Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory and Weight Loss

What is the Social Cognitive Theory of Bandura?

Albert Bandura, a psychologist, identified the essence of behavioral models during his studies of patients and their phobias for snakes and he ascertained that it was an effective therapy. The social Cognitive learning theory of Bandura emphasizes the importance of imitation, observational learning, and modeling and he integrates continuous mixing between personal factors such as cognition and the environment (Bandura, 2004).

What are the main elements of the theory?

The social cognitive theory focuses on the mental involvement and cognitive of a learner in for learning purposes through observing others’ attitudes, modeled behaviors and emotional reactions. Additionally, the element of belief in the student’s capacity which is called self-efficacy and self-evaluation and regulation are also important factors (Bandura, 2004).

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What are the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Theory?

On the one hand, the advantages of the approach include, firstly, having an impressive record of research because of the manner in which it relates to the social behaviors of human beings. Additionally, it is focused on theoretical issues such as the stability of behavior and the importance of reward in learning. On the other hand, its weaknesses include the existence of problems which have caused controversy such as self-efficacy, need for reinforcement and the reliance on self-reports which could be biased.

Social Cognitive Theory and Weight Loss

The theory of Bandura in connection with the loss of weight is beneficial in changing the lifestyle of individuals. Bandura emphasized that by using technological advancements, information on health can be distributed to a broad audience, and this ability to pass data can have an impact on the education of the society on health matters (Gibson, 2004).



Bandura, A. (2004). Health promotion by social cognitive means. Heath Education & Behavior, 31, 143-164

Gibson, S. K. (2004). Social learning (Cognitive) theory and implication for human resource development. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 6(2), 193-210.