Posts Tagged social cognitive
Multi-theoretical rather than meta-theoretical
I am highly wary of people who take only one theoretical perspective.
No matter how rich and multi-dimensional your theory is, no matter how many other theories it incorporates and subsumes, it’s still only a theory. It will never account for all of the variety, complexity and general messiness of real live people in real live environments.
The real problem with only taking one theoretical perspective is that you become subject to the Law of the Instrument (or Maslow’s hammer).
Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding. (Abraham Kaplan)
It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail. (Abraham Maslow)
If you only have one theoretical perspective, you only have one set of concepts by which you interpret a client’s situation. Because of confirmation bias, you will tend to look for things that fit in with those concepts and you may fail to notice things which don’t fit.
It is tempting to force the facts to fit the concepts and limit what you notice to things that you can describe easily in your frame of reference.
That’s why I shy away from big theories which seek to do everything and try to collect lots of simpler theories that look at career decisions from very different angles. Phil McCash from Warwick University has described this as ‘theoretical triangulation‘.
So, if you’re just venturing out into the world of career theory, which theories should you start with? Here are my suggestions, with no sound scientific basis, just my personal preferences.
The UK Government recently released Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers: A Strategy for Social Mobility.
The report quotes some depressing statistics about social mobility in the UK.
- Only one in five young people from the poorest families achieve five good GCSEs, including English and maths, compared with three quarters from the richest families.
- 25% of children from poor backgrounds fail to meet the expected attainment level at the end of primary school, compared to 3% from affluent backgrounds.
- Almost one in five children receive free school meals, yet this group accounts for fewer than one in a hundred Oxbridge students.
- Only a quarter of boys from working-class backgrounds get middle-class (professional or managerial) jobs.
- Just one in nine of those with parents from low income backgrounds reach the top income quartile, whereas almost half of those with parents in the top income quartile stay there.
- Only 7% of the population attend independent schools, but the privately educated account for more than half of the top level of most professions, including 70% of high court judges, 54% of top journalists and 54% of chief executive officers of FTSE 100 companies.
- The influence of parental income on the income of children in Britain is among the strongest in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. Parental income has over one and a half times the impact on male incomes in Britain compared with Canada, Germany and Sweden.
The recent post on Transactional Analysis looked at certain belief patterns (or scripts) that can determine the way people live out their lives and their careers. Beliefs are also at the heart of the highly influential Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) developed in 1994 by Robert Lent, Steven Brown and Gail Hackett. This was based on the broader Social Cognitive Theory proposed by Albert Bandura.
The two key types of belief in SCCT are:
- Self-efficacy — Your beliefs about what you are capable of — your confidence in your ability to perform certain tasks effectively.
- Outcome expectations — Your beliefs about what is likely to result from behaving in certain ways or taking particular actions.
This is great. I find it really useful to work with clients’ belief systems and a handy way of analysing them is good. However, it’s a bit broad. I would quite like a slightly longer list of common types of beliefs to be on the look out for.
John D. Krumboltz (who had a hand in Planned Happenstance) also developed a theory based on Bandura, which he called the Social Learning Theory of Career Decision Making (SLTCDM – snappy!). Linked to this he developed the Career Beliefs Inventory. This has 25 different scales intended to diagnose potentially problematic belief areas.
This is great too, but it’s a bit too big (and expensive). I want something simpler that I can carry around in my head.
Careers - in Theory is a blog from The Careers Group, University of London.
The aim of this blog is to highlight and discuss theories, models, research and other interesting stuff that might have an impact on the work of careers education and guidance.
At The Careers Group we like to think deeply about the work we do whilst maintaining our practicality and our sense of humour.
Please join in. It's more fun for us if you comment, rate and share.
Search Careers – in Theory
- "Utepils (Norwegian): drinking beer outside on a hot day." ow.ly/XWYSm 1 day ago
- Does counting to 10 help you control anger? It depends - ow.ly/XX3My 1 day ago
- Don't give 'feedback', facilitate autonomous reflection twitter.com/HarvardBiz/sta… 1 day ago
- RT @cmi_managers: Fancy reading MBOY shortlisted books? Follow us & RT this tweet by 12pm 2moro for a chance to #win! #ManagementGold https… 1 day ago
- People who prioritise time over money are happier ow.ly/XX2Sx 1 day ago
- "Schnappsidee (German): An ingenious / daft / ridiculous plan thought up while drunk." ow.ly/XWYzQ 1 day ago
- Research Project Coordinator job with The Careers Group - ow.ly/XSS1H 2 days ago
- March 2013
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- Action adaptability agency applying theory approach attitude attribution avoidance beliefs career development learning challenge chaos choice coaching cognitive behavioural therapy cognitive bias Community Interaction Theory complexity compromise constructivism context counterfactual thinking culture decision developmental dialogical self Employability engagement flexibility gladwell goals guidance habitus identity innovation interviews job hunting Jung learned helplessness locus of control matching meaning memory Models modes of growth motivation multiplicity narrative networking opportunity structure optimism outcome expectations personality planned behaviour planned happenstance planning positive psychology professions purpose recession Reflective practice self-efficacy self concept self esteem skills social capital social cognitive social identity social mobility stages strategy success transition uncertainty values
- Accurate at the time of publication
David Winter on Identity crisis Joanna J on Identity crisis Bill Law’s Com… on Classics – Community Int… Makeda Heard on Do you have a decision-making… Michael Healy on The tree of life The Chaos Theory of… on Puppies and ping-pong bal… David Winter on Self creation or self dis… Bogusław Kałka on Self creation or self dis… David Winter on Self creation or self dis…