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PSY 250 Week 4 Behavioral and Social Cognitive Approaches

Behavioral and Social/Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits

Oftentimes, automatic patterns of behavior that have been learned are called habits. Propensities can accidentally take structure in our lives, becoming what we call character. For instance, when someone puts on a pair of tennis shoes, they naturally want to tie them up, and when they smell food, they want to eat. The cliche “old habits die hard” is accurate. It is hard to break a habit once it has formed. New routines, on the other hand, can be established and maintained. Both the conduct and social and mental speculations approach the development of propensities according to alternate points of view. According to the behavioral approach, our behavior is influenced by our surroundings. Internal procedures are not taken into account by this method. The social discernment approach proposes that individuals are data processors who see and decipher their surroundings in an unexpected way. Albert Bandura asserts that behavior is learned through observational learning from the environment. According to Friedman & Schustack (2012), people are capable of putting together a number of observations to form new behavior patterns.

Actually, I treat my weight extremely in a serious way. The American Psychological Association (2015) states that “obesity is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.” The accumulation of excess body fat is what causes obesity; Morbid obesity is a serious health condition that can make it hard to do everyday things. In any case, both influence the amount and personal satisfaction. In spite of the fact that corpulence is a condition, eating is a propensity that can prompt stoutness.

While eating is a fundamental capability of life, the recurrence, sum, and kind of food I ate is something I gained from the climate. I learned to eat not only as a way to cope with my surroundings but also as a means of satisfying my hunger. There is always something to celebrate because I come from a large family. Eating is a family activity that we enjoy doing together. I was taught as a child to eat what you take, not what you take. If I didn’t, there were consequences. When I’m ill or sad, my family always wants to make me something to eat so I can feel better. At the point when I’m distant from everyone else or exhausted, I use eating to fill a void inside me. I also eat because the clock says it is time and because other people are eating. I never eat simply because my body tells me to. I’ve always looked up to people who have served as examples for me to follow or role models from the beginning. My first role models were my siblings and parents. As I started going to class, my companions became good examples. As my social climate extended, so did the number of good examples. I continue to eat not only to satisfy my hunger but also as a means of social interaction and to fill that void within me. My behavior hasn’t been so much about what I eat as it has been about how often and how much I repeat the pattern that made me fat. The characteristics of the model are mirrored in the behaviors that are demonstrated. The modeling process, according to Bandura, consists of the following four parts: (Kretchmar, 2008) attention, retention, motor reproduction, and motivation.

PSY 250 Week 4 Behavioral and Social Cognitive Approaches

According to the behavioral personality theory, regardless of how I feel or think, the environment determines when, what, and how much I eat. As a result, my environment is to blame for my obesity. According to the social cognition theory, I am forming the habit of poor eating habits by reciprocating eating patterns that I perceive to be appropriate for my environment. The subsequent consequences influence behavior in both theories.

Diet, sedentary lifestyles, genetics, and social determinants are just a few of the causes and factors that contribute to obesity. Each of these influences a person’s personality because they are all intertwined. According to “Behavioral and Psychological Factors in Obesity,” 2009, p. 1, “Obesity is just as much of a psychological problem as it is a physical problem.” Detecting the negative viewpoint from society over the long haul, I had become familiar with dismissal in light of my discernment. I was left with the impression that I was not seen because I did not feel accepted. For me, the unkind looks and remarks that people gave me became the norm. I didn’t feel better about myself. I experienced instances of discrimination. I was a mess, both physically and emotionally. I tried dieting several times, but I had little success. I would lose a few pounds but immediately gain them back after stopping the diet. I was morbidly obese up until five years ago. When I got home from work and took off my belt, I noticed that it was longer than I was tall. When I started to realize how big I was, I was devastated. It was then that I realized I needed to accomplish something else. I required outside assistance. With my primary care physician, I fostered an arrangement that effectively keeps on working for me. I used gastric bypass surgery to learn how to control how many calories I eat. Five years ago, I weighed almost 300 pounds; today, I can say with pride that I weigh 130 pounds and am in good health.

According to Operational Conditioning (2004), “Operant conditioning is the primary principle underlying all adaptive complexity in behavior.” Operant conditioning, a method of learning in which rewards and punishments are used to teach a behavior, was not only a part of how I developed my eating habit but also a part of my successful weight-maintenance plan. By consciously altering the rewards that reinforce or deter my eating habits, I am altering my behavior. We typically refer to these as rewards and punishments. A healthy weight, reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and joint pain (which runs in my family), increased agility, improved self-confidence, and social interactions that strengthen my behavior are all rewarding outcomes of better eating habits. The negative support that likewise reinforces my eating design is actual agony and heaving from devouring an excessive amount of food too quickly. I could develop dumping syndrome if I consume too much sugar. Dumping syndrome occurs when stomach contents move too quickly into the small bowel, causing cramps, nausea, and diarrhea (“National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases,” n.d.”). Time is the only treatment for this. The opposite of reinforcement, which is used to weaken or eliminate a behavior, is punishment. Unhealthy weight, an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and joint pain, as well as low self-esteem and social isolation, constitute punishment.

PSY 250 Week 4 Behavioral and Social Cognitive Approaches

I believe that both the behavioral and social cognitive theories provide an explanation for my personality. In some instances, I do let the environment dictate my behavior without considering my own thoughts and feelings, while in other instances, I respond in a manner that I believe is appropriate for the circumstance. In either case, the behavior’s consequences are a way of thinking that weighs the advantages and disadvantages of which behavior will result in the best outcome, whether that outcome is short-term or long-term. However, because I interpret things differently, my perception will differ from others. The social cognitive approach appears to permit me to explain why I allowed the habit to form, whereas the behavioral approach appears to permit me to place blame where a habit formed.

The uplifting news is, paying little mind to which hypothesis best depicts a singular’s character, ways of behaving, and propensities can be changed. The pattern must be recognized, and individuals must assess the value of change. That is worth approaching assurance. The drive to achieve success is fueled by determination. According to Friedman & Schustack (2012), once the goal is achieved, the individual must maintain the change to avoid reverting to the undesirable behavior or habit.


American Psychological Association. (2015). Retrieved from 


Behavioral and Psychological Factors in Obesity. (2009, Winter). The Journal of Lancaster General Hospital, 4(4),. Retrieved from 


Friedman, H. and Schustack, M. (2012). Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research, (5th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

Kretchmar, J. (2008). Social Learning Theory. Social Learning Theory–Research Starters Education.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (n.d.). Retrieved from 


Operant conditioning. (2004). In The Concise Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science. 

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