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Any review articles on behavior change psychology?

Any review articles on behavior change psychology?


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I'm interested in behavior change and looking to apply its principals in order to design programs and services in healthcare. I'm most familiar with BJ Fogg's B=MAT model and his principles. But I'd love to get suggestions that let me go deeper into this topic and how it can tie into applied work.

What are good review articles on behavioural change psychology?


Introduction The Wide World of Psychomythology 1

1 Brain Power Myths about the Brain and Perception 21

#1 Most People Use Only 10% of Their Brain Power 21

#2 Some People Are Left-Brained, Others Are Right-Brained 25

#3 Extrasensory Perception Is a Well-Established Scientific Phenomenon 29

#4 Visual Perceptions Are Accompanied by Tiny Emissions from the Eyes 33

#5 Subliminal Messages Can Persuade People to Purchase Products 36

2 From Womb to Tomb Myths about Development and Aging 45

#6 Playing Mozart’s Music to Infants Boosts Their Intelligence 45

#7 Adolescence Is Inevitably a Time of Psychological Turmoil 49

#8 Most People Experience a Midlife Crisis in Their 40s or Early 50s 52

#9 Old Age Is Typically Associated with Increased Dissatisfaction and Senility 56

#10 When Dying, People Pass through a Universal Series of Psychological Stages 60

3 A Remembrance of Things Past Myths about Memory 65

#11 Human Memory Works like a Tape Recorder or Video Camera, and Accurately Records the Events
We’ve Experienced 65

#12 Hypnosis is Useful for Retrieving Memories of Forgotten Events 69

#13 Individuals Commonly Repress the Memories of Traumatic Experiences 73

#14 Most People with Amnesia Forget All Details of Their Earlier Lives 78

4 Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks Myths about Intelligence and Learning 83

#15 Intelligence Tests Are Biased against Certain Groups of People 83

#16 If You’re Unsure of Your Answer When Taking a Test, It’s Best to Stick with Your Initial Hunch 87

#17 The Defining Feature of Dyslexia Is Reversing Letters 89

#18 Students Learn Best When Teaching Styles Are Matched to Their Learning Styles 92

5 Altered States Myths about Consciousness 100

#19 Hypnosis Is a Unique “Trance” State that Differs in Kind from Wakefulness 100

#20 Researchers Have Demonstrated that Dreams Possess Symbolic Meaning 104

#21 Individuals Can Learn Information, like New Languages, while Asleep 108

#22 During “Out-of-Body” Experiences, People’s Consciousness Leaves Their Bodies 110

6 I’ve Got a Feeling Myths about Emotion and Motivation 116

#23 The Polygraph (“Lie Detector”) Test Is an Accurate Means of Detecting Dishonesty 116

#24 Happiness Is Determined Mostly by Our External Circumstances 122

#25 Ulcers Are Caused Primarily or Entirely by Stress 126

#26 A Positive Attitude Can Stave off Cancer 129

7 The Social Animal Myths about Interpersonal Behavior 135

#27 Opposites Attract: We Are Most Romantically Attracted to People Who Differ from Us 135

#28 There’s Safety in Numbers: The More People Present at an Emergency, the Greater the Chance that Someone Will Intervene 139

#29 Men and Women Communicate in Completely Different Ways 143

#30 It’s Better to Express Anger to Others than to Hold It in 147

8 Know Thyself Myths about Personality 153

#31 Raising Children Similarly Leads to Similarities in Their Adult Personalities 153

#32 The Fact that a Trait Is Heritable Means We Can’t Change It 158

#33 Low Self-Esteem Is a Major Cause of Psychological Problems 162

#34 Most People Who Were Sexually Abused in Childhood Develop Severe Personality Disturbances in Adulthood 166

#35 People’s Responses to Inkblots Tell Us a Great Deal about Their Personalities 171

#36 Our Handwriting Reveals Our Personality Traits 175

9 Sad, Mad, and Bad Myths about Mental Illness 181

#37 Psychiatric Labels Cause Harm by Stigmatizing People 181

#38 Only Deeply Depressed People Commit Suicide 186

#39 People with Schizophrenia Have Multiple Personalities 189

#40 Adult Children of Alcoholics Display a Distinct Profile of Symptoms 192

#41 There’s Recently Been a Massive Epidemic of Infantile Autism 195

#42 Psychiatric Hospital Admissions and Crimes Increase during Full Moons 201

10 Disorder in the Court Myths about Psychology and the Law 209

#43 Most Mentally Ill People Are Violent 209

#44 Criminal Profiling Is Helpful in Solving Cases 212

#45 A Large Proportion Of Criminals Successfully Use the Insanity Defense 216

#46 Virtually All People Who Confess to a Crime Are Guilty of It 220

11 Skills and Pills Myths about Psychological Treatment 227

#47 Expert Judgment and Intuition Are the Best Means of Making Clinical Decisions 227

#48 Abstinence Is the Only Realistic Treatment Goal for Alcoholics 232

#49 All Effective Psychotherapies Force People to Confront the “Root” Causes of Their Problems in Childhood 236

#50 Electroconvulsive (“Shock”) Therapy Is a Physically Dangerous and Brutal Treatment 239

Postscript Truth is Stranger than Fiction 247

Recommended Websites for Exploring Psychomythology 253


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Bolles, R. C. The avoidance learning problem. In G. Bower (Ed.),The psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 6). New York: Academic Press, 1972.

Dawson, M. E., & Furedy, J. J. The role of awareness in human differential autonomic classical conditioning: The necessary-gate hypothesis.Psychophysiology 1976,13 50–53.

Dulany, D. E. Awareness, rules, and propositional control: A confrontation with S-R behavior theory. In T. R. Dixon & D. L. Horton (Eds.),Verbal behavior and general behavior theory. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1968.

Eriksen, C. W. Discrimination and learning without awareness: A methodological survey and evaluation.Psychological Review 1960,67 279–300.

Herrnstein, R. J. Method and theory in the study of avoidance.Psychological Review 1969,76 49–69.

Rescorla, R. A., & Solomon, R. L. Two-process learning theory: Relationships between Pavlovian conditioning and instrumental learning.Psychological Review 1967,74 151–182.

Spielberger, C. D., & De Nike, L. D. Descriptive behaviorism versus cognitive theory in verbal operant conditioning.Psychological Review 1966,73 306–326.

Weiner, B.Theories of motivation. Chicago: Markham, 1972.

Wolpe, J.The practice of behavior therapy. New York: Pergamon, 1974.


Sustainable consumer behavior

Remi Trudel, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Boston, MA.

Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

Remi Trudel, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Boston, MA.

Abstract

Most agree that climate change is a serious threat. It has increasingly been recognized by scientists and policymakers as a consumer behavior issue: What, how, and how much people consume directly impacts the environment. Sustainable consumer behavior is behavior that attempts to satisfy present needs while simultaneously benefiting or limiting environmental impact. Moreover, understanding sustainable consumer behavior is central to any paradigm shifts in how society approaches environmental problems. This article summarizes and organizes research from the past 20 years and explores the psychological drivers of sustainable consumer behavior. Four areas of scientific inquiry that have dominated research agendas are identified: (a) cognitive barriers, (b) the self, (c) social influence, and (d) product characteristics. The objective is to provide a valuable research tool that stimulates additional research in the area of sustainable consumer behavior.


Results

Table 1 presents the theories included in this article and references to meta-analyses synthesizing the evidence for each. Below, we summarise each perspective and the theories within it and provide examples of its application to adherence behaviours [see additional file 1]. We then examine the usefulness of these theories in developing interventions to promote long-term adherence.

The biomedical perspective

The biomedical perspective incorporates the biomedical theory in which patients are assumed to be passive recipients of doctors' instructions [11]. Health or disease is traced back to biomedical causes, such as bacteria or viruses, and treatment is therefore focused on the patient's body [11]. In keeping with this mechanistic view of illness, mechanical solutions, such as prescribed pills, are preferred [12] non-adherence is understood to be caused by patient characteristics, such as age and gender [12]. Technological innovations to promote adherence, such as Medication Event Monitoring Systems ® , are sometimes rooted in this perspective [7]. However, despite its implicit use by many health professionals, this perspective is infrequently used explicitly in interventions.

