What are health-related behaviours?
Health-related behaviours are anything that may promote good health or lead to illness e.g. smoking, drinking, drug use, exercise, healthy diet, safe sex
Why is there a concern about health-related behaviour?
- At least 1/3 of all disease burden in the developed world is caused by tobacco, alcohol, BP, obesity and cholesterol
- Behaviour risk factors are responsible for 80% of CHD and cerebrovascular disease
Identify 7 behaviours that promote longevity
- Sleep 7-8 hours a night
- Don’t smoke
- Eat breakfast
- Near your “ideal” weight
- Don’t eat between meals
- Regular exercise
- Drink alcohol in moderation/not at all
Classical conditioning is a learning theory to help understand people’s health-related behaviour.
Classical conditioning: behaviours can become linked to unrelated stimuli
E.g. behaviours such as smoking & drinking can become unconsciously paired with environment (work break) or emotions (anxiety)
Which aversive techniques can arise from classical conditioning?
- Pairing a behaviour with an unpleasant response
E.g. Alcohol & medication to induce nausea (nausea is result of medication + alcohol but comes to be associated with alcohol)
- Break unconscious response – change habits
What are the limitations of conditioning theories?
No account of social context, cognitive processes, knowledge, beliefs, memory, attitudes, expectations etc.
Operant conditioning is a learning theory to help understand people’s health-related behaviour.
Operant conditioning: behaviour is shaped by the consequences (reward or punishment)
- Behaviour increases if it is rewarded / a punishment is removed
- Behaviour decreases if it is punished / a reward is removed
What are the limitations of operant conditioning?
- Unhealthy behaviours immediately rewarding e.g. alcohol, smoking, chocolate, unsafe sex
- Driven by short term rewards
Social learning theory is a learning theory to help understand people’s health-related behaviour.
- Social learning theory: people can learn vicariously (observation/ modelling)
- We learn what behaviours are rewarded, and how likely it is we can perform behaviour, from observing others
What are the positives and negatives of social learning theory?
- Negative: harmful behaviours will be modelled e.g. drinking, drug use, unsafe sex
- Positive: peer modelling / education, celebrities in health promotion campaigns
Cognitive dissonace theory is a social cognition model to help understand people’s health-related behaviour.
Cognitive dissonance theory: discomfort when actions/events don’t match beliefs
- Either reduce discomfort by changing beliefs or behaviour
- Or provide health information which creates mental discomfort prompts behaviour changes
The theory of planned behaviour is a social cognition model to help understand people’s health-related behaviour.
What are the limitations of the Theory of Planned Behaviour?
- Good predictor of intentions but poor predictor of behaviour
- Problem with translating intentions into behaviour
The stages of change model is a transtheoretical model to help understand people’s health-related behaviour.
- Stages of change model – 5 stages which people may pass through over time in decision making / change
- The way people think about health behaviours, & willingness to change their behaviour, are not static