Saturday, May 16, 2009

Albert Bandura, Social Learning Theory, and Weight Loss

Journal Entry: Weight = 175.2; Coinage = $1.31 (Combination of two days). Significant find at a new car wash = .44. Glass bottles retrieved = 9; Ground Scores = 5.

Feature Entry: In applied psychology, few have left a larger mark than Albert Bandura and his Social Learning Theory (: Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V. S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior (Vol. 4, pp. 71-81). New York: Academic Press.)

Among his helpful theories is self-efficacy, a person’s belief that he/she can manage their situations. If a person thinks he/she will be successful, they are said to possess self-belief. A person with a high sense of self-belief may or may not be successful, but a person with low self-belief most certainly will not be successful.

The MoneyWalker's blogs are designed to help individuals to develop a sustained daily walking exercise regiment using found money as an incentive. To be successful in either weight control or in finding money, a person must have the confidence to succeed.

Positive self-efficacy is created by action. Walking is an easily manageable action activity. Thus, a walking habit will lead to self-control over the threatening event of overeating. By adding the activity of looking for and finding money, the habit of walking is easily created and sustained.

Bandura believed that “nurture shapes nature.” To maintain a healthy weight level we must reverse our tendency to be “more heavily invested in the theories of failure than .. in the theories of success.” Jogging, swimming, and the “jewels” of the gym are made to look enticing, but nothing is more sustainable in terms of costs, safety, time, and results than walking; it is a theory of success.

For those contending with weight problems, it is important to stick out the tough times of weight gain by self-reflection. Often the cause is a temporarily lowered sense of self-efficacy which results in lapsed exercise participation and slippage of food portion control. Bandura will have you to self-reflect, target the problem, and then move right back into positive behaviors. And then take credit for your accomplishments. Avoid believing in a pill, surgical procedures, or expensive “program” foods. For most of us, only an exercise program will restore our sense of self-worth.

Tasty food is reinforcing, but so is money. When you feel a need for an unhealthy snack, instead, put on your walking shoes and hit the streets. Before long, the found coinage will by jingling in your pocket and the satisfaction center of your brain will be buzzing with excitement. Let the habit of walking be reestablished and before long your positive self efficacy will have returned and you will act, think, and feel differently from that old inefficacious person you were. Daily exercise and portion control are important tools of the self-efficacious person.

Also, the habit of daily weighing is an important step for developing “perceived self-efficacy.” Perceived self-efficacy shapes causal thinking. Bandura found that “…when people seek solutions to difficult problems, those who perceived themselves as highly efficacious are inclined to attribute their failures to insufficient effort, whereas those of comparable skills but lower perceived self-efficacy ascribe their failures to deficient ability.” Daily weighing is a reminder of physical effort and portion control. Weighing and eating breakfast are two other things that self-efficacious people will practice.

How high is your self-efficacy when it comes to weight management? The MoneyWalker wants to help. Follow our blog and we will assist you to lose weight, sustain the weight loss, develop your self-efficacy, and put money in your bank account.



  1. Great post, wonderful word visioning. I'm going to post a link on my SparkPeople group.

  2. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u

    Social Learning

  3. Hello, I do not agree with the previous commentator - not so simple