A fundamental limitation of this theory is that it ignores factors other than patient characteristics that may impact on health behaviours – for example, patients' perspectives of their own illness [7] psycho-social influences [12] and the impacts of the socio-economic environment. The socio-economic environment or demographics may, however, be markers for other factors that lend themselves to intervention even though they themselves cannot be changed [13]. The danger of using demographics as proxy variables for adherence is that certain groups that come to be seen as "lost causes" may be excluded (e.g. [14]). This biomedical theory has recently been integrated into a larger "biopsycho-socio-environmental" theory, which incorporates the wider socio-environmental context [11]. However, this theory is not located strictly within the biomedical approach. Due to the assumption that patients are passive and the focus on biomedical factors, it is unlikely that the biomedical theory can contribute significantly to TB or HIV medication adherence. Patients are generally active decision makers and do not merely receive and follow instructions passively. No meta-analyses specifically examining this perspective were identified.

Behavioural (learning) perspective

This perspective incorporates behavioural learning theory (BLT) which is focused on the environment and the teaching of skills to manage adherence [7]. It is characterised by the use of the principles of antecedents and consequences and their influence on behaviour. Antecedents are either internal (thoughts) or external (environmental cues) while consequences may be punishments or rewards for a behaviour. The probability of a patient following a specific behaviour will partially depend on these variables [7].

Behavioural learning theory.

Protection motivation theory.

Revised protection motivation theory.

Theory of reasoned action.

Theory of planned behaviour.

Information motivation behavioural skills model.

Adherence promoting strategies informed by this perspective, such as patient reminders, have been found to improve adherence [15]. Several interventions incorporating elements of BLT have also been reported to be effective for adherence to long-term medications [4]. However, a more recent meta-analysis examining adherence to highly active antiretroviral (ARV) therapy concluded that interventions with cue dosing and external rewards – approaches derived from BLT -were as efficacious as those without [16]. Another randomised controlled trial on ARVs reported a negative effect when using electronic reminder systems [17]. Further evidence is therefore needed on the effectiveness of these types of strategy.

BLT has been critiqued for lacking an individualised approach and for not considering less conscious influences on behaviour not linked to immediate rewards [12]. These influences include, for example, past behaviour, habits, or lack of acceptance of a diagnosis. The theory is limited, too, by its focus on external influences on behaviour. Programme planners should therefore consider carefully individuals' perceptions of appropriate rewards before using such theory to inform programme design. Interventions drawing on behavioural theory are often used in combination with other approaches, although seldom explicitly. No meta-analyses were found that examined this perspective.

Communication perspective

Communication is said to be "the cornerstone of every patient-practitioner relationship" [[11], p. 56]. This perspective suggests that improved provider-client communication will enhance adherence [7, 11] and implies that this can be achieved through patient education and good health care worker communication skills – an approach based on the notion that communication needs to be clear and comprehensible to be effective. It also places emphasis on the timing of treatment, instruction and comprehension. An example of an intervention utilising this perspective is one that aims to improve client-provider interaction. Critiques of this perspective argue that it ignores attitudinal, motivational and interpersonal factors that may interfere with the reception of the message and the translation of knowledge into behaviour change [12].

A number of reviews have examined the effects of interventions including communication elements [18–21]. However, few of these have examined the effects of communication on health behaviours specifically. Two reviews focusing on interventions to improve provider-client communication showed that these can improve communication in consultations, patient satisfaction with care [18] as well as health outcomes [21]. However, these reviews also show limited and mixed evidence on the effects of such interventions on patient health care behaviours, such as adherence.

Communication components have been used within several adherence interventions but seldom explicitly or as the main component. Such interventions are unlikely to succeed in isolation in improving long-term adherence to medications because of the influence of external factors, such as the costs of accessing healthcare for treatment. Communication interventions are also typically restricted to provider-client interactions and additional social or financial support may thus be required.

Cognitive perspective

The cognitive perspective includes theories such as the health belief model (HBM), social-cognitive theory (SCT), the theories of reasoned action (TRA) and planned behaviour (TPB) and the protection motivation theory (PMT). These theories focus on cognitive variables as part of behaviour change, and share the assumption that attitudes and beliefs [22], as well as expectations of future events and outcomes [23], are major determinants of health related behaviour. In the face of various alternatives, these theories propose, individuals will choose the action that will lead most likely to positive outcomes.

These theories have noticeable weaknesses, however: firstly, that non-voluntary factors can affect behaviour [23] devoting time to conscious deliberation regarding a repeated choice also seems uneconomical [22]. Secondly, these theories do not adequately address the behavioural skills needed to ensure adherence [7]. Thirdly, these theories give little attention to the origin of beliefs and how these beliefs may influence other behaviours [24]. In addition, it has been argued that they ignore other factors that may impact on adherence behaviour, such as power relationships and social reputations [25], and the possibility that risk behaviour may involve more than one person [26]. It has also been suggested that they focus on a single threat and prevention behaviour and do not include possible additional threats competing for the individual's attention [24].

Health Belief Model

The HBM views health behaviour change as based on a rational appraisal of the balance between the barriers to and benefits of action [12]. According to this model, the perceived seriousness of, and susceptibility to, a disease influence individual's perceived threat of disease. Similarly, perceived benefits and perceived barriers influence perceptions of the effectiveness of health behaviour. In turn, demographic and socio-psychological variables influence both perceived susceptibility and perceived seriousness, and the perceived benefits and perceived barriers to action [1, 7]. Perceived threat is influenced by cues to action, which can be internal (e.g. symptom perception) or external (e.g. health communication) (Rosenstock, 1974 in [7]).

High-perceived threat, low barriers and high perceived benefits to action increase the likelihood of engaging in the recommended behaviour [27]. Generally, all of the model's components are seen as independent predictors of health behaviour [28]. Bandura [29] notes, however, that perceived threats – especially perceived severity – have a weak correlation with health action and might even result in avoidance of protective action. Perceived severity may also not be as important as perceived susceptibility. Recently, self-efficacy was added into the theory [30], thereby incorporating the need to feel competent before effecting long-term change [31].

There are two main criticisms of this theory: firstly, the relationships between these variables have not been explicitly spelt out [32] and no definitions have been constructed for the individual components or clear rules of combination formulated [28]. It is assumed that the variables are not moderated by each other and have an additive effect [32]. If, for example, perceived seriousness is high and susceptibility is low, it is still assumed that the likelihood of action will be high -intuitively one might assume that the likelihood in this case would be lower than when both of the variables are high [22, 32]. The HBM also assumes that variables affect health behaviour directly and remain unmoderated by behavioural intentions [22]. The second major weakness of HBM is that important determinants of health behaviour, such as the positive effects of negative behaviours and social influence, are not included [22, 32]. In addition, some behaviours such as smoking are based on habits rather than decisions [33]. While the theory may predict adherence in some situations, it has not been found to do so for "risk reduction behaviours that are more linked to socially determined or unconscious motivations" [[12], p.165].

The two reviews identified that examined this theory had inconclusive results. A critical review [34] examined 19 studies which involved sick role behaviours, such as compliance to antihypertensive medication. While the four dimensions of the model produced significant effects in most of the studies included [34], the studies had considerable methodological gaps. A more recent meta-analysis [35] indicated that while the HBM was capable of predicting 10% of variance in behaviour at best, the included studies were heterogeneous and were unable to support conclusions as to the validity of the model. Therefore further studies are needed to assess the validity of this theory. When applying this theory to long-term medication adherence, it is also important for the influence of socio-psychological factors to be considered. For example, cultural beliefs about TB – such as its relationship with witchcraft [36] – may reduce an adherence intervention's effectiveness.

The protection-motivation theory

According to this theory, behaviour change may be achieved by appealing to an individual's fears. Three components of fear arousal are postulated: the magnitude of harm of a depicted event the probability of that event's occurrence and the efficacy of the protective response [37]. These, it is contended, combine multiplicatively to determine the intensity of protection motivation [22], resulting in activity occurring as a result of a desire to protect oneself from danger [37]. This is the only theory within the broader cognitive perspective that explicitly uses the costs and benefits of existing and recommended behaviour to predict the likelihood of change [23].

An important limitation of this theory is that not all environmental and cognitive variables that could impact on attitude change (such as the pressure to conform to social norms) are identified [37]. The most recent version of the theory assumes that the motivation to protect oneself from danger is a positive linear function of beliefs that: the threat is severe, one is personally vulnerable, one can perform the coping response (self efficacy) and the coping response is effective (response efficacy) [22]. Beliefs that health-impairing behaviour is rewarding but that giving it up is costly are assumed to have a negative effect [22]. However, the subdivision of perceived efficacy into categories of response and self efficacy is perhaps inappropriate – people would not consider themselves capable of performing an action without the means to do it [29].

A meta-analysis examining this theory found only moderate effects on behaviour [39]. The revised PMT may be less cumbersome to use than the TRA – it also does not assume that behaviour is always rational. [39]. The PMT may be appropriate for adherence interventions as it is unlikely that an individual consciously re-evaluates all of their routine behaviours such as, for example, taking long-term medication. However, the influence of social, psychological and environmental factors on motivation requires consideration by those using this approach.

