Social Cognitive Theory. How can gender mainstreaming be facilitated and gender inequality curbed?

Scientific Study, 2017

60 Pages


Table of contents Page

Acronyms & Abbreviations

List of Tables

Chapter One
1.1 Background
1.2 Area
1.3 The Objectives of the practicum
1.3.1 General objective
1.3.2 Specific objectives
1.4 Targets
1.5 Significance of the practicum
1.6 Methodology
1.6.1 Population
1.6.2 Sample
1.6.3 Method
1.6.4 Instruments Scoring of Instruments
1.7 Operational Definitions of Concepts

Chapter Two
Theoretical Framework and Its Linkage to the Practicum
2.1 Fundamentals of Social Cognitive Theory
2.1.1 Basic principles of social cognitive Theory
2.2 Social Cognitive theory and Gender as a construct/p> 2.3 Gender Incompetence, perceived self-efficacy and women’s career development
2.4 Sources of self- efficacy
2.5 Facilitating Gender mainstreaming in an organization and The Issue of Gender Equity

Chapter Three
Observation, Problem Identification and Intervention Process of the Practicum
3.1 Women and Youth Directorate as a Target for Intervention20
3.2 Women Employees as a Target for Intervention
3.2.1 Generalized Perceived Self -Efficacy Level of the Target Group
3.2.2 Problem solving Self- Efficacy Level of the Target Group
3.3 Verbal/Social Persuasion as an Intervention Tool
3.4 Expected Outcomes of the Intervention
3.5 Observed Outcomes of the Interventions
3. 6 Ethical considerations in the practicum
3.7 Limitations of the Intervention process

Chapter Four
Discussion and Conclusion
4.1 Discussion
4.2 Conclusion


Primarily, I am so grateful to give my deepest gratitude to my Advisor Mr. Assefa Berihun for his patience and with other advising members of the practicum whose comments were shaping me to proceed with and to see my final work .The House of Federation’s Secretariat is also taking credit by accepting me to practice social psychological Knowledges. Women’s and youth Directorate of the House of Federation Secretariat is taking the lion’s share for is support and facilitation of the practicum process in general, for this fact I would like to give my sincere thanks. Ato Laqachew Demel, Senior Gender Expert and my Onsight Supervisor, W/O Simenesh Feqadu, Director of the women and youth Directorate who are giving me a strong support and advice in the process of the Practicum, I do give them a Hugh credit for their effort and warmth on the entire process of the practicum. As but not least the whole staff of the House of Federation Secretariat and the Participants of the practicum in particular, the interest and willingness that you show to me is makes me strong, so I thank you very much.

Acronyms & Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

List of Tables

Table-1- Summary of the Generalized perceived self-efficacy Scale results of the Participants

Table -2 – Total Scores of The Generalized Perceived self - Efficacy of the participants

Table 3- Problem solving Self- Efficacy Level of the Participants

Table -4- Total Scores of the Problem Solving self-Efficacy of the Participants

Chapter One


1.1 Background

Social psychology is one of the branch of psychology that illustrates about the integral relationships and influences of individual vs groups. In different aspects, the field has brought a systematic study of affective, behavioral and cognitive phenomenon in the scientific world. The impact of its emergence and development is vital for better understanding and application of its principles to benefit society and organizations through different mechanisms.

The very purpose of this paper is also to emphasize on the practical aspects of social psychological knowledge and be the party of its applications in the field and organizational settings. Bear in mind that, the actual experience of doing is especially for a student who will be challenged by the pros and cons of the practicum and its consequences in general.

In the process of this attachment, the foundation is to facilitate a postgraduate social psychology program with ample practical experiences. For the critical investigation of social psychological problems, the closer look at real life events and the dynamics it brought to the interaction between individuals and groups is essential. The intervention, prevention and promotion strategies have also been effective in practical settings if there is an organized and repetitive observation of the exited problems.

Moreover, the development of social psychological theories has both the Knowledge and application aspects that aimed to conceptualize important theoretical issues with practical relevance. Indeed, the current practicum is an extension of the advancements of social psychological theories of the non-western contexts and the implication that these theoretical explanations may entail to our domestic socio-cultural basis and related psychological outcomes.

