Keynote – Martin Hagger

How theories from psychology and behavioural science can inform the development of effective interventions to promote health behaviour. (esityksen diat pdf-versionamartinhagger_keynote_25102016 )

Martin S. Hagger, Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine Research Group, School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia

Many chronic illnesses and conditions linked to premature death and long-term impairments in functioning and quality of life have behavioural origins. Research has suggested that engaging in a suite of four behaviours (engaging in regular physical activity, following a healthy diet, drinking alcohol only in moderation, and not smoking) is associated with an 11 year increase in life expectancy. Interventionists and health care professionals have turned to behavioural science to identify the psychological factors associated with health behaviour engagement. These theories provide a basis for identifying the antecedents of health behaviour that serve for targets for interventions. Rather than focusing on a single theory, I present an alternative approach in which theories and processes from psychological theories on motivation, social cognition, volition, and impulsive processes are integrated to produce a comprehensive behaviour-change model for health behaviours (Hagger & Chatzisarantis, 2014).

I will outline the hypotheses underpinning the comprehensive multi-theory model and the psychological factors and processes that impact change in health-related health behaviour. The model integrates hypotheses and processes stipulated in social-cognitive, motivational, dual-phase, and dual-systems theories of motivation. I will provide the conceptual and empirical bases of the model and demonstrate its utility in driving future research and developing effective interventions to promote engagement in health behaviour. The model incorporates three basic processes: motivational, volitional, and implicit, and incorporates them into a single model to predict behaviour. The motivational process has its origins in theories that focus on the organismic and social cognitive factors involved in the development of motives and intentions to engage in health behaviour. The volitional process originates from dual-phase models of action in which behavioural engagement is dependent on processes that enable motivated or intended actions to be fulfilled. The implicit process comprises psychological factors that affect behaviour beyond an individual’s awareness or with little cognitive or deliberative input.

I will outline recent empirical research that incorporates these processes to arrive at more comprehensive explanations of health behaviour change. I will also outline how interventionists can use the model to develop effective theory-based interventions to change health behaviour by matching intervention content and, in particular the strategies and techniques used, to the factors related to health behaviour. The model advances thinking of the complex factors and processes that determine change in health behaviour and provides a basis for future research and intervention to effectively change health behaviour.