Social-cognitive theory

This theory evolved from social learning theory and may be the most comprehensive theory of behaviour change developed thus far [1]. It posits a multifaceted causal structure in the regulation of human motivation, action and well-being [40] and offers both predictors of adherence and guidelines for its promotion [29]. The basic organising principle of behaviour change proposed by this theory is reciprocal determinism in which there is a continuous, dynamic interaction between the individual, the environment and behaviour [1].

Social-cognitive theory suggests that while knowledge of health risks and benefits are a prerequisite to change, additional self-influences are necessary for change to occur [41]. Beliefs regarding personal efficacy are among some of these influences, and these play a central role in change. Health behaviour is also affected by the expected outcomes – which may be the positive and negative effects of the behaviour or the material losses and benefits. Outcomes may also be social, including social approval or disapproval of an action. A person's positive and negative self-evaluations of their health behaviour and health status may also influence the outcome. Other determinants of behaviour are perceived facilitators and barriers. Behaviour change may be due to the reduction or elimination of barriers [41]. In sum, this theory proposes that behaviours are enacted if people perceive that they have control over the outcome, that there are few external barriers and when individuals have confidence in their ability to execute the behaviour [28].

A review reported that self efficacy could explain between 4% and 26% of variance in behaviour [42]. However, this analysis was limited to studies of exercise behaviour, and did not include reports that examined SCT as a whole. Due to its wide-ranging focus, this theory is difficult to operationalise and is often used only in part [43], thus raising questions regarding its applicability to intervention development.

Theory of planned behaviour and the theory of reasoned action

The first work in this area was on the TRA [44].

The TRA assumes that most socially relevant behaviours are under volitional control, and that a person's intention to perform a particular behaviour is both the immediate determinant and the single best predictor of that behaviour [45]. An intention to perform a behaviour is influenced by attitudes towards the action, including the individual's positive or negative beliefs and evaluations of the outcome of the behaviour. It is also influenced by subjective norms, including the perceived expectations of important others (e.g. family or work colleagues) with regard to a person's behaviour and the motivation for a person to comply with others' wishes. Behavioural intention, it is contended, then results in action [44]. The authors argue that other variables besides those described above can only influence the behaviour if such variables influence attitudes or subjective norms. A meta-analysis examining this theory found that it could explain approximately 25% of variance in behaviour in intention alone, and slightly less than 50% of variance in intentions [45]. This suggests that support for this theory is limited.

Additionally, The TRA omits the fact that behaviour may not always be under volitional control and the impacts of past behaviour on current behaviours [22]. Recognising this, the authors extended the theory to include behavioural control and termed this the TPB. 'Behavioural control' represents the perceived ease or difficulty of performing the behaviour and is a function of control beliefs [45]. Conceptually it is very similar to self-efficacy [22] and includes knowledge of relevant skills, experience, emotions, past track record and external circumstances (Ajzen, in [46]). Behavioural control is assumed to have a direct influence on intention [45]. Meta-analyses examining the TPB have found varied results regarding the effectiveness of the theory's components [47–49]. Although not conclusive, the results of the analyses are promising.

Sutton [45] suggests that the TRA and TPB require more conceptualisation, definition and additional explanatory factors. Attitudes and intentions can also be influenced by a variety of factors that are not outlined in the above theories [22]. Specifically, these theories are largely dependent on rational processes [50] and do not allow explicitly for the impacts of emotions or religious beliefs on behaviour, which may be relevant to stigmatised diseases like TB and HIV/AIDS.

Information-motivation-behavioural skills (IMB) theory

This theory was developed to promote contraceptive use and prevent HIV transmission. IMB was constructed to be conceptually based, generalisable and simple [51]. It has since been tailored specifically to designing interventions to promote adherence to ART [52]

This theory focuses on three components that result in behaviour change: information, motivation and behaviour skills. Information relates to the basic knowledge about a medical condition, and is an essential prerequisite for behaviour change but not necessarily sufficient in isolation [51]. A favourable intervention would establish the baseline levels of information, and target information gaps [51]. The second component, motivation, results from personal attitudes towards adherence perceived social support for the behaviour and the patients' subjective norm or perception of how others with the condition might behave [7]. Finally, behavioural skills include factors such as ensuring that the patient has the skills, tools and strategies to perform the behaviour as well as a sense of self-efficacy – the belief that they can achieve the behaviour [51].

The components mentioned above need to be directly relevant to the desired behaviour to be effective [7]. They can also be moderated by a range of contextual factors such as living conditions and access to health services [52]. Information and motivation are thought to activate behavioural skills, which in turn result in risk reduction behavioural change and maintenance [51]. The theory is said to be moderately effective in promoting behaviour change [7], and has been shown to have predictive value for ART adherence [53]. However, no meta-analyses were identified that assessed the effects of this model. The advantage of IMB is its simplicity and its recent application to ART adherence suggests that it may be a promising model for promoting adherence to TB medication.

Self-regulation perspectives

Self-regulatory theory is the main theory in this domain. Developed to conceptualise the adherence process in a way that re-focuses on the patient [54], the theory proposes that it is necessary to examine individuals' subjective experience of health threats to understand the way in which they adapt to these threats. According to this theory, individuals form cognitive representations of health threats (and related emotional responses) that combine new information with past experiences [55]. These representations 'guide' their selection of particular strategies for coping with health threats, and consequently influence associated outcomes [56]. The theory is based on the assumption that people are motivated to avoid and treat illness threats and that people are active, self-regulating problem solvers [57]. Individuals, it is implicitly assumed, will endeavour to reach a state of internal equilibrium through testing coping strategies. The process of creating health threat representations and choosing coping strategies is assumed to be dynamic and informed by an individual's personality, and religious, social and cultural context [55]. In addition, a complex interplay exists between environmental perceptions, symptoms and beliefs about disease causation [54].

The self-regulation theory offers little guidance related to the design of interventions [7] and no meta-analyses examining evidence for the effectiveness of this theory were identified. While the theory seems intuitively appropriate, specific suggestions are needed as to how these processes could promote adherence.

Stage perspectives

The transtheoretical model (TTM)

This theory is most prominent among the stage perspectives. It hypothesizes a number of qualitatively different, discrete stages and processes of change, and reasons that people move through these stages, typically relapsing and revisiting earlier stages before success [58, 59]. This theory is said to offer an "integrative perspective on the structure of intentional change" [[60], p. 1102] – the perceived advantages and disadvantages of behaviour are crucial to behaviour change [61].

The process of change includes independent variables that assess how people change their behaviour [62] and the covert and overt activities that help individuals towards healthier behaviour [63]. Different processes are emphasised at different stages.

Criticisms of TTM include the stages postulated and their coverage and definitions, and descriptors of change. According to Bandura [40], this theory violates all three of the basic assumptions of stage theories: qualitative transformations across discrete stages, invariant sequence of change, and non-reversibility. In addition, the proposed stages may only be different points on a larger continuum [29, 58, 63]. Bandura [29] suggests that human functioning is too multifaceted to fit into separate, discrete stages and argues that stage thinking could constrain the scope of change-promoting interventions. Furthermore, TTM provides little information on how people change and why only some individuals succeed [28].

Sutton [56] argues that the stage definitions included in the TTM are logically flawed, and that the time periods assigned to each stage are arbitrary. Similarly, there is also a need for more attention to measurement, testing issues and definition of variables and causal relationships [58]. The coverage and type of processes included may also be inadequate [63].

The TTM has received much practitioner support over the years, but less direct research support for its efficacy [3, 10]. The meta-analyses identified for this review did not offer direct support for the theory while one found that individuals use all 10 processes of change [64], another found that interventions that used the stage perspective were not more efficient than those not using the theory [65]. Further evidence of its efficacy is therefore needed. A strength of this theory is that it allows interventions to be tailored to individual needs. However, large-scale implementation of these interventions may be time consuming, complicated and costly. Its use may be more appropriate in areas where rapid behaviour change is not necessary.


College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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General Overviews

There are several texts that provide an interesting overview of the field of behavioral genetics at large. Those listed here, including Rutter 2006 and Kim 2009, are intended to be fairly general and cover a broad array of behaviors. In addition, Segal, et al. 1997 and DiLalla 2004 are edited texts resulting from festschrifts that present chapters broadly reviewing the behavioral genetics realm with a focus on a particular person’s work (Daniel G. Freedman in the case of Segal, et al. and Irving I. Gottesman in the case of DiLalla). Bouchard 2004 and Malouff, et al. 2008 are journal articles that provide general overviews of research in the field of behavioral genetics. There also are two books listed below by Nancy Segal (Segal 1999 and Segal 2005) that provide information about twins specifically. These are included because they are intended for a general audience and they provide an excellent background into research on twins.

Bouchard, Thomas J., Jr. 2004. Genetic influence on human psychological traits: A survey. Current Directions in Psychological Science 13.4: 148–151.

Points out the extant literature demonstrating genetic effects on virtually all behavioral traits that have been studied. This article takes the next step by questioning how specific genes interact with the environment to affect behavior. Bouchard posits that the pervasiveness of heritability across traits may generalize to all species, not just humans. Available online by subscription.

DiLalla, Lisabeth Fisher, ed. 2004. Behavior genetics principles: Perspectives in development, personality, and psychopathology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Resulted from a festschrift for Professor Irving I. Gottesman, a pioneer in behavioral genetics research. This book presents research spawned by Gottesman’s work and ideas, with a specific focus on development, personality, and psychopathology. Geared to researchers and students in the field.

Kim, Yong-Kyu. 2009. Handbook of behavior genetics. New York: Springer.

Intended for students of genetics, psychology, and psychiatry. Chapters describe research in various areas of behavior including psychopathology, intelligence, and personality. Behavioral genetic relevance is discussed, as are cutting-edge methodologies and the directions these fields will take in the future.

Malouff, John M., Sally E. Rooke, and Nicola S. Schutte, 2008. The heritability of human behavior: Results of aggregating meta-analyses. Current Psychology 27.3: 153–161.

A meta-analysis of the heritability of eight different behavioral characteristics across hundreds of twin and adoption studies. This review suggests that human behavior in general is approximately 41 percent heritable. The authors also identify possible moderators of genetic influence, which will be important for future studies to consider. Available online by subscription.

Rutter, Michael. 2006. Genes and behavior: Nature-nurture interplay explained. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

This extremely well-reviewed book provides a readable overview of behavioral genetics and related research that is accessible to all audiences.

Segal, Nancy L. 1999. Entwined lives: Twins and what they tell us about human behavior. New York: Dutton.

An exceedingly readable book about being a twin and about twin research. A “must-read” that provides information about twinning from the firsthand perspective of a researcher in the field who is herself a twin.

Segal, Nancy L. 2005. Indivisible by two: Lives of extraordinary twins. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

Another arresting book by Nancy Segal, this time using several sets of twins, triplets, and quadruplets to demonstrate how both genes and environment play critical roles in behavioral development.

Segal, Nancy L., Glenn E. Weisfeld, and Carol Cronin Weisfeld, eds. 1997. Uniting psychology and biology: Integrating perspectives on human development. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

This book celebrates the work of Daniel G. Freedman, whose research has focused on an interactionist perspective of human behavior. Research covers genetics, biology, cross-cultural work, and evolution, including an interesting section on Freedman’s use of film to study and teach behavior.

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.


Psychology Research and Behavior Management

Open Access Publication: All manuscripts submitted to Dove Medical Press are assumed to be submitted under the Open Access publishing model. In this publishing model, papers are peer-reviewed in the normal way under editorial control. When a paper is accepted for publication the author is issued with an invoice for payment of an article publishing charge (see payment details below). Article publishing charges invoiced to the UK are subject to 20% VAT. There is no submission charge as such, only the article publishing charge after the paper is accepted for publication. Payment of this charge allows Dove Medical Press to recover its editorial and production costs and create a pool of funds that can be used to provide fee waivers for authors from lesser developed countries (see below).

Published papers appear electronically and are freely available from our website. Authors may also use their published .pdf's for any non-commercial use on their personal or non-commercial institution's website.

Upon acceptance for publication a publishing charge will be payable. Owing to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates fees may occasionally be subject to change without notice.

Commercial use: No articles from the Dove Medical Press website may be reproduced, in any media or format, or linked to for any commercial purpose (eg. product support, etc) without the prior written consent of Dove Medical Press and payment to Dove Medical Press of an appropriate fee. For further information on commercial use of published papers please click here .

Color illustrations: Open Access papers appear electronically. As no printed issues of any Dove journals are produced there are NO additional charges for color illustrations.

Authors living in developing countries: We encourage our authors to publish their papers with us and don&rsquot wish the cost of article publishing charges to be an insurmountable barrier especially to authors from the low and lower middle income countries. A range of discounts or waivers are offered to authors who are unable to pay our article publishing charges. These are dependent on current availability of funds for fee waivers. We use the World Bank Country Classification table to identify:

    . Contact authors whose primary affiliation is in these countries will be eligible for up to a 100% waiver of the standard article publishing charge . Contact authors whose primary affiliation is in these countries will be eligible for a 50% waiver of the standard article publishing charge.

Discretionary waivers
We will consider all requests for discretionary APC waivers by researchers who aren&rsquot eligible for the above. Please state your request for a discretionary waiver prior to submitting your manuscript by email to the APC Team ([email protected]).
Please include supporting evidence for why a waiver would be necessary in your circumstances. Your request should include details of:

  • The affiliation and country of residence of all authors.
  • Details of where the research was conducted.
  • Confirmation of all research grant funding received.

If you have already accepted a discounted price offered to you at the time of submission please be aware that this is the maximum discount and we are unable to help you further.

Discounts may not be combined and where multiple discounts are available the one most favorable to the author will apply.


Using Behavioral Psychology to Break Bad Habits

Whether it&rsquos smoking, overeating, or worrying, we all have bad habits we would love to get rid of. Behavioral psychology can help. It is one of the most-studied fields in psychology, and it offers great insight into how to break bad habits and build up healthy habits in their place.

Realize the Reward of Your Bad Habit

If you have a bad habit, it is because you are being rewarded for it in some way. Behavioral psychology claims that all of our behavior is either rewarded or punished, which increases or decreases the chance of us repeating that behavior.

If you smoke, you are rewarded with stress relief. If you overeat, you are rewarded with the taste of food. If you procrastinate, you are temporarily rewarded with more free time. Find out how your bad habits are rewarding you, and then you can figure out how to replace them.

Impose a Punishment or Remove a Reward for Your Bad Habit

It&rsquos time to cut the cycle of getting rewarded for bad habits. You need strong willpower for this step. You have to commit to either imposing a punishment or taking away a desired reward when you relapse. For example, if you overeat, you have to give up dessert the rest of the day or add 10 minutes to your next workout. The reward or punishment you choose should be relevant to the habit.

Have a Replacement Ready

Remember figuring out how your bad habit rewards you? It comes into play now. You need to figure out a replacement habit that offers the same reward without the downside of your bad habit. If you procrastinate, you enjoy a short-term increase in free time (since you are avoiding work). Instead of procrastinating, set up a more realistic schedule that allows for regular breaks, during which you can do something you enjoy.

Use a Mix of Small and Large Rewards

Rewards obviously have a huge impact on the human brain, which is one of the biggest findings of behavioral psychology. Reward yourself early and often for staying away from a bad habit. Don&rsquot restrict yourself to large, infrequent rewards.

For example, if you want to break a laziness habit, you may reward yourself with new gym clothes after 30 workouts. This is a fine reward, but it is so far away that you may not have the incentive to carry through. Include that reward in your plan, but also give yourself regular treats and incentives for every few workouts you complete.

Tell Others about Your Goals

When we tell others about a goal and we do not follow through on it, we are &ldquopunished&rdquo with shame and a feeling that we let other people down. While shame isn&rsquot necessarily the perfect motivator, it can be very effective.

If you tell others about your goals &mdash preferably people who will support you &mdash you are more likely to stick to them, since you do not want to have to tell your friends that you failed. Be sure to only tell friends that won&rsquot lure you back into your bad habit or mock you for relapsing. You want support, not ridicule!


Our Response to the Ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Pandemic

Present, Publish, Participate On-site or Online

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Our commitment to you academics, scholars and educators around the world, is to continue to run conferences where and how possible, but in the full knowledge that in these unprecedented and changing times, we must engage as much as is possible online, allowing those who choose not to travel, or who cannot travel, opportunities to present, publish and participate online.

