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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Behavior Change Technique

Behavior Change Technique, is a theory-based method for changing one or several psychological determinants of behavior such as a person's attitude or self-efficacy. Such behavior change methods are used in behavior change interventions. an entrenched behavior can be remarkably resistant to change. In some sense, each is a successful adaptation that delivers something of value within the uniquely personal context of an individual’s knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values, cultural norms and social environment.
Because motivation arises within these very specific conditions, lasting change can only be achieved through informed interventions that modify the behavioral context to elicit different motivations and reward different decisions. This, in turn, requires a subtle understanding of how behavior develops and why it occasionally changes. Although of course attempts to influence people's attitude and other psychological determinants were much older, especially the definition developed in the late nineties yielded useful insights, in particular four important benefits:
-It developed a generic, abstract vocabulary that facilitated discussion of the active ingredients of an intervention
-It emphasized the distinction between behavior change methods and practical applications of these methods
-It included the concept of 'parameters for effectiveness', important conditions for effectiveness often neglected
-It drew attention to the fact that behavior change methods are influence specific determinants (when developing an intervention, one first has to identify the relevant determinant, and then identify matching behavior change methods, see also the steps in Intervention Mapping).
Traditionally, reports of evaluations of behavior change interventions barely described the actual intervention, making it very difficult to identify the most effective methods. This was increasingly recognized in the late nineties and early twenty-first century, where behavior change methods gained increasing popularity, and another taxonomy was developed and subsequently gained popularity that enabled coding previously published interventions.