Sample Paper on Social Cognitive Theory

Social Cognitive Theory

Human behavior is influenced by many factors. These factors include interactions with others, observations, experiences, media influence, among others. All these factors are essential to human beings as they aid their process of learning and behavioral change for better adaptation of life. Through self-acceptance and desire to accommodate change, people can achieve a lot. The achievement can be reached through learning from others and responding to what a person learns by changing for the better. Social cognitive theory is essential in communicating health issues as it covers emotional, behavioral, and cognitive aspects that help in behavioral change (Bandura, 2008).

I adopted my behavioral pattern with an attempt to reduce my weight. My behavior resulted from a combination of some social cognitive theory concepts. The first concept that attributed to my health behavior is the desired expectations. Expectations refer to the anticipated outcomes of a given behavior. With my weight, I anticipated to reduce my weight so that I could perform most of the tasks as many people. My expectation of average weight added to the reasons for my behavior change. Another aspect that contributed to my change is observational learning. Some role model, both active and passive, inspired my targeted behavior. I watched the actions of many people and the outcomes of those that were initially overweight. Some of the people were overweight and through their actions, they lost substantial weights and ended up attaining significant body fitness. Others were not overweight, but also participated in some activities and actions that were inspiring.

Self-efficacy was a driving force that enabled me to acquire a behavioral change with an aim of attaining a specific change, and for that case a goal in my health. Self-efficacy is the strength and confidence that one possesses in performing a certain behavior. I judged my efficacy from various sources of information to assess whether I had the ability to embark on my journey to attain the change that I desired. First, I assessed the vicarious experiences by other, including my role model. This information built confidence in me. The information was encouraging as I was able to conclude that, based on the results of others, the change was attainable. My personal past experiences and performances also encouraged me to take up the challenge of embarking on the change. Having achieved a lot in life, I observed this change just like a normal experience and I was hence ready to develop my behavior to achieve the change. Verbal coaching from my mentors enabled me to believe that I had all it took to develop my health behavior to achieve a positive change (Bandura, 2008).

My health behavior can also be attributed to my responses to coping with emotions. I use various tactics to deal with emotions, and hence I was able to adopt my health behavior. Some of the tactics that I employed when adopting the change were socializing with people and sharing my emotions with others (Zhang & Old Dominion University, 2005). With these tactics, I was able to solve my problems and manage stress. Social cognitive theories are vital for behavioral change as they help people to prepare for the change, undergo the change, and adapt to the change through their guiding principles. Through the SCT, I have a high level of confidence that I will attain the change that I so desire and I will comfortably adapt to it.



Bandura, A. (2008). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Zhang, Y., & Old Dominion University. (2005). Using social cognitive theory to model health behaviors among Chinese children.