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Introduction The Wide World of Psychomythology 1

1 Brain Power Myths about the Brain and Perception 21

#1 Most People Use Only 10% of Their Brain Power 21

#2 Some People Are Left-Brained, Others Are Right-Brained 25

#3 Extrasensory Perception Is a Well-Established Scientific Phenomenon 29

#4 Visual Perceptions Are Accompanied by Tiny Emissions from the Eyes 33

#5 Subliminal Messages Can Persuade People to Purchase Products 36

2 From Womb to Tomb Myths about Development and Aging 45

#6 Playing Mozart’s Music to Infants Boosts Their Intelligence 45

#7 Adolescence Is Inevitably a Time of Psychological Turmoil 49

#8 Most People Experience a Midlife Crisis in Their 40s or Early 50s 52

#9 Old Age Is Typically Associated with Increased Dissatisfaction and Senility 56

#10 When Dying, People Pass through a Universal Series of Psychological Stages 60

3 A Remembrance of Things Past Myths about Memory 65

#11 Human Memory Works like a Tape Recorder or Video Camera, and Accurately Records the Events
We’ve Experienced 65

#12 Hypnosis is Useful for Retrieving Memories of Forgotten Events 69

#13 Individuals Commonly Repress the Memories of Traumatic Experiences 73

#14 Most People with Amnesia Forget All Details of Their Earlier Lives 78

4 Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks Myths about Intelligence and Learning 83

#15 Intelligence Tests Are Biased against Certain Groups of People 83

#16 If You’re Unsure of Your Answer When Taking a Test, It’s Best to Stick with Your Initial Hunch 87

#17 The Defining Feature of Dyslexia Is Reversing Letters 89

#18 Students Learn Best When Teaching Styles Are Matched to Their Learning Styles 92

5 Altered States Myths about Consciousness 100

#19 Hypnosis Is a Unique “Trance” State that Differs in Kind from Wakefulness 100

#20 Researchers Have Demonstrated that Dreams Possess Symbolic Meaning 104

#21 Individuals Can Learn Information, like New Languages, while Asleep 108

#22 During “Out-of-Body” Experiences, People’s Consciousness Leaves Their Bodies 110

6 I’ve Got a Feeling Myths about Emotion and Motivation 116

#23 The Polygraph (“Lie Detector”) Test Is an Accurate Means of Detecting Dishonesty 116

#24 Happiness Is Determined Mostly by Our External Circumstances 122

#25 Ulcers Are Caused Primarily or Entirely by Stress 126

#26 A Positive Attitude Can Stave off Cancer 129

7 The Social Animal Myths about Interpersonal Behavior 135

#27 Opposites Attract: We Are Most Romantically Attracted to People Who Differ from Us 135

#28 There’s Safety in Numbers: The More People Present at an Emergency, the Greater the Chance that Someone Will Intervene 139

#29 Men and Women Communicate in Completely Different Ways 143

#30 It’s Better to Express Anger to Others than to Hold It in 147

8 Know Thyself Myths about Personality 153

#31 Raising Children Similarly Leads to Similarities in Their Adult Personalities 153

#32 The Fact that a Trait Is Heritable Means We Can’t Change It 158

#33 Low Self-Esteem Is a Major Cause of Psychological Problems 162

#34 Most People Who Were Sexually Abused in Childhood Develop Severe Personality Disturbances in Adulthood 166

#35 People’s Responses to Inkblots Tell Us a Great Deal about Their Personalities 171

#36 Our Handwriting Reveals Our Personality Traits 175

9 Sad, Mad, and Bad Myths about Mental Illness 181

#37 Psychiatric Labels Cause Harm by Stigmatizing People 181

#38 Only Deeply Depressed People Commit Suicide 186

#39 People with Schizophrenia Have Multiple Personalities 189

#40 Adult Children of Alcoholics Display a Distinct Profile of Symptoms 192

#41 There’s Recently Been a Massive Epidemic of Infantile Autism 195

#42 Psychiatric Hospital Admissions and Crimes Increase during Full Moons 201

10 Disorder in the Court Myths about Psychology and the Law 209

#43 Most Mentally Ill People Are Violent 209

#44 Criminal Profiling Is Helpful in Solving Cases 212

#45 A Large Proportion Of Criminals Successfully Use the Insanity Defense 216

#46 Virtually All People Who Confess to a Crime Are Guilty of It 220

11 Skills and Pills Myths about Psychological Treatment 227

#47 Expert Judgment and Intuition Are the Best Means of Making Clinical Decisions 227

#48 Abstinence Is the Only Realistic Treatment Goal for Alcoholics 232

#49 All Effective Psychotherapies Force People to Confront the “Root” Causes of Their Problems in Childhood 236

#50 Electroconvulsive (“Shock”) Therapy Is a Physically Dangerous and Brutal Treatment 239

Postscript Truth is Stranger than Fiction 247

Recommended Websites for Exploring Psychomythology 253


Agras, W. S. Transfer during systematic desensitization therapy.Behaviour Research and Therapy 1967,5 193–199.

Bandura, A. Influence of models' reinforcement contingencies on the acquisition of imitative responses.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1965,1 589–595.

Bandura, A.Principles of behavior modification. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1969.

Bandura, A. Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change.Psychological Review 1977,84 191–215. (a)

Bandura, A.Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1977. (b)

Bandura, A. On paradigms and recycled ideologies.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 1978,2(1), in press.

Bandura, A., Adams, N. E., & Beyer, J. Cognitive processes mediating behavioral change.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1977,35 125–139.

Bandura, A., Blanchard, E. B., & Ritter, B. The relative efficacy of desensitization and modeling approaches for inducing behavioral, affective, and attitudinal changes.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1969,13 173–199.

Bandura, A., Jeffery, R. W., & Gajdos, E. Generalizing change through participant modeling with self-directed mastery.Behaviour Research and Therapy 1975,13 141–152.

Bandura, A., Jeffery, R. W., & Wright, C. L. Efficacy of participant modeling as a function of response induction aids.Journal of Abnormal Psychology 1974,83 56–64.

Barlow, D. H., Leitenberg, H., Agras, W. S., & Wincze, J. P. The transfer gap in systematic desensitization: An analogue study.Behaviour Research and Therapy 1969,7 191–196.

Bolles, R. C. The avoidance learning problem. In G. Bower (Ed.),The psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 6). New York: Academic Press, 1972.

Dawson, M. E., & Furedy, J. J. The role of awareness in human differential autonomic classical conditioning: The necessary-gate hypothesis.Psychophysiology 1976,13 50–53.

Dulany, D. E. Awareness, rules, and propositional control: A confrontation with S-R behavior theory. In T. R. Dixon & D. L. Horton (Eds.),Verbal behavior and general behavior theory. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1968.

Eriksen, C. W. Discrimination and learning without awareness: A methodological survey and evaluation.Psychological Review 1960,67 279–300.

Herrnstein, R. J. Method and theory in the study of avoidance.Psychological Review 1969,76 49–69.

Rescorla, R. A., & Solomon, R. L. Two-process learning theory: Relationships between Pavlovian conditioning and instrumental learning.Psychological Review 1967,74 151–182.

Spielberger, C. D., & De Nike, L. D. Descriptive behaviorism versus cognitive theory in verbal operant conditioning.Psychological Review 1966,73 306–326.

Weiner, B.Theories of motivation. Chicago: Markham, 1972.

Wolpe, J.The practice of behavior therapy. New York: Pergamon, 1974.


General Overviews

There are several texts that provide an interesting overview of the field of behavioral genetics at large. Those listed here, including Rutter 2006 and Kim 2009, are intended to be fairly general and cover a broad array of behaviors. In addition, Segal, et al. 1997 and DiLalla 2004 are edited texts resulting from festschrifts that present chapters broadly reviewing the behavioral genetics realm with a focus on a particular person’s work (Daniel G. Freedman in the case of Segal, et al. and Irving I. Gottesman in the case of DiLalla). Bouchard 2004 and Malouff, et al. 2008 are journal articles that provide general overviews of research in the field of behavioral genetics. There also are two books listed below by Nancy Segal (Segal 1999 and Segal 2005) that provide information about twins specifically. These are included because they are intended for a general audience and they provide an excellent background into research on twins.

Bouchard, Thomas J., Jr. 2004. Genetic influence on human psychological traits: A survey. Current Directions in Psychological Science 13.4: 148–151.

Points out the extant literature demonstrating genetic effects on virtually all behavioral traits that have been studied. This article takes the next step by questioning how specific genes interact with the environment to affect behavior. Bouchard posits that the pervasiveness of heritability across traits may generalize to all species, not just humans. Available online by subscription.

DiLalla, Lisabeth Fisher, ed. 2004. Behavior genetics principles: Perspectives in development, personality, and psychopathology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Resulted from a festschrift for Professor Irving I. Gottesman, a pioneer in behavioral genetics research. This book presents research spawned by Gottesman’s work and ideas, with a specific focus on development, personality, and psychopathology. Geared to researchers and students in the field.

Kim, Yong-Kyu. 2009. Handbook of behavior genetics. New York: Springer.

Intended for students of genetics, psychology, and psychiatry. Chapters describe research in various areas of behavior including psychopathology, intelligence, and personality. Behavioral genetic relevance is discussed, as are cutting-edge methodologies and the directions these fields will take in the future.

