A dynamical systems model of Social Cognitive Theory

César A. Martín, Daniel Rivera, William T. Riley, Eric B. Hekler, Matthew Buman, Marc Adams, Abby C. King

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

49 Scopus citations


Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) is among the most influential theories of health behavior and has been used as the conceptual basis of interventions for smoking cessation, weight management, and other related health outcomes. SCT and other related theories were developed primarily to explain differences between individuals, but explanatory theories of within-person behavioral variability are increasingly needed to support new technology-driven interventions that can adapt over time for each person. This paper describes a dynamical system model of SCT using a fluid analogy scheme. A series of simulations were performed to explore and better understand SCT. The model incorporates a nonlinear feature called habituation, an important feature of behavioral response resulting from continuous stimulus. It also illustrates how control systems engineering principles provide a promising approach for advancing health behavior theory development, and for guiding the design of more potent and efficient effective interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 American Control Conference, ACC 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781479932726
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event2014 American Control Conference, ACC 2014 - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Jun 4 2014Jun 6 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Other2014 American Control Conference, ACC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPortland, OR


  • Biomedical
  • Emerging control applications
  • Modeling and simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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