Hence, from varieties of principles that guide social behaviors and its individual responses the present paper is focusing on the social cognitive theoretical applications that effectively address the role of behavior, cognition and environmental factors to the structuration of psychological well-being and competent performances of individuals in their day to day activities.

The characteristics of psycho-social problems in the field and organizational settings has its own unique characteristics. Depending up on different precipitating factors that contribute to vulnerabilities in such areas, the intervention approaches may need adjustments to work with the rules and regulations of field and organizational contexts. So it is not only the demands of social psychological support that shapes the situation in practicing with existing problems but also the interest of the student in practice, the willingness of the host institutions , the availability of potential clients ,etc. are also being attached to with the success of the practical approaches of any given theory. For that the pillar of this practicum is going to be social- cognitive theory and its practical patterns. Besides, the intentional application of this theory has also been dependent on the actual context of the target area and the familiarity of the theory in its practical sense to intervene with existing social psychological problems.

1.2 Area

The House of Federation of the FDRE is the Upper government House with the constitutional mandate of exercising different Federal Functions. According to Article 61 and 62 of the FDRE Constitution, it is composed of representatives of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples around the country. Among 11 Pertinent constitutional functions of the house; it shall elect, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House, and it shall adopt rules of procedure and internal administration. Based on this right the Houses secretariat has been established to give professional and administrative support to the House and related organs (The FDRE Constitution, 1995).

The current Practicum is to be held, in the House’s secretariat and the target is Women and youth directorate of the secretariat with the assumption that it would be fit with the practical elements of Social psychological Knowledge and tasks related to it.

Moreover, the major organizational objectives are in one or another way will also be included in this directorate as a division of duties and responsibilities. As well as the the need to put together sets of activates in the directorate based on the major concern of reaching in to the beneficence of women and youth directorate both in internal working environment (the relevance here is going to the employees of the the House based On their gender and Youth age demarcations) and external to that the In House’s scope of responsibility outside of its internal surroundings and at a federal level.

1.3 Objectives of the practicum

1.3.1 General objective

The general objective of this practicum is to be an active participant in practicing social psychological knowledge in relation to field and organizational attachment course.

1.3.2 Specific objectives

- to apply social cognitive theory principles in supporting gender mainstreaming activities in the House of Federation secretariat
- to curb women’s incompetence in the organization specifically from their vocational certification(CoC)
- to fill the gap of the women and youth directorate in The House in relation to its program frame work

1.4 Targets

The major target for this practicum is Women and youth directorate of the House of Federation secretariat from which the social psychological problems can be potentially diagnosed in terms of theoretical foundations and related applications. More on this, the specific applications of the practicum is also touches individuals targets in the organization that has directly affected by the incompetence and psycho-social in efficacy. The selected groups for this practicum is women employees of the organization that has been subjected to fail (repeating) CoC exams or those who are taking the exam for the first time.

1.5 Significance of the practicum

The major significance of this practicum is the ability that the opportunity it gives both to the student in practice and the organization that hosts and be benefited from social psychological knowledge’s and related supports. In this respect, the student is widely expected to utilize his/her theoretical background in real life contexts with organized procedures and the organization is a direct setting that could be influenced by the works of the student and its consequences as a whole.

Moreover, in practical contexts the intended goals may sometimes meet with what is on the ground. But if one is willing to learn from unexpected experiences faced and challenges that can be interpreted as positive opportunities which facilitates the ultimate objectives of learning from practical experiences.

1.6 Methodology

This practicum is the platform for having an overall insight towards the core components of social psychological knowledge. This is mostly done with the firm and systematic applications of different analysis and tools that will substantiate the demands of the practicum. In the process, the methodological concerns are also kept in light with the total activities done.

More specifically, this practicum is organized under:

1.6.1 Population

The population for this practicum is Female workers in the House of Federation’s secretariat.

1.6.2. Sample

As a sample, 9 female workers who are qualified to take CoC exams were selected to participate in the short (a half day) training based on the principles of social psychology, especially with perceived self - competence and self - efficacy and study skill strategies that go hand in hand with such constructs in academic contexts.

1.6.3 Method

In the practicum, data were collected and analyzed with both quantitative and qualitative methods with a self-report questionnaires and with a guided and periodic observation and discussion of the women and youth directorate workers in different dimensions of both in relation to women’s who will expect to take CoC exam and the general functioning of the directorate in terms of facilitating gender mainstreaming activities in the organization.

