In these last steps of Crick and Dodge’s (1994) social information-processing model, children choose and enact a behavioral response from among those they have generated. Numerous factors have been hypothesized to be involved in weighing these different responses and selecting one. As for example, it has been posited that expectations about the actual outcome of a behavioral response as well as of the actions and behavioral processes such as the moral acceptability of the response, judgments of self-efficacy to carry out the response, that are associated with enacting it are evaluated. These evaluations, in turn, are believed to influence response selection and subsequent behavior.
These evaluative processes and their consequences are evident in a study conducted by Fontaine et al. (2002) that examined the responses of 124 ninth graders to videotaped hypothetical social interactions. Before viewing the videotaped interactions, participants were instructed to imagine that they were the protagonist. Immediately following this viewing, they were asked “What would you say or do if this happened to you?” After these free-responses were coded for aggressiveness, participants viewed another videotaped segment in which the protagonist engaged in an aggressive behavior. Following this second viewing, participants were asked to rate the aggressive response across six different dimensions of response evaluation including instrumental outcome, interpersonal outcome, self-approval, efficacy and moral agency, social acceptability, and global valuation. Factor analyses on these responses suggested that two main types of evaluation, response valuation and outcome expectancy, encompassing the evaluative processes mentioned above, were used during the response decision stage.
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