Helicopter overview of behaviour change models


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This is a short overview of various models of understanding behaviour and theories of change, which will be analysed in depth using case studies from the countries participating in IEA DSM Task 24 (www.ieadsm.org). The presentation was given at the NZ workshop for Task 24 on February 15, 2013 in Wellington.

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  • past attempts by government to deliver behaviour change have favoured the economic tools of information and incentives (see Demos/Green Alliance 2003, Talbot et al 2007, Lewis 2007). Such interventions plot a linear relationship between government at the centre and individuals, and base their strategy for behaviour change on a rational man approach. Not only is this an incomplete approach but there are social and political norms that limit the degree to which financial levers may be applied. While these linear models have clarity, it is widely noted that in practice information alone is insufficient to lead to action (see eg. Kolmuss and Agyeman 2002, Demos/Green Alliance 2003, Talbot et al 2007). Information is nonetheless prerequisite for many behaviours, as a source of knowledge. Simon evolved the concept of ‘ bounded rationality’ to explain how, even when individuals are pursuing utility, their decision making processes are ‘bounded’ by psychological and environmental constraints Rather than the Gap appearing as a void, it is filled with barriers blocking the progress from values to action. In this model, inaction is not down to information deficit or a lack of rationality; instead, the presupposed decisional flow is blocked by other factors intruding into the process.
  • Includes additional factors beyond attitudes as important predictors of behaviour. But still a value expectancy model. For instance, in a meta-analysis of pro-environmental behaviours, Fliegenschnee and Shelakovsky (1998, in Kolmuss and Agyeman 2002) found that at least 80% of the factors influencing behaviour did not stem from knowledge or awareness.
  • Norms appear in the TRA as ‘subjective norms’, defined as a person’s “perception that most people who are important to him think he should or should not perform the behaviour in question” (Ajzen and Fishbein 1980, in Jackson 2005). Like attitudes, norms are specific to a behaviour. In theories of both personal and social norms, it is held that norms are constantly present in cognitive processes, but that they only exert a significant influence when they become salient. Cialdini makes the important distinction between two types of social norms: ‘descriptive norms’ which specify what is done, based on the observation of the majority of others, and ‘injunctive norms’ which specify what ought to be done. Emotion is already inherent in Schwartz’s concept of personal norms in his Norm Activation Theory (Schwartz 1977). Schwartz’s definition of the Awