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      Health goal priming as a situated intervention tool: how to benefit from nonconscious motivational routes to health behaviour

      a , b , *

      Health Psychology Review

      Routledge

      Behaviour change, priming, nudging, intervention, self-regulation, nonconscious processes

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          ABSTRACT

          Recent research has shown the limited effects of intentions on behaviour, so that novel methods to facilitate behaviour change are needed that do not rely on conscious intentions. Here, it is argued that nonintentional effects on health behaviour, such as the effects of habits, impulses, and nonconscious goals, occur through the activation of cognitive structures by specific situations. Interventions should therefore be situated to change these effects, either by changing the critical cognitive structures (training interventions), or by changing which cognitive structures get activated (cueing interventions). The current article presents this framework for situated interventions, as well as examples of interventions of each type. Then, it introduces goal priming as a cueing intervention tool to activate health goals and thus facilitate healthier behaviour, even in tempting situations that typically activate short-term hedonic goals. Following a review of empirical evidence, five principles for the effective application of health goal primes are proposed, namely (1) to target individuals who value the primed goals, (2) by activating their specific motivation, (3) through effective cues (4) that attract attention at the right time. Finally, (5) an effective goal-directed behaviour needs to be known and accessible to the primed individual. These principles are illustrated with examples of different health behaviours in order to facilitate their application for successful behaviour change.

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          Most cited references 88

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          Reflective and impulsive determinants of social behavior.

          This article describes a 2-systems model that explains social behavior as a joint function of reflective and impulsive processes. In particular, it is assumed that social behavior is controlled by 2 interacting systems that follow different operating principles. The reflective system generates behavioral decisions that are based on knowledge about facts and values, whereas the impulsive system elicits behavior through associative links and motivational orientations. The proposed model describes how the 2 systems interact at various stages of processing, and how their outputs may determine behavior in a synergistic or antagonistic fashion. It extends previous models by integrating motivational components that allow more precise predictions of behavior. The implications of this reflective-impulsive model are applied to various phenomena from social psychology and beyond. Extending previous dual-process accounts, this model is not limited to specific domains of mental functioning and attempts to integrate cognitive, motivational, and behavioral mechanisms.
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            Does changing behavioral intentions engender behavior change? A meta-analysis of the experimental evidence.

            Numerous theories in social and health psychology assume that intentions cause behaviors. However, most tests of the intention- behavior relation involve correlational studies that preclude causal inferences. In order to determine whether changes in behavioral intention engender behavior change, participants should be assigned randomly to a treatment that significantly increases the strength of respective intentions relative to a control condition, and differences in subsequent behavior should be compared. The present research obtained 47 experimental tests of intention-behavior relations that satisfied these criteria. Meta-analysis showed that a medium-to-large change in intention (d = 0.66) leads to a small-to-medium change in behavior (d = 0.36). The review also identified several conceptual factors, methodological features, and intervention characteristics that moderate intention-behavior consistency.
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              Creating healthy food and eating environments: policy and environmental approaches.

              Food and eating environments likely contribute to the increasing epidemic of obesity and chronic diseases, over and above individual factors such as knowledge, skills, and motivation. Environmental and policy interventions may be among the most effective strategies for creating population-wide improvements in eating. This review describes an ecological framework for conceptualizing the many food environments and conditions that influence food choices, with an emphasis on current knowledge regarding the home, child care, school, work site, retail store, and restaurant settings. Important issues of disparities in food access for low-income and minority groups and macrolevel issues are also reviewed. The status of measurement and evaluation of nutrition environments and the need for action to improve health are highlighted.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Health Psychol Rev
                Health Psychol Rev
                RHPR
                rhpr20
                Health Psychology Review
                Routledge
                1743-7199
                1743-7202
                1 October 2016
                19 May 2016
                : 10
                : 4
                : 408-424
                Affiliations
                [ a ]Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Glasgow , Glasgow, UK
                [ b ]Department of Psychology, Utrecht University , Utrecht, The Netherlands
                1183506
                10.1080/17437199.2016.1183506
                5214881
                27144729
                © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 98, Pages: 17
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                Special Section on Non-Consious Processes in Health Psychology

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