Behavioral and Social-Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits

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Introduction

Psychologists have been studying the mechanism of habits development for decades. The main objective was to find out the reason for habit formation and the factors that affect this process. Today, several theories are developed to address these important issues. The behavioral and social/cognitive theories are the leading theories existing in the current period. Both these theories view habits as people’s response to the stimuli they are subjected to. In this paper, a habit of drinking two liters of water each day that the writer considers an interesting example of a positive habit will be addressed from the point of view of behavior theory and the social/cognitive approach. Overall, the evaluation of the evidence obtained from current sources suggests that the habit under consideration can be best described as gained under the influence of social factors.

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Main body

The habit of drinking two liters of water a day is an important part of the writer’s health care strategy. Based on the abundance of scientific data available, the writer believes that taking this amount of water is highly important to support the metabolism processes undergoing in the organism (Xie, Bagozzi, & Østli, 2013). The sequence of behavior involved in it includes buying the purified and vitaminized water for daily usage, organizing its availability during the day which means taking the water once the writer leaves her home and finding the actual time to consume the water.

The habit of drinking two liters of water was developed by the writer under the influence of the desire to stay healthy and keep fit despite the busy lifestyle and the great abundance of activities. The writer’s physician offered this habit for her to meet the academic challenges she faces and cope with the other loads she has during the day. When the writer explored the scientific information evaluating the benefits of drinking enough water each day, she concluded that this habit would be of high value. In addition, some members of the writer’s family have developed the same habit.

The habit of drinking two liters of water a day also developed under the influence of the role model. The role model is a famous film star Angelina Jolie, who is known for her passion for a healthy lifestyle and for the habit to drink two liters of water a day, in particular. Since the writer respects Angelina Jolie’s view of life and seeks to imitate her in a row of areas of her life, the idea to adopt the water drinking habit became the motivation to act.

As of today’s date, the writer has had the habit of drinking two liters of water each day for two years. Despite the existing obstacles, such as inconveniences of different types connected with the need to have water with her and spend time on taking it in, as well as remember to do so, the writer strives to maintain the habit because she sees its value for her health and the contribution this habit has in keeping the writer fit.

Behavior theory explains the process of drinking water habit formation by stating that all behaviors develop through conditioning (Magidson et al., 2014; Neal, Wood, & Drolet, 2013). In this particular case, the conditioning was the desire to keep fit and stay healthy despite the existing barriers. According to Galla and Duckworth (2015), a person acquires certain behavior in response to stimuli. The stimuli in this situation are the desire to meet the basic needs of the quality of life.

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The elements of the social/cognitive theory may also explain how the habit of drinking water was formed and maintained. According to Smith (2011), the social/cognitive theory posits that habit acquirement occurs in a specific social context that affects the person’s behavior. Thus, this theory argues that environment and behavior are closely connected. In the situation under consideration, the habit appeared because of the person’s desire to stick to the requirement of time. Namely, the person wants to stay healthy and fit. Thus, conscious actions were made to adopt the valuable habit of regular water drinking.

The peculiarity of the habit to drink a sufficient amount of water daily is the fact that this habit does not need either decrease or increase in its frequency for the achievement of the ultimate value for the person. The only variable important for this habit is its consistency because the person gains value from this habit only when it encourages regular actions.

Addressing the habit under consideration on balance, the social/cognitive theory best explains the writer’s personality since it shows the mechanism of social influence on the person’s decisions and endeavors. Viewing the main factors that encouraged the person to develop the new habit that is the role model and current social values of good health and fitness, the conclusion is that the social/cognitive approach best explains the mechanism of the habit formation (Torney-Purta, 2009).

Conclusion

In the final analysis, the good habit of drinking two liters of water each day was acquired under the influence of the desire to stay fit and healthy because these are the important values in today’s society. Since the causative factors are of social origin, it can be said that habit is best explained from the point of view of the social/cognitive approach.

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References

Galla, B. M., & Duckworth, A. L. (2015). More than resisting temptation: Beneficial habits mediate the relationship between self-control and positive life outcomes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109(3), 508-525.

Magidson, J. F., Roberts, B. W., Collado-Rodriguez, A., & Lejuez, C. W. (2014). Theory-driven intervention for changing personality: Expectancy value theory, behavioral activation, and conscientiousness. Developmental Psychology, 50(5), 1442-1450.

Neal, D. T., Wood, W., & Drolet, A. (2013). How do people adhere to goals when willpower is low? The profits (and pitfalls) of strong habits. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104(6), 959-975.

Smith, R. E. (2011). Advances in cognitive-social theory. Behavioral and Brain Science, 17(2), 253-276.

Torney-Purta, J. (2009). Schema theory and cognitive psychology: Implications for Social Studies. Theory & Research in Social Education, 19(2), 189-210.

Xie, C., Bagozzi, R. P., & Østli, J. (2013). Cognitive, emotional, and sociocultural processes in consumption. Psychology & Marketing, 30(1), 12-25.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, January 29). Behavioral and Social-Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits. Retrieved from https://psychologywriting.com/behavioral-and-social-cognitive-approaches-to-forming-habits/

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, January 29). Behavioral and Social-Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits. https://psychologywriting.com/behavioral-and-social-cognitive-approaches-to-forming-habits/

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"Behavioral and Social-Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits." PsychologyWriting, 29 Jan. 2022, psychologywriting.com/behavioral-and-social-cognitive-approaches-to-forming-habits/.

References

PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Behavioral and Social-Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits'. 29 January.

References

PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Behavioral and Social-Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits." January 29, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/behavioral-and-social-cognitive-approaches-to-forming-habits/.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Behavioral and Social-Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits." January 29, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/behavioral-and-social-cognitive-approaches-to-forming-habits/.


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PsychologyWriting. "Behavioral and Social-Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits." January 29, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/behavioral-and-social-cognitive-approaches-to-forming-habits/.