories and models have differences, which mainly revolve around the utilized approaches.
Application in the Workplace
Theories and models such as social-learning theory, theory of reasoned action, self-regulation theory, and stages of change model are very useful in workplaces. As a result, human resources working in various organizations can employ the theories and models and use them in executing their various activities. Medical practitioners and employees working in different organizations can apply the theories and models to improve the learning process and behavior of individuals, who demonstrate undesired characters. For instance, in a healthcare facility, medical practitioners can encourage their patients to employ theories such as self-regulation theory and closely monitor them so that they can establish the process of change in behavior (Carver & Scheier, 2001). As such, the theories and models are very important and individuals can effectively employ them in workplaces.
Behavioral changes and learning processes are important elements that enhance relationships and interactions among individuals in a respective society. For effective changes in behavior, people need to practice the provisions of theories and models that facilitate the achievement of desired behaviors. While the theories and models demonstrate several similarities and differences, they have several factors that facilitate their effective application. To apply the theories and models successfully, people need to develop the ability to learn through attentiveness and possess the capacity to retain and apply the acquired information. The individuals should organize the information so that they produce structured actions about the desired behavioral change, which represents a successful learning process.
Akers, R., & Jensen, G. (2009). Social learning theory and the explanation of crime: A guide for the new century. New Brunswick: Transaction Pub.
Brannon, L., & Feist, J. (2010). Health psychology: An introduction to behavior and health. Sydney: Cengage Learning.
Carver, C., & Scheier, M. (2001). On the self-regulation of behavior. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.