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What is triadic reciprocal causation?

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Triadic reciprocal causation is made up of personal factors, behavior, and the environment. According to Albert Bandura’s model of reciprocal determinism, this triangle illustrates how the behavior of an individual can and will be affected by personal factors and environmental elements, and vice versa. Bandura argues that, very often, our environment brings changes within us, while our behavior may also originate changes in our surroundings. It is a sequence of events that can occur in a different order at different times. An important takeaway from the reciprocal determinism theory is that we are a product of our past.

The following is an example of triadic reciprocal causation. You may be drawn to become a teacher. You love children, are patient, and have great interpersonal skills (personal factors). After finishing your undergraduate studies, you become a teacher. You enjoy teaching, are always investing time in creating your lesson plans, and even buy candy as a reward for your students’ efforts (behavior). Since your class is performing really well, you are showered with praise from other teachers and parents (environmental factors).

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