Behavioral and Social/Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits

1394 words 6 pages
Behavioral and Social/Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits
Norman L Fountain
PSY 250
May 4, 2011
Nichelle Ancrum

Behavioral and Social/Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits

Habit as defined in Webster’s as a: a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance b : an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary (Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online, 2011). Behavior is the manner of conducting oneself or anything that an organism does involving action and response to stimulation. In everyday life habits are formed and intertwined with ones behavior. People are often associated with the way they behave
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People learn by observing others, with the environment, behavior, and cognition all as the chief factors in influencing development. These three factors are not stagnant or self-sufficient; rather, they are all shared. According to social learning theory, modeling influences learning primarily through its informative functions. As the observers in our environment we retain a portion of the modeled behavior, which then serves as a blueprint for the behavior. This type of learning incorporates four components: attention, retention, motor, and motivational processes that help to understand why individuals imitate socially desirable behavior (Krapp, 2005).
Habits are developed from childhood into adulthood. Good and bad habits are formed during this time based on behavior and social influences. In today’s society our bad habits are more noticeable than our good ones. We are always trying to correct someone from doing something we would not do or say, yet we do not understand why they behave the way they do. Some families develop household habits that last a lifetime and can be passed from child to child. These childhood habits are hard to break and require years of reconditioning. Some become part of your way of life.
In my family one of the many habits I developed or inherited, was to eat eggs with jelly all over them. Yes that is right!! You mix the jelly in with the eggs and that is how they are eaten. My father ate his eggs that way, his


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