Reciprocal theory shows that various factors influence the behavior of individuals. These factors include the social environment and personal factors. Psychologist Albert Bandura believes that the use of consequences can provide a viable way to influence behavioral patterns.

His theory helped shift perspectives on human behavior to a social-cognitive approach. He recognized the bidirectional relationship between an individual and the immediate environment.

Reciprocal Determinism

Reciprocal determinism shows that the behavioral patterns of individuals directly impacts the environment. The same applies to personal factors, such as attitudes and cognitive skills. In many cases, these attributes contribute to the formation of either an under- or overcompensated ego.

An individual’s resultant ego may be weak and strong enough to concentrate on pure outcome. Bandura managed to provide verifiable proof of this theory. The strong correlation between these factors is indisputable.

For this reason, reciprocal theory comes with three key factors that influence behavior: the individual, behavioral patterns, and the environment. Hence, personal characteristics and the social world help forge an individual’s overall behavior.

A woman’s face is disintegrating into small squares.

Bandura’s model indicates that the link between the three factors enables them to interact. In the past, theorists believed that children were passive recipients of wide-ranging influences in their immediate environment. This view suggested that caregivers, parents, and educators could easily mold a child’s behavior in the desired way.

“Psychology cannot tell people how they ought to live their lives. It can however, provide them with the means for effecting personal and social change.” ― Albert Bandura, Social Learning Theory

Conversely, reciprocal determinism reveals that kids have a more active and interactive role. As such, the view that they simply react due to behavioral reinforcements and other facts is erroneous. Instead, children’s behavior or responsiveness also takes cues from their feelings, thoughts, personal characteristics, and behaviors.

What Says The Research?

Research studies have shown that physician-reliant patients play a more passive role when it comes to decision making. They depend on the physician to provide viable choices. Meanwhile, self-reliant patients assume a proactive role by making essential health decisions for themselves.

Additional studies covered the link between the reciprocal theory, self-efficacy, and mathematical performance. The results of the research show that determinism may not be suitable for all cultures.

Self-efficacy covers the detailed assessment of an individual’s ability to handle specific tasks. The approach measures an individual’s confidence levels both before performing the mandated tasks.

What is Reciprocal Leadership Then?

Professionals who embrace reciprocal leadership principles focus on building strong relationships and influencing people around them. Additionally, they create a vision to transition from extrinsic methods to both beliefs (intrinsic) and strategy. As a result, it becomes easier to enhance the commitment to specific ideas before tasks.

To achieve success, professionals need to understand five essential aspects: credit, personnel, ownership, resources, and time. These levers are vital and should be addressed and monitored.

To demonstrate commitment, professionals need to formulate clear goals and tasks. In turn, this approach generates a strong sense of ownership. The project’s results should provide benefits to all stakeholders. For projects that require considerable collaboration, written agreements are useful.

The leadership model of the project requires careful attention since it can determine its success or failure. Opting for a single leader can have significant downsides despite the simplicity of setting it up. An individual is expected to carry the blame for any failures while providing accountability.

Alternatively, professionals can opt for one of two reciprocal leadership models: changing leads and co-leads. These options allow two or more individuals to share oversight roles. However, shared leadership demands effective communication. The maximum number of leaders must be three.

Symbolic Picture of 3 Leaders exchanging roles

With the changing leadership model, individuals can assume the top position for specific parts of the project. Leaders receive assignments based on their expertise. This model demands that leaders keep a check on their ego to avoid unnecessary squabbles that negatively impact productivity. Additional, the model requires high levels of trust and integrity.

Key Considerations

Time allocation is also vital to ensuring effective leadership. People involved in the project should have work based on pre-determined schedules and the project’s overall timeline.

When it comes to resources, professionals may find it difficult to determine the project’s requirements before work starts. The tricky part is that it may be complicated to try correcting the issue once the project resumes. Identifying the requirements more accurately at the beginning of the project reduces the cost.

Final Thoughts

The reciprocal theory has direct links to behavioral genetics, which is still in its infancy. The latter provides practical ways for experts to understand the dynamics of environmental and genetic factors when it comes to individual variations in behavioral patterns.

Genes can alternate between active and inactive status. On the other hand, reciprocal determinism focuses on external social stimuli and cognitive processes, which the individual can control.

The environmental component incorporates an individual’s physical surroundings, which can provide reinforcing stimuli. It has a direct impact on the frequency and intensity of an individual’s behavior.

Meanwhile, the individual component covers wide-ranging factors based on rewarded characteristics. Some of the factors that influence behavioral patterns include beliefs, personality, cognitive processes, and expectations.

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