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A Behavioral Models that will Help Me Succeed

Updated on September 25, 2015
A.A. Zavala profile image

Served in the U.S. Army, attended and graduated from The University of Texas-Arlington with a bachelors in psychology and minor in sociology

Two behavior models

In the last assignment I planned to increase the frequency of my exercise regimen. I had outlined the possible benefits and how the would affect me in the biological, psychological and sociological aspects of my life. The two theories that will help me sustain the course will be B.F. Skinners “Behavioral Model of Adherence” and Albert Banduras “Self Efficacy theory.”

The behavioral model of adherence is based on principles of operant conditioning by B.F. Skinner

The behavioral model of adherence is based on principles of operant conditioning by B.F. Skinner (1953).” (Brannon & Feist, 2007, pg. 73). Based on this model, I’ve taken measures to reinforce the act of exercising. By pairing a positive stimulus with the chore of exercising I believe that it will increase the likelihood that I’ll continue to maintain my exercise regimen. I’ve decided that the positive stimulus for me will be the after workout snack. More specifically, I plan to indulge myself with a walnut brownie after I exercise. Brownies are not a health food, especially because of the fat and sugar content. However, the amount of calories burned in my exercise routine is higher than the calorie content of the brownie. If I continue to exercise, then I will allow myself the treat of having a brownie. If I don’t exercise, then I will not allow myself to eat a brownie, since my level of physical activity without exercise isn’t enough to compensate for the brownie calories. The brownie will not be the only factor in maintaining my exercise regimen.

My physical appearance

Another factor will be the response to my physical appearance if I don’t exercise. My girlfriend has made a comment that has caused me to return to the gym. She remarked that I’ve gained more weight now than when we first met. She also has made remarks about me becoming lazy once we started going out, leading to my present physical state. In order to keep her quiet about my weight gain, I’ll continue working out. This negative reinforcement will be another factor in ensuring that I will not falter in maintaining my exercise routine. The final factor in ensuring that I’ll exercise is punishment. If I don’t adhere to my routine, then I will not allow myself to watch TV or use the internet. If I don’t have enough discipline to commit one hour a day to exercise, then I shouldn’t have the time to watch Seinfeld or surf the net.

Banduras social cognition theory of self-efficacy

Banduras social cognition theory of self-efficacy “assumes that humans have some capacity to exercise limited control over their lives.” (Brannon & Feist, 2007, pg. 74). In accordance with the theory, I believe that I can and will adhere to an exercise program. There are four reasons why I know this, which also corresponds with the four stages of the efficacy model. The first reason is enacting the behavior, I have exercised before, and therefore I should be able to do it again. The second reason is vicarious experience, I watched other people training in my similar condition and they were successful in reaching their goals. The third reason is the advice and encouragement of my training partner. He’s familiar with my goals and will train with me to ensure I’ll adhere to the regimen. The final reason that I know that I’ll work out is guilt. If I don’t exercise, then I’ll feel guilty for letting my training partner down as well as myself.

I can do it

Both of these models will ensure my adherence to a workout routine. The biopsychosocial model identified the benefits of exercise on my body, mind, and the positive view of myself within my community. Skinner and Banduras models of adherence will cause me to stick to the routine and continue adhering to it. If I don’t, then I’ll feel guilty about myself and cause my significant other to chide me about my appearance. That will not happen!

© 2010 Augustine A. Zavala

Brannon, L. & Feist, J. (2007). Adhering to Medical Advice. In M. Sordi (Ed.) Health
Psychology: An Introduction to Behavior and Health (pp.73-74). Belmont, Ca: Thomas
Higher Education.

Best of Awkward Gym Moments v.16


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