Mediating processes

Mediating processes in psychology and social learning theory

Bandura's seminal work on self-efficacy (1997) has underpinned a substantial body of research in the areas of behavioural psychology and social learning theory, especially in relation to the roles that self-efficacy plays in shaping our thoughts and actions in learning environments. Self-efficacy is all about judgements we make about our personal cabilities and that these are the core factors of human agency.

In the field of human functioning and in particular in learning processes, Bandura argues that efficacy beliefs are core regulators of the way we interact and engage with learning opportunities and challenges. His theories are supported by a plenty of research which suggests that the process by which efficacy beliefs shape our learning is most strongly influenced by four, intervening agencies which he describes as 'mediating processes', and which although may be of individual interest, are processes which operate mutually rather than in isolation.

Bandura distills these these mediating processes into four components:

Bandura, A., 1997, Self-efficacy: The Exercise of Control, New York, W.H.Freeman & Co.