1.6.4 Instruments

Primarily, for this practicum, Generalized Self Efficacy Scale (GSE) which is a self- report scale by Schwarzer & Jerusalem (1995) and Problem-Solving Self-Efficacy scale from Bandura (2006) was used to assess the extent to which these women workers that are expected to take CoC exams are efficacious in general and specific areas of competence. Other than that, Observational checklist that was prepared by the student to have a fully working picture of the directorate in relation to its gender related activities. Finally, different gender mainstreaming international and national tools are used to facilitate the preparation of gender guideline by the student. Scoring of Instruments

To interpret the outcomes of scales that are used in the practicum the following points are important:

1. The Generalized Efficacy scale has 4 alternatives that will be given 10 -40 points for each item and there are 10 total items .The highest point the respondent gets the highest will his /her generalized perceived self-efficacy will be and for the lower scores the vice versa will apply.
2. The Problem Solving efficacy scale has a 0-100 alternative on the spectrum to each item. The items are not in words, but they are a percentile score of with a hypothetical problem solving ability. The total item is stretched from 10%- 100%. The respondents will be expected to put their confidence level for each item from 0 to 100 points. For example, in the first item the level of solved problem provided is 10 % , for this item the respondents give their level of confidence from 0 to 100 with a ten point variation, that means 0.10,20,30,40,50,60--- etc. In this scale the result will be interpreted as the respondents score in each and every problem solving efficacy point’s .For the, highest sores each items the confidence level (efficacy in this sense) will be higher. But to see the overall problem solving efficacy of respondents the total scores of them will be calculated and if they are getting at least the satisfactory mean and above result from total full scores of all items, they will be labeled as having good or etc. perceived problem solving self-efficacy and it will work like that for other computations based on this scale.

1.7 Operational Definitions of Concepts

For the purpose of this practicum, the following concepts are going to be defined as:

Gender - is the socio cultural construct on masculine and feminine responsibilities and its identity and role recapitulate from such influences; this concept includes man and women but fort this practicum the focus is women in an organizational context and its socio cultural implication for their incompetence in certain areas.

Gender Incompetence – is the antonym of perceived competence which is the cognitive component of self-concept and it is the feeling that one can perceive to be successful in certain tasks and is seen in relation to gender for this practicum. .

Perceived Self - Efficacy – is a distinctive construct from related motivational concepts like self-concept, but is a predictor of competence, especially in task specific levels, and is a personal judgment of one capabilities to organize and execute courses of action to attain ascertain goals.

Gender Mainstreaming - the systematic inclusion of women’s in organizational working areas in order to achieve gender equitability and equality.

Secretariat- is the legitimate and separate organ in the House of Federation that gives professional and administrative support to officials, staff and other stakeholders.

Social- Cognitive Theory – it is a psychological theory that gives emphasis on the interplay between behavioral, cognitive and environmental factors to shape and determined individuals’ behavior.

Gender Equity – it is the ability to provide a fair chance for all two genders in terms of opportunities in organizational contexts.

Perpetuation – is to imply the continuance of gender inequity and incompetence in organizational contexts and with its present state.

House of Federation – Is the upper Governmental House in Ethiopia with certain constitutional duties and responsibilities that mandated its functioning.

Women and Youth Directorate – is the structural department that established within the House of Federation secretariat to specifically address the issue of gender and youth participation and involvement with in the organization.

Stakeholders – the primary and secondary partners and of women’s and youth directorate of the house of federation secretariat within and outside of the organization in general.

Chapter Two

Theoretical Framework and Its Linkage to the Practicum

This chapter concentrates on the systematic theorizing of social –psychological problems existed in the practicum and related issues.

In this regard, the practicum’s main theoretical support comes from social-cognitive theory. This is primarily because the theory has an effective way of explaining human behavior in terms of social contexts. Other than this the extent of the social ‘psychological problems may not exceptionally be explained with a single theoretical framework. But to deal with that we will only focus on few constructs that are deeply discussed by this theory and its application efforts.

2.1 Fundamentals of Social cognitive theory

Social cognitive theory is the major extension of social learning theory. And as a theoretician Bandura has the expanded on the interplay between cognitive, behavioral and environmental influences to shape and manage behavior (Bandura 1991). In his context, the social psychological functioning’s of a person has a triadic reciprocal causation (Bandura, 1986). This is to show the influences and its interactional effect in the behavior, but that does not mean people are directly driven by their inner motives or external stimuli (Inman, n.d).The view here is showing the interdependency of factors that are contributing to the determinants of behavior.

