Health Behavior Research Paper

Health Behavior Research Paper

Health Behavior Research Paper

Several theories and models have been developed over the years in order to explain how people change their behavior and to identify the main factors facilitating change. Researchers in social psychology and environmental psychology – a field of psychology relatively new – are particularly interested in primary sources of influence that motivate people to change their behavioral repertoire (Shumaker, 2009). Many individuals, who, during a personal approach more or less structured, have adopted a behavior and then abandon it after a few weeks, months or years. To be successful, behavior change must be maintained, this requires a considerable amount of time, effort and energy. Several researchers agree that one of the most important steps in the process of behavior change is the beginning, and that difficulty fighting the inertia and indifference, caused by the lifestyle of the individual, is often the biggest barrier that is encountered.Health Behavior Research Paper

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The relationship between attitudes and behavior

From the early 1860s, psychologists have studied the relationship between the attitudes of a person and his behavior. The many studies conducted by researchers in social psychology have spawned several theories between 1918 and 1925. Basically, the authors of these theories suggest that attitudes could explain human actions. In this sense, it was considered attitudes as an indicator of likely behavior (DiClemente, 2009). However, in 1935, Gordon W. Allport stipulated that the relationship between attitudes and behavior was not unidirectional, unlike what was then alleged, but rather was multidimensional. By the 1950s, other studies came to support this view and became universal.

The theory of reasoned action (1967, 1980)

Based on these developments, Fishbein and Ajzen their united force to devise a method to predict human behavior. To do this, they assumed that humans were usually rational and logical, and they used routinely available information.Health Behavior Research Paper Following the reasoning of the two researchers, people consider the consequences of their actions before deciding whether or not they adopt a certain behavior (Glanz, 2002). They have come to develop a theory which they believe could predict and understand the behaviors and attitudes. This theory, which they named the theory of reasoned action suggests that the intention to act is an indicator of behavior more important than attitudes. According to this theory, attitudes interact with subjective norms to influence intention to act, which it determines the behavior. As it has already been described in previous work, we will analyze further the second theory that these same authors later developed, that is to say, the theory of planned behavior, which aims to complement and refine the theory first developed.

The theory of planned behavior (1988)

After discovering some imperfections in the structure thereof, Ajzen and Fishbein have changed the theory of reasoned action by adding a third element, which is perceived behavioral control. This concept is defined by the individual’s belief in the idea that it will be easy or not to adopt a certain behavior.Health Behavior Research Paper


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