Malouff, John M., Sally E. Rooke, and Nicola S. Schutte, 2008. The heritability of human behavior: Results of aggregating meta-analyses. Current Psychology 27.3: 153–161.

A meta-analysis of the heritability of eight different behavioral characteristics across hundreds of twin and adoption studies. This review suggests that human behavior in general is approximately 41 percent heritable. The authors also identify possible moderators of genetic influence, which will be important for future studies to consider. Available online by subscription.

Rutter, Michael. 2006. Genes and behavior: Nature-nurture interplay explained. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

This extremely well-reviewed book provides a readable overview of behavioral genetics and related research that is accessible to all audiences.

Segal, Nancy L. 1999. Entwined lives: Twins and what they tell us about human behavior. New York: Dutton.

An exceedingly readable book about being a twin and about twin research. A “must-read” that provides information about twinning from the firsthand perspective of a researcher in the field who is herself a twin.

Segal, Nancy L. 2005. Indivisible by two: Lives of extraordinary twins. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

Another arresting book by Nancy Segal, this time using several sets of twins, triplets, and quadruplets to demonstrate how both genes and environment play critical roles in behavioral development.

Segal, Nancy L., Glenn E. Weisfeld, and Carol Cronin Weisfeld, eds. 1997. Uniting psychology and biology: Integrating perspectives on human development. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

This book celebrates the work of Daniel G. Freedman, whose research has focused on an interactionist perspective of human behavior. Research covers genetics, biology, cross-cultural work, and evolution, including an interesting section on Freedman’s use of film to study and teach behavior.

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.


College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Through the programs in our schools, you can focus on your passion and make an immediate contribution to your community. Explore each of our schools and discover the program that will help you make the biggest difference.

Vision

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences aims to provide students with the highest quality education by offering programs that focus on building skills in critical thinking and research that have applications for diverse communities. The college envisions preparing graduates who demonstrate a strong commitment to social change through the inquiry, discovery, and utilization of their knowledge and skills, and who will enrich and advance the lives of those around them.

Mission

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences provides culturally and contextually relevant education programs based on the scholar-practitioner model. Designed to appeal to a diverse array of learners, the programs are designed to enhance their professional opportunities and ability to act as social change agents.


Sustainable consumer behavior

Remi Trudel, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Boston, MA.

Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

Remi Trudel, Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Boston, MA.

Abstract

Most agree that climate change is a serious threat. It has increasingly been recognized by scientists and policymakers as a consumer behavior issue: What, how, and how much people consume directly impacts the environment. Sustainable consumer behavior is behavior that attempts to satisfy present needs while simultaneously benefiting or limiting environmental impact. Moreover, understanding sustainable consumer behavior is central to any paradigm shifts in how society approaches environmental problems. This article summarizes and organizes research from the past 20 years and explores the psychological drivers of sustainable consumer behavior. Four areas of scientific inquiry that have dominated research agendas are identified: (a) cognitive barriers, (b) the self, (c) social influence, and (d) product characteristics. The objective is to provide a valuable research tool that stimulates additional research in the area of sustainable consumer behavior.


Using Behavioral Psychology to Break Bad Habits

Whether it&rsquos smoking, overeating, or worrying, we all have bad habits we would love to get rid of. Behavioral psychology can help. It is one of the most-studied fields in psychology, and it offers great insight into how to break bad habits and build up healthy habits in their place.

Realize the Reward of Your Bad Habit

If you have a bad habit, it is because you are being rewarded for it in some way. Behavioral psychology claims that all of our behavior is either rewarded or punished, which increases or decreases the chance of us repeating that behavior.

If you smoke, you are rewarded with stress relief. If you overeat, you are rewarded with the taste of food. If you procrastinate, you are temporarily rewarded with more free time. Find out how your bad habits are rewarding you, and then you can figure out how to replace them.

Impose a Punishment or Remove a Reward for Your Bad Habit

It&rsquos time to cut the cycle of getting rewarded for bad habits. You need strong willpower for this step. You have to commit to either imposing a punishment or taking away a desired reward when you relapse. For example, if you overeat, you have to give up dessert the rest of the day or add 10 minutes to your next workout. The reward or punishment you choose should be relevant to the habit.

Have a Replacement Ready

Remember figuring out how your bad habit rewards you? It comes into play now. You need to figure out a replacement habit that offers the same reward without the downside of your bad habit. If you procrastinate, you enjoy a short-term increase in free time (since you are avoiding work). Instead of procrastinating, set up a more realistic schedule that allows for regular breaks, during which you can do something you enjoy.

Use a Mix of Small and Large Rewards

Rewards obviously have a huge impact on the human brain, which is one of the biggest findings of behavioral psychology. Reward yourself early and often for staying away from a bad habit. Don&rsquot restrict yourself to large, infrequent rewards.

For example, if you want to break a laziness habit, you may reward yourself with new gym clothes after 30 workouts. This is a fine reward, but it is so far away that you may not have the incentive to carry through. Include that reward in your plan, but also give yourself regular treats and incentives for every few workouts you complete.

Tell Others about Your Goals

When we tell others about a goal and we do not follow through on it, we are &ldquopunished&rdquo with shame and a feeling that we let other people down. While shame isn&rsquot necessarily the perfect motivator, it can be very effective.

If you tell others about your goals &mdash preferably people who will support you &mdash you are more likely to stick to them, since you do not want to have to tell your friends that you failed. Be sure to only tell friends that won&rsquot lure you back into your bad habit or mock you for relapsing. You want support, not ridicule!


Psychology Research and Behavior Management

Open Access Publication: All manuscripts submitted to Dove Medical Press are assumed to be submitted under the Open Access publishing model. In this publishing model, papers are peer-reviewed in the normal way under editorial control. When a paper is accepted for publication the author is issued with an invoice for payment of an article publishing charge (see payment details below). Article publishing charges invoiced to the UK are subject to 20% VAT. There is no submission charge as such, only the article publishing charge after the paper is accepted for publication. Payment of this charge allows Dove Medical Press to recover its editorial and production costs and create a pool of funds that can be used to provide fee waivers for authors from lesser developed countries (see below).

Published papers appear electronically and are freely available from our website. Authors may also use their published .pdf's for any non-commercial use on their personal or non-commercial institution's website.

Upon acceptance for publication a publishing charge will be payable. Owing to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates fees may occasionally be subject to change without notice.

Commercial use: No articles from the Dove Medical Press website may be reproduced, in any media or format, or linked to for any commercial purpose (eg. product support, etc) without the prior written consent of Dove Medical Press and payment to Dove Medical Press of an appropriate fee. For further information on commercial use of published papers please click here .

Color illustrations: Open Access papers appear electronically. As no printed issues of any Dove journals are produced there are NO additional charges for color illustrations.

Authors living in developing countries: We encourage our authors to publish their papers with us and don&rsquot wish the cost of article publishing charges to be an insurmountable barrier especially to authors from the low and lower middle income countries. A range of discounts or waivers are offered to authors who are unable to pay our article publishing charges. These are dependent on current availability of funds for fee waivers. We use the World Bank Country Classification table to identify:

    . Contact authors whose primary affiliation is in these countries will be eligible for up to a 100% waiver of the standard article publishing charge . Contact authors whose primary affiliation is in these countries will be eligible for a 50% waiver of the standard article publishing charge.

Discretionary waivers
We will consider all requests for discretionary APC waivers by researchers who aren&rsquot eligible for the above. Please state your request for a discretionary waiver prior to submitting your manuscript by email to the APC Team ([email protected]).
Please include supporting evidence for why a waiver would be necessary in your circumstances. Your request should include details of:

  • The affiliation and country of residence of all authors.
  • Details of where the research was conducted.
  • Confirmation of all research grant funding received.

If you have already accepted a discounted price offered to you at the time of submission please be aware that this is the maximum discount and we are unable to help you further.

Discounts may not be combined and where multiple discounts are available the one most favorable to the author will apply.


Results

Table 1 presents the theories included in this article and references to meta-analyses synthesizing the evidence for each. Below, we summarise each perspective and the theories within it and provide examples of its application to adherence behaviours [see additional file 1]. We then examine the usefulness of these theories in developing interventions to promote long-term adherence.

The biomedical perspective

The biomedical perspective incorporates the biomedical theory in which patients are assumed to be passive recipients of doctors' instructions [11]. Health or disease is traced back to biomedical causes, such as bacteria or viruses, and treatment is therefore focused on the patient's body [11]. In keeping with this mechanistic view of illness, mechanical solutions, such as prescribed pills, are preferred [12] non-adherence is understood to be caused by patient characteristics, such as age and gender [12]. Technological innovations to promote adherence, such as Medication Event Monitoring Systems ® , are sometimes rooted in this perspective [7]. However, despite its implicit use by many health professionals, this perspective is infrequently used explicitly in interventions.