With regard to the nature of humans, social cognitive theory sees them as proactive, if they are willing to change certain behavioral patterns their observation of the environment and the tendency that they have a self-regulated behavior will effectively be done within interaction of inner forces, this in turn leads people to have an impact on the environment as well as prefer other environments to substantiate their personal development ( Wood & Bandura, 1989).

2.1.1 Basic principles of social cognitive Theory

Based on social cognitive theory for learning or behavioral change to come human beings are responsible and they are a role player to manage and guide their own behavior. In the process of social cognitive theory, there are three important principles:

1. Human Agency – people are agentic operators in their life course and they are not simply a passive recipient of the environment; for this to happen the role of the brain systems are mandatory in a sense that the physiological nature of human beings could definitely be important for the accomplishments of tasks and goals by which the meaning and direction of life has depend on (Bandura, 1997; Harre & Gillet, 1994, cited in Bandura, 2001).
2. Self- regulation – individuals are capable of using personal and societal standards to evaluate their respective behavioral patterns and shape or change if it is necessary; for this to happen a self- generated thoughts, feelings and actions that are planned are orchestrated by individual self- regulated abilities and this abilities are operating by different psychological sub functions like self -monitoring sub function, judgmental sub-function and self– reactive influences (Bandura 1991, pp. 250-256 cited in iSALT ,2014).
3. Self- efficacy – as people are believing about their capabilities they are more likely to perform and influences that affect their lives; according to Bandura (1994) self –efficacy beliefs paly their own role in determining how people feel ,think, motivate their own self’s and accordingly behaves in certain ways .This is a major perceived state of human behavior which can influence and also affects he cognitive, motivational ,affective and selection process.(Ibid)

2.2 Social Cognitive theory and Gender as a construct

In Bandura and Bussey famous article on gender development and differentiation they articulated the value of gender construct and is practical relevance in the behavioral world. More on this, they described gender as a complex process that affects every aspect of people’s daily lives (Bussey & Bandura, 1999).

In their discussion, they clearly state that the social psychological implications of gender in respect of its multidimensional aspect. Social cognitive theory is also calculable used to explain gender development and functioning. (Ibid)

In relation to that ,as a conception gender is explained by them as a result of constructing from different and complex structures and will be effective functioning in the motivational and self –regulatory parts of behavior that are related to gender itself and its image throughout the entire human life.(Ibid)

In gender related conceptions the primary explanation of social –cognitive theory is very critical. It assumes that the gender construct is created and be matured with socio- cultural contexts and is a product of broad networks of social influences operating inter- dependently in a variety of social subsystems.(Ibid)

The intention of the practicum is preliminary involves the social- cognitive explanation of gender as a construct and its later effect on the socio-cultural relationships of individuals as an agent. In relation to that, the current social psychological problem that will be discussed as a theme is also one of the manifestations of gender as a construct and its value in society.

2.3 Gender Incompetence, perceived self-efficacy and women’s career development

In different social circumstances men are perceived to be influential than women even if gender difference as construct attached to different other factors. It works also in the organizational context by which the current practicum is conducted. In a general context, males are in particular resist the influence of women and girls more than females do; this is an implication of how certain competent women be challenged .But As Carli (2001) Resistance to competent women can be reduced when women themselves temper their competence with displays of communality and warmth.(p. 725)

According to self- efficacy explanations, the tendency that people believe in themselves could create a causative capability that may be practically true. But as a social psychological belief system a strong sense of self efficacy is a very important one to human attainment and well-being; to that extent the impact of personal efficacy has to be working with depending on the purpose to which it is put (Bandura 1995).

The career development of women’s can be subjected to the specific competence based constructs like self-efficacy. Because, in terms of its application, self- efficacy is domain specific by which it work to facilitate women’s carrier choices and development .In this regard, a self-belief has a powerful influence in peoples career choices and development .For instance, Hartman & Hartman (2008) found that both men and women perceive that women will struggle more (with social support, value conflicts, commitment, etc) in science and engineering fields than men (cited in, Mills ,2009 p.3).

