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PSYCHOLOGY - Nudges and Behavior Change

Executive Summary

This paper presents different theories, techniques, and models of behavior change which provide significant information and summarize some of the cross-cutting themes and central elements of the behavior change. Different theories and models of the behavior change reviewed under the human behavior and social science discipline. On the other hand role of technology also studied to support the behavior change. This will help human beings in understanding the systematic approaches of behavior change interventions which further helps them in applying their behavior to their real world challenges.

Introduction

It has been observed that the behavior contributes to the present morbidity and the mortality. The changes interventions of the behavior are significant in the prevention. The change interventions of the behavior are mainly complicated, and it comprises the various components. Further, according to the reports, it has been observed that the change interventions of the behavior are effective, but people do not understand appropriately that the effectiveness is being defined as the variable. The theories and the techniques which are ineffective are being used more by the individuals as compared to the effective theories, and the techniques are not used adequately. Moreover, the effective techniques, theories and the models of behavior change are being discussed along with the role of technology in order to support the change of behavior. Furthermore, systematic design processes will be discussed in order to create the effective interventions of change. Also, the ability to design, develop and further the application of the change interventions of the behavior to the scenarios of real-world will be discussed along with the various challenges.

Theories, Techniques, and Models of Behavior Change

The theory of reasoned action and the planned behavior

This theory is one of the most broadly applied theories of behavior. The theory acts as the behavior’s predictor. Further, the theory is used in order to predict the behavior and analyze the behavior. It has been observed that the theory can augur around 30 percent of the behavior's variance that is being brought through interventions (Montano, D. E., & Kasprzyk, D. 2015). Moreover, as the theory helps in predicting the behavior, it is a great technique in order to unfold the specific influences which are required to be changed. Further, the theory can be used in order to understand the behavior of an individual like what is their intention behind the particular act to which they react. The figure given below will help in understanding that how the theory can be applied in orders to understand the factors of the behavior which are required to be changed.

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The health belief model

This is the model of cognition which demonstrates that the behavior is being arbitrated by the numerous beliefs in relation to the threat to the well-being of an individual along with the outcomes and the effectiveness of specific behavior and the actions. The theory also follows the self-efficacy concept along with the action's beliefs. Further, the beliefs are incremented by the stimuli which are considered as action cues that trigger the adaptation of the behavior. The theory helps in identifying the perceived vulnerability and the susceptibility of the individual and the seriousness of the consequences which might result in the outcome. The theory is being used in order to identify the intention of behavior which is being perceived from the threat and the behavior’s effectiveness (Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. 2014).

Trans-theoretical model

This theory is also known as the stages of change, and it is based on the levels of readiness of motivation along with the continuum of the change of behavior. Further, the rationale of this model is that the persons at the same level of the stage might face similar barriers and the problems and this theory helps them by the similar type of intervention. Moreover, the transition among the stages of change can be driven by a balance of the decision and the self-efficacy. Therefore, the theory can be applied adequately when an individual will face the various challenges at various levels.

The social psychological theory

This type of behavior change theory is mainly interested in understanding that how the various experiences and the events external to an individual, for example, the aspects of the physical environment and the various distinct situations persuade the behavior of an individual. Furthermore, the stress is being placed on the various attributes of the social content in which the behavior takes place along with the distinct expectations and the norms of the society, cohesion, stereotypes, dynamics, beliefs and the attitudes (Michie, S., & West, R. 2013). Moreover, the theory can be applied adequately in order to know and identify the different aspects of the behavior and why people give such reactions.

The learning and the behavior theory

This theory helps in demonstrating that the behavior can be transformed by offering incentives, rewards, etc. at the workplace. Further, such type of rewards is being incorporated in the structured schedules of the reinforcement, and the procedure of changes in the behavior is known as the modification in behavior. Furthermore, this type of theory applies external control of great level over social and the physical environment which is being utilized to reinforce the particular behavior (Hagger, M. S., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. 2014). Therefore, the theory is applied adequately in order to understand that to what extent an individual is being influenced by the aspects of the physical and the social environment.

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Role of Technology in Supporting Behavior Change

According to the various theorists, the role of the technology is being considered and appreciated for the practical and the scientific reasons. Further, it is very important for the change interventions of the behavior create a sound basis for the science. The technology is required to offer the effective and the impactful interventions along with the guidance in order to ensure that the interventions are being used effectively. Moreover, the behavior is being measured and defined as the intervention’s outcome as compared to various other results. It has been observed that the behavior change requires the reliable technology along with the theory. The technology plays the significant role in the change interventions of the behavior effectively.

The future and the contemporary technology will keep offering various opportunities in order to develop distinct kinds of the applications of software for the change of the behavior and further supports the change in the positive and the effective way (Oinas-Kukkonen, H. 2013). Further, it is important for the developers of the software and the users in order to be aware of the approaches and the applications of the technology or the software in order to use them efficiently for the purpose of behavior change. The computer science helps in understanding the behaviors of the individual that are being influenced by the technology towards the change interventions. If we take an example of the workplace, then we can clearly understand that technology does not have their intention and the management of the workplace plays a crucial role in influencing the behavior like by giving authority to the employees to handle the software or giving them the access in order to operate, etc.

The approach of autogenously is being used by the individuals in which they use the technology in order to change their behavior and the attitude by developing their own level of motivation. Therefore, the technology plays an essential role in supporting the change interventions of the behavior positively and effectively.

Systematic Design Processes to Create Effective Change Interventions

According to the theorists, there are various design processes in order to develop the change interventions, but the COM-B is the most effective systematic design for the change interventions. The framework helps in understanding the framework in depth. Further the causal connection in the system works in order to amplify and minimize the impact of the specific interventions resulting to changes in the behavior. The framework offers a basis to create change interventions in order to change the behavior. Furthermore, if the framework is applied to the design of the intervention, then the task will include the target of the behavior and the components which will be required by the system for the purpose of change interventions of behavior.

Moreover, the system does not place any priority on the perception of the group, individual and the environment. The external and the internal factors have the equivalent status in order to control and further change the behavior (Larsen et al., 2016). The system helps in understanding that what are the components required for the process of change intervention and what will be the effect of such components on the individuals after the completion of the process of change interventions. For example, while targeting the individual trait of the behavior, the barrier will be capability, and in order to overcome the challenge, the opportunity and the motivation are required to a great extent.

The behavior is being generated by the three aspects and further it is possible to create sub-divisions which will capture the significant information about the traits of the behavior. This framework helps in differentiating between the psychological and the physical capability in order to create an effective change intervention of behavior. Further, it is being observed that the two types of opportunities i.e. social and the physical are being afforded by the milieu of the culture and the environment respectively. Moreover, in respect to the motivation, the reflective and the automatic procedures are being differentiated which further involves impulses and the emotions from the dispositions of the innate. The figure given below helps in understanding the systematic design process of COM-B.

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REFERENCES

Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2014). Organization development and change. Cengage learning.

Hagger, M. S., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. (2014). An integrated behavior change model for physical activity. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 42(2), 62-69.

Larsen, K. R., Michie, S., Hekler, E. B., Gibson, B., Spruijt-Metz, D., Ahern, D., ... & Yi, J. (2016). Behavior change interventions: the potential of ontologies for advancing science and practice. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 1-17.

Michie, S., & West, R. (2013). Behaviour change theory and evidence: a presentation to Government. Health Psychology Review, 7(1), 1-22.

Montano, D. E., & Kasprzyk, D. (2015). Theory of reasoned action, theory of planned behavior, and the integrated behavioral model. Health behavior: Theory, research and practice.

Oinas-Kukkonen, H. (2013). A foundation for the study of behavior change support systems. Personal and ubiquitous computing, 17(6), 1223-1235.

Need, W.C.D.H.P., 2006. Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage.