Behaviour Change
Past & current theories of how to get people from thinking
to doing
Part 3 of 3
Corinne Hodgson
Corinne S. Hodgson & Associates Inc.
November, 2013
 Part 1
 Traditional theories such as Transtheoretical Model,
Model of Reasoned Action/Planned Behaviour, and
Social Cognitive Theory
 Opportunities from other areas of psychology:
achievement theory, self theory, and self-determination
 Part 2: Health Action Process Approach and SelfRegulation
 Part 3: New models from interactive health (Fogg,
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Fogg Behavioural Model
B = mat
To get a specific Behaviour you need at the same time
Sufficient level of Motivation +
Sufficient level of Ability +
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Activation Threshold
Hard to Do
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BJ Fogg
Easy to Do
Motivation in Fogg Behavior Model
 Three basic motivators:
 Sensation – pleasure vs. pain
 Anticipation – hope vs. fear
 Social cohesion – social rejection vs. acceptance
 Notice:
 Motivators can be either approach goal (e.g., pleasure)
or avoidance goal (in this case, pain)
 Social cohesion motivator reflects relatedness in SelfDetermination Theory
 How strong is the sense of motivation?
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Ability in the Fogg Behavior Model
 Do you have the skills to change?
 Do you have the resources to change?
Knowledge or skills
Physical or mental resources (think self-regulation!)
 Are you asking the person to do something that is easy or hard?
 “Simplicity is a function of your scarcest resource at that
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Triggers in the Fogg Behavior Model
 Behaviours will not happen without a trigger
 Triggers can be:
 External (e.g., ping on your phone)
 Environmental (e.g., walking into cafeteria triggers urge to eat)
 Internal
 In Fogg model there are 3 types of triggers:
 Facilitator: in situations of high motivation but low ability
 Spark: situations of high ability but low motivation
 Signal: situation of both high ability & motivation
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Fogg Behavior Grid
 15 ways behaviour can change
 Cross-tabulation of 2 dimensions
The time frame
 One-time
 Limited duration
 Permanent change
The type of behaviour change
A new, unfamiliar behaviour
A familiar behaviour
Increasing behaviour intensity or duration
Decreasing behaviour intensity or duration
Stopping a behaviour
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Fogg Behavior Grid/Behavior Wizard
For more information go to
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Behavior Wizard
 For each path, should match target behaviour with solutions
 Examples:
 For Green Dot Behaviour (to do a new behaviour one time), you
need to couple the trigger with a motivational element,
increase ability by explaining the novel behaviour in terms of
one that is familiar, and increase motivation by highlighting
 For Black Path behaviour (e.g., quitting smoking forever), you
need to remove the trigger, reduce the motivation to smoke,
and reduce the ability to smoke.
 For more information, go to
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Hooked (Nir Eyal)
 Basic interest is in creating habit-forming apps and
products but has ramifications for behaviour change –
especially when using digital resources
 Habits are created when there are 4 elements:
1. Trigger
2. Action
3. Variable reward
4. Investment
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Hooked Model
Hooked, How to Build Habit-Forming Products,
Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover
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Trigger in Hooked Model
 External triggers:
Paid triggers such as ads
Earned triggers such as viral videos or news stories
Relationship triggers - recommendation from a friend
Owned trigger – e.g., icon on display or phone
 Internal triggers:
 Emotions such as boredom, loneliness, frustration or
 Desire to be entertained
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Action in Hooked Model
 Whether or not person takes action depends upon
several factors
 Uses Self-Determination Theory (see Part 2) and Fogg
Behavior Model to explain shift from inaction to action
 Simplicity can help movement into action
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Reward in Hooked Model
 Not referring to incentives or virtual rewards such as
virtual badges
 Best reward is anticipation of satisfying a need
 Three types of rewards:
 Rewards of the tribe (think relatedness)
 Rewards of the hunt - the most effective rewards may be
variable so you never know when you’ll be rewarded
 Rewards of the self – Self-Determination Theory’s autonomy
and competence
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Investment in the Hooked Model
 More time and effort a person puts into an activity,
product or service, they more he/she will value it
 The more effort and time a person puts into something,
the more likely they are to consistently do it/use it
 The greater the investment, the greater the likelihood of
responding to the next trigger
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Curiosities of science - 1
 Don’t ask people how they are doing in making
changes (progress reports)
 Why not:
 Focuses on performance rather than effort (entity
rather than growth mindset)
 Reminding people of how good they’ve been gives them
“license to sin”
 Alternative: ask people to reiterate why they want to
change (reinforce expectancies & motivation)
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Curiosities of science - 2
 Both good & bad behaviours are contagious in social
networks (e.g., spread of obesity – see Christakis &
Fowler NEJM 2007 video; Gladstone’s The Tipping Point)
 Don’t reinforce negative behaviours by suggesting they
are the norm (e.g., “ over 60% of Canadians are
 Alternatives:
 position target behaviour as the norm
 remind people of their goals to strengthen their immune
response to others’ behaviours
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Curiosities of science - 3
 Don’t tell people to avoid thinking about a negative behaviour (e.g.,
high fat foods)
 Why: The more you try not to think of something:
 the more you will think about it & the more compelling the idea will be
(ironic rebound)
 the more likely you are to do the very behaviour you’re trying to
suppress (e.g., food restrainers are more likely to overeat)
 Alternative (acceptance therapy): don’t try to suppress thought but
recognize it for what it is, remind yourself you don’t have to act on it, &
use breathing and positive imagery to control your physiological
reaction to it
 Lavel University study found Health-At-Any-Size approach emphasizing
what people can eat & do led to better long-term weight attitudes &
management than standard dieting approaches (Gagnon-Girouard J
Obesity 2010)
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 Bandura A. Self-Efficacy in Changing Societies. Cambridge University Press (1995)
 Decci EL, Ryan RM (eds). Handbook of Self-Determination Research. University of
Rochester Press (2002)
 Elliot AJ, Dweck CS (eds). Handbook of Competence and Motivation. Guildford Press
 Glanz K, Rimer BK, Lewis FM (eds). Health and Behavior and Health Education, Theory,
Research, and Practice (3rd ed). Jossey-Bass (2002)
 Haggar MS, NLD Chatzisarantis (eds). Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in
Exercise and Sport. Human Kinetics (2007)
 Heckhausen J, Dweck CS (eds). Motivation and Self-Regulation Across the Life Span.
Cambridge University Press (1998)
 Sansone C, Harackiewicz JM (eds). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation, The Search for
Optimal Motivation and Performance. Academic Press (2000)
 Sheldon KM, Williams G, Joiner T. Self-Determination Theory in the Clinic, Motivating
Physical and Mental Health. Yale University Press (2003)
 Stroebe W. Dieting, Overweight and Obesity, Self-Regulation in a Food-Rich
Environment. American Psychological Association (2008)
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Other Key Resources
 Dan Bailis research:
PDF of Powerpoint
YouTube of presentation
 Baumeister RF, Gaillot M, DeWall CN, Oaten M. Self-regulation and personality: how interventions
increase regulatory success, and how depletion moderates the effects of traits on behavior. J of
Personality 2006;74:1773-1802
 Sniehotta FF, Scholz U, Schwarzer R. Bridging the intention-behaviour gap: Planning, self-efficacy,
and action control in the adoption and maintenance of physical exercise. Psychology & Health
 Hofmann W, Baumeister RF, Forster G, Vohs KD. Everyday temptations: an experience sampling
study of desire, conflict, and self-control. J of Personality & Social Psychology 2012;102:1318-1335
 Boudreax MJ, Ozer DJ. Goal conflict, goal striving, and psychological well-being. Motivation and
Emotion. 2013;37:433-443
 Webb TL, Joseph J, Yardley L, Michie S. Using the internet to promote health behavior change: a
systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of theoretical basis, use of behavior change
techniques, and mode of delivery on efficacy. JMIR 2010;12(1):e4
 Michie S, Prestwich A. Are interventions theory-based? Development of a theory coding scheme.
Health Psychology 2010;29:1-8
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Corinne Hodgson
Corinne S. Hodgson & Associates Inc.
[email protected]
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