In different research findings the role of self-efficacy to career choice and development is apparent. For this ,efficacy beliefs have strong and direct influence on career decision making and career choice as well as it is the basis to significantly affect the development of core vocational choice predictors, including people’s interests, values ,and goals (Bandura, 1986; Betz & Hackett, 1986; Hackett & Lent, 1992; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, in press, Cited in Hackett ,1995).

The relevance of self-efficacy concept to the present practicum is, hence, as in other effective contexts women in organizations are having different social psychological problems that minimized them to not pursue their avocational and career developments and its consequences in general. As Bandura practically applied self –efficacy to organizational dynamics his initial focus were women; even in the literature, self-efficacy theory explicitly originated in relation to career development of women (Bandura, 1977, 1986, cited in Hackett 1995). With the concern on the problem of underutilization of women’s talents and abilities in career pursuits which includes their underrepresentation in jobs that needs higher positions and occupations were also been the concern of vocational theorists and researchers (Betz & Fitzgerald, 1987 cited in Hackett 1995).

Generally, from the point of view of self -efficacy the tendency of people’s qualities in different areas are largely explained by the role of self-efficacy in their everyday lives. As Hsieh et. al (n.d) put it:

Not only do people need to have the skills and knowledge to execute a task successfully, they also have to have a certain level of expectation for success before they take on the assignments. ( p.3)

2.4 Sources of self- efficacy

According to social cognitive theory, self-efficacy has four sources that are believed to be the enablers to have practiced self- efficacy. As Bandura (1986, as cited in Nasrollahi and Barjasteh, 2013 p. 1838) these are:

1. Mastery Experience: past successes and failures affect our current level of self-efficacy in a specific context.
2. Vicarious Experiences: seeing others perform a behavior successfully leads us to believe in our won capability to do it, especially when those others are similar to ourselves.
3. Verbal /social Persuasion : people’s self -efficacy beliefs are enhanced if they are told and convinced that they can succeed)
4. Emotional and physiological State: When you are physically fit of in a positive mood efficacy will be enhanced.

2.5 Facilitating Gender mainstreaming in an organization and The Issue of Gender Equity

Gender mainstreaming is a very important intervention tool to facilitate the concept of gender in its working definition to organizational contexts. But it is not the end result by itself or a last goal rather is a possible strategy to bring about equality between man and women (European Institute for Gender Equality ,2013).

In this regard, knowing how to put gender mainstreaming in an appropriate and organizational friendly manner is very critical. Because of lacking the need for mainstreaming especially in the Ethiopian context, have shown little impact to achieve gender equality and equitability.

This is a direct implication of lack of awareness in different national frameworks like the constitution and National policy on women and etc. These tools are vital to effectively discharge responsibilities. Other than that, mainstreaming gender in Federal and Regional administrations is important, with its essentiality to ensure the applicability of mainstreaming activities in government programs and designing phases ; it is also mandatory to enable our country to establish an outstanding relationships with international commitments and donors which expected active government facilitation in implementing different gender related activities with major areas like, awareness, ownership, commitment, networking monitory and evaluation (Ministry of women affairs, 2006).

On the other hand the issue of gender equity, in any social position if women’s are not treated with fairness, it causes equitability in which the description of relationships in working contexts could not be flourished. In its formal sense, gender equity emphasizes the fairness of treatment of women and men according to their respective needs in general; with that the treatment may be expressed in different patterns, including equal treatment or the treatment that is different however must be expressed in an equivalent manner with respect to rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities (ILO, 2000, cited in UNESCO, 2000).


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Social Cognitive Theory. How can gender mainstreaming be facilitated and gender inequality curbed?
Addis Ababa University  (School of Psychology)
Field Attachment in Organizational and Community Settings
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ISBN (Book)
Yakob Tilahun, Gender mainstreaming, Gender equality, Gender equity, Ethiopias House of Federation, Addis ababa, Gender Incompetance, Addis Ababa University, Social Cognitive Theory, Yakob, Yakob Tilahun Yimer, Ethiopia, Women and Youth Directorate of the House of Federation Secretariat of the FDRE, Social learning theory, psychology in Ethiopia
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Yakob Tilahun (Author), 2017, Social Cognitive Theory. How can gender mainstreaming be facilitated and gender inequality curbed?, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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