A fundamental limitation of this theory is that it ignores factors other than patient characteristics that may impact on health behaviours – for example, patients' perspectives of their own illness [7] psycho-social influences [12] and the impacts of the socio-economic environment. The socio-economic environment or demographics may, however, be markers for other factors that lend themselves to intervention even though they themselves cannot be changed [13]. The danger of using demographics as proxy variables for adherence is that certain groups that come to be seen as "lost causes" may be excluded (e.g. [14]). This biomedical theory has recently been integrated into a larger "biopsycho-socio-environmental" theory, which incorporates the wider socio-environmental context [11]. However, this theory is not located strictly within the biomedical approach. Due to the assumption that patients are passive and the focus on biomedical factors, it is unlikely that the biomedical theory can contribute significantly to TB or HIV medication adherence. Patients are generally active decision makers and do not merely receive and follow instructions passively. No meta-analyses specifically examining this perspective were identified.

Behavioural (learning) perspective

This perspective incorporates behavioural learning theory (BLT) which is focused on the environment and the teaching of skills to manage adherence [7]. It is characterised by the use of the principles of antecedents and consequences and their influence on behaviour. Antecedents are either internal (thoughts) or external (environmental cues) while consequences may be punishments or rewards for a behaviour. The probability of a patient following a specific behaviour will partially depend on these variables [7].

Behavioural learning theory.

Protection motivation theory.

Revised protection motivation theory.

Theory of reasoned action.

Theory of planned behaviour.

Information motivation behavioural skills model.

Adherence promoting strategies informed by this perspective, such as patient reminders, have been found to improve adherence [15]. Several interventions incorporating elements of BLT have also been reported to be effective for adherence to long-term medications [4]. However, a more recent meta-analysis examining adherence to highly active antiretroviral (ARV) therapy concluded that interventions with cue dosing and external rewards – approaches derived from BLT -were as efficacious as those without [16]. Another randomised controlled trial on ARVs reported a negative effect when using electronic reminder systems [17]. Further evidence is therefore needed on the effectiveness of these types of strategy.

BLT has been critiqued for lacking an individualised approach and for not considering less conscious influences on behaviour not linked to immediate rewards [12]. These influences include, for example, past behaviour, habits, or lack of acceptance of a diagnosis. The theory is limited, too, by its focus on external influences on behaviour. Programme planners should therefore consider carefully individuals' perceptions of appropriate rewards before using such theory to inform programme design. Interventions drawing on behavioural theory are often used in combination with other approaches, although seldom explicitly. No meta-analyses were found that examined this perspective.

Communication perspective

Communication is said to be "the cornerstone of every patient-practitioner relationship" [[11], p. 56]. This perspective suggests that improved provider-client communication will enhance adherence [7, 11] and implies that this can be achieved through patient education and good health care worker communication skills – an approach based on the notion that communication needs to be clear and comprehensible to be effective. It also places emphasis on the timing of treatment, instruction and comprehension. An example of an intervention utilising this perspective is one that aims to improve client-provider interaction. Critiques of this perspective argue that it ignores attitudinal, motivational and interpersonal factors that may interfere with the reception of the message and the translation of knowledge into behaviour change [12].

A number of reviews have examined the effects of interventions including communication elements [18–21]. However, few of these have examined the effects of communication on health behaviours specifically. Two reviews focusing on interventions to improve provider-client communication showed that these can improve communication in consultations, patient satisfaction with care [18] as well as health outcomes [21]. However, these reviews also show limited and mixed evidence on the effects of such interventions on patient health care behaviours, such as adherence.

Communication components have been used within several adherence interventions but seldom explicitly or as the main component. Such interventions are unlikely to succeed in isolation in improving long-term adherence to medications because of the influence of external factors, such as the costs of accessing healthcare for treatment. Communication interventions are also typically restricted to provider-client interactions and additional social or financial support may thus be required.

Cognitive perspective

The cognitive perspective includes theories such as the health belief model (HBM), social-cognitive theory (SCT), the theories of reasoned action (TRA) and planned behaviour (TPB) and the protection motivation theory (PMT). These theories focus on cognitive variables as part of behaviour change, and share the assumption that attitudes and beliefs [22], as well as expectations of future events and outcomes [23], are major determinants of health related behaviour. In the face of various alternatives, these theories propose, individuals will choose the action that will lead most likely to positive outcomes.

These theories have noticeable weaknesses, however: firstly, that non-voluntary factors can affect behaviour [23] devoting time to conscious deliberation regarding a repeated choice also seems uneconomical [22]. Secondly, these theories do not adequately address the behavioural skills needed to ensure adherence [7]. Thirdly, these theories give little attention to the origin of beliefs and how these beliefs may influence other behaviours [24]. In addition, it has been argued that they ignore other factors that may impact on adherence behaviour, such as power relationships and social reputations [25], and the possibility that risk behaviour may involve more than one person [26]. It has also been suggested that they focus on a single threat and prevention behaviour and do not include possible additional threats competing for the individual's attention [24].

Health Belief Model

The HBM views health behaviour change as based on a rational appraisal of the balance between the barriers to and benefits of action [12]. According to this model, the perceived seriousness of, and susceptibility to, a disease influence individual's perceived threat of disease. Similarly, perceived benefits and perceived barriers influence perceptions of the effectiveness of health behaviour. In turn, demographic and socio-psychological variables influence both perceived susceptibility and perceived seriousness, and the perceived benefits and perceived barriers to action [1, 7]. Perceived threat is influenced by cues to action, which can be internal (e.g. symptom perception) or external (e.g. health communication) (Rosenstock, 1974 in [7]).

High-perceived threat, low barriers and high perceived benefits to action increase the likelihood of engaging in the recommended behaviour [27]. Generally, all of the model's components are seen as independent predictors of health behaviour [28]. Bandura [29] notes, however, that perceived threats – especially perceived severity – have a weak correlation with health action and might even result in avoidance of protective action. Perceived severity may also not be as important as perceived susceptibility. Recently, self-efficacy was added into the theory [30], thereby incorporating the need to feel competent before effecting long-term change [31].

There are two main criticisms of this theory: firstly, the relationships between these variables have not been explicitly spelt out [32] and no definitions have been constructed for the individual components or clear rules of combination formulated [28]. It is assumed that the variables are not moderated by each other and have an additive effect [32]. If, for example, perceived seriousness is high and susceptibility is low, it is still assumed that the likelihood of action will be high -intuitively one might assume that the likelihood in this case would be lower than when both of the variables are high [22, 32]. The HBM also assumes that variables affect health behaviour directly and remain unmoderated by behavioural intentions [22]. The second major weakness of HBM is that important determinants of health behaviour, such as the positive effects of negative behaviours and social influence, are not included [22, 32]. In addition, some behaviours such as smoking are based on habits rather than decisions [33]. While the theory may predict adherence in some situations, it has not been found to do so for "risk reduction behaviours that are more linked to socially determined or unconscious motivations" [[12], p.165].

The two reviews identified that examined this theory had inconclusive results. A critical review [34] examined 19 studies which involved sick role behaviours, such as compliance to antihypertensive medication. While the four dimensions of the model produced significant effects in most of the studies included [34], the studies had considerable methodological gaps. A more recent meta-analysis [35] indicated that while the HBM was capable of predicting 10% of variance in behaviour at best, the included studies were heterogeneous and were unable to support conclusions as to the validity of the model. Therefore further studies are needed to assess the validity of this theory. When applying this theory to long-term medication adherence, it is also important for the influence of socio-psychological factors to be considered. For example, cultural beliefs about TB – such as its relationship with witchcraft [36] – may reduce an adherence intervention's effectiveness.

The protection-motivation theory

According to this theory, behaviour change may be achieved by appealing to an individual's fears. Three components of fear arousal are postulated: the magnitude of harm of a depicted event the probability of that event's occurrence and the efficacy of the protective response [37]. These, it is contended, combine multiplicatively to determine the intensity of protection motivation [22], resulting in activity occurring as a result of a desire to protect oneself from danger [37]. This is the only theory within the broader cognitive perspective that explicitly uses the costs and benefits of existing and recommended behaviour to predict the likelihood of change [23].

An important limitation of this theory is that not all environmental and cognitive variables that could impact on attitude change (such as the pressure to conform to social norms) are identified [37]. The most recent version of the theory assumes that the motivation to protect oneself from danger is a positive linear function of beliefs that: the threat is severe, one is personally vulnerable, one can perform the coping response (self efficacy) and the coping response is effective (response efficacy) [22]. Beliefs that health-impairing behaviour is rewarding but that giving it up is costly are assumed to have a negative effect [22]. However, the subdivision of perceived efficacy into categories of response and self efficacy is perhaps inappropriate – people would not consider themselves capable of performing an action without the means to do it [29].

A meta-analysis examining this theory found only moderate effects on behaviour [39]. The revised PMT may be less cumbersome to use than the TRA – it also does not assume that behaviour is always rational. [39]. The PMT may be appropriate for adherence interventions as it is unlikely that an individual consciously re-evaluates all of their routine behaviours such as, for example, taking long-term medication. However, the influence of social, psychological and environmental factors on motivation requires consideration by those using this approach.

Social-cognitive theory

This theory evolved from social learning theory and may be the most comprehensive theory of behaviour change developed thus far [1]. It posits a multifaceted causal structure in the regulation of human motivation, action and well-being [40] and offers both predictors of adherence and guidelines for its promotion [29]. The basic organising principle of behaviour change proposed by this theory is reciprocal determinism in which there is a continuous, dynamic interaction between the individual, the environment and behaviour [1].

Social-cognitive theory suggests that while knowledge of health risks and benefits are a prerequisite to change, additional self-influences are necessary for change to occur [41]. Beliefs regarding personal efficacy are among some of these influences, and these play a central role in change. Health behaviour is also affected by the expected outcomes – which may be the positive and negative effects of the behaviour or the material losses and benefits. Outcomes may also be social, including social approval or disapproval of an action. A person's positive and negative self-evaluations of their health behaviour and health status may also influence the outcome. Other determinants of behaviour are perceived facilitators and barriers. Behaviour change may be due to the reduction or elimination of barriers [41]. In sum, this theory proposes that behaviours are enacted if people perceive that they have control over the outcome, that there are few external barriers and when individuals have confidence in their ability to execute the behaviour [28].

A review reported that self efficacy could explain between 4% and 26% of variance in behaviour [42]. However, this analysis was limited to studies of exercise behaviour, and did not include reports that examined SCT as a whole. Due to its wide-ranging focus, this theory is difficult to operationalise and is often used only in part [43], thus raising questions regarding its applicability to intervention development.

Theory of planned behaviour and the theory of reasoned action

The first work in this area was on the TRA [44].

The TRA assumes that most socially relevant behaviours are under volitional control, and that a person's intention to perform a particular behaviour is both the immediate determinant and the single best predictor of that behaviour [45]. An intention to perform a behaviour is influenced by attitudes towards the action, including the individual's positive or negative beliefs and evaluations of the outcome of the behaviour. It is also influenced by subjective norms, including the perceived expectations of important others (e.g. family or work colleagues) with regard to a person's behaviour and the motivation for a person to comply with others' wishes. Behavioural intention, it is contended, then results in action [44]. The authors argue that other variables besides those described above can only influence the behaviour if such variables influence attitudes or subjective norms. A meta-analysis examining this theory found that it could explain approximately 25% of variance in behaviour in intention alone, and slightly less than 50% of variance in intentions [45]. This suggests that support for this theory is limited.

Additionally, The TRA omits the fact that behaviour may not always be under volitional control and the impacts of past behaviour on current behaviours [22]. Recognising this, the authors extended the theory to include behavioural control and termed this the TPB. 'Behavioural control' represents the perceived ease or difficulty of performing the behaviour and is a function of control beliefs [45]. Conceptually it is very similar to self-efficacy [22] and includes knowledge of relevant skills, experience, emotions, past track record and external circumstances (Ajzen, in [46]). Behavioural control is assumed to have a direct influence on intention [45]. Meta-analyses examining the TPB have found varied results regarding the effectiveness of the theory's components [47–49]. Although not conclusive, the results of the analyses are promising.

Sutton [45] suggests that the TRA and TPB require more conceptualisation, definition and additional explanatory factors. Attitudes and intentions can also be influenced by a variety of factors that are not outlined in the above theories [22]. Specifically, these theories are largely dependent on rational processes [50] and do not allow explicitly for the impacts of emotions or religious beliefs on behaviour, which may be relevant to stigmatised diseases like TB and HIV/AIDS.

Information-motivation-behavioural skills (IMB) theory

This theory was developed to promote contraceptive use and prevent HIV transmission. IMB was constructed to be conceptually based, generalisable and simple [51]. It has since been tailored specifically to designing interventions to promote adherence to ART [52]

This theory focuses on three components that result in behaviour change: information, motivation and behaviour skills. Information relates to the basic knowledge about a medical condition, and is an essential prerequisite for behaviour change but not necessarily sufficient in isolation [51]. A favourable intervention would establish the baseline levels of information, and target information gaps [51]. The second component, motivation, results from personal attitudes towards adherence perceived social support for the behaviour and the patients' subjective norm or perception of how others with the condition might behave [7]. Finally, behavioural skills include factors such as ensuring that the patient has the skills, tools and strategies to perform the behaviour as well as a sense of self-efficacy – the belief that they can achieve the behaviour [51].

The components mentioned above need to be directly relevant to the desired behaviour to be effective [7]. They can also be moderated by a range of contextual factors such as living conditions and access to health services [52]. Information and motivation are thought to activate behavioural skills, which in turn result in risk reduction behavioural change and maintenance [51]. The theory is said to be moderately effective in promoting behaviour change [7], and has been shown to have predictive value for ART adherence [53]. However, no meta-analyses were identified that assessed the effects of this model. The advantage of IMB is its simplicity and its recent application to ART adherence suggests that it may be a promising model for promoting adherence to TB medication.

Self-regulation perspectives

Self-regulatory theory is the main theory in this domain. Developed to conceptualise the adherence process in a way that re-focuses on the patient [54], the theory proposes that it is necessary to examine individuals' subjective experience of health threats to understand the way in which they adapt to these threats. According to this theory, individuals form cognitive representations of health threats (and related emotional responses) that combine new information with past experiences [55]. These representations 'guide' their selection of particular strategies for coping with health threats, and consequently influence associated outcomes [56]. The theory is based on the assumption that people are motivated to avoid and treat illness threats and that people are active, self-regulating problem solvers [57]. Individuals, it is implicitly assumed, will endeavour to reach a state of internal equilibrium through testing coping strategies. The process of creating health threat representations and choosing coping strategies is assumed to be dynamic and informed by an individual's personality, and religious, social and cultural context [55]. In addition, a complex interplay exists between environmental perceptions, symptoms and beliefs about disease causation [54].

The self-regulation theory offers little guidance related to the design of interventions [7] and no meta-analyses examining evidence for the effectiveness of this theory were identified. While the theory seems intuitively appropriate, specific suggestions are needed as to how these processes could promote adherence.

Stage perspectives

The transtheoretical model (TTM)

This theory is most prominent among the stage perspectives. It hypothesizes a number of qualitatively different, discrete stages and processes of change, and reasons that people move through these stages, typically relapsing and revisiting earlier stages before success [58, 59]. This theory is said to offer an "integrative perspective on the structure of intentional change" [[60], p. 1102] – the perceived advantages and disadvantages of behaviour are crucial to behaviour change [61].

The process of change includes independent variables that assess how people change their behaviour [62] and the covert and overt activities that help individuals towards healthier behaviour [63]. Different processes are emphasised at different stages.

Criticisms of TTM include the stages postulated and their coverage and definitions, and descriptors of change. According to Bandura [40], this theory violates all three of the basic assumptions of stage theories: qualitative transformations across discrete stages, invariant sequence of change, and non-reversibility. In addition, the proposed stages may only be different points on a larger continuum [29, 58, 63]. Bandura [29] suggests that human functioning is too multifaceted to fit into separate, discrete stages and argues that stage thinking could constrain the scope of change-promoting interventions. Furthermore, TTM provides little information on how people change and why only some individuals succeed [28].

Sutton [56] argues that the stage definitions included in the TTM are logically flawed, and that the time periods assigned to each stage are arbitrary. Similarly, there is also a need for more attention to measurement, testing issues and definition of variables and causal relationships [58]. The coverage and type of processes included may also be inadequate [63].

The TTM has received much practitioner support over the years, but less direct research support for its efficacy [3, 10]. The meta-analyses identified for this review did not offer direct support for the theory while one found that individuals use all 10 processes of change [64], another found that interventions that used the stage perspective were not more efficient than those not using the theory [65]. Further evidence of its efficacy is therefore needed. A strength of this theory is that it allows interventions to be tailored to individual needs. However, large-scale implementation of these interventions may be time consuming, complicated and costly. Its use may be more appropriate in areas where rapid behaviour change is not necessary.



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