Predicting Specific Behaviors

Because Rotter's primary concern is the prediction of human behavior, he suggested four variables that must be analyzed in order to make accurate predictions in any specific situation. These variables are behavior potential, expectancy, reinforcement value, and the psychological situation. Behavior potential refers to the likelihood that a given behavior will occur in a particular situation; expectancy is a person's expectation of being reinforced; reinforcement value is the person's preference for a particular reinforcement; and the psychological situation refers to a complex pattern of cues that a person perceives during a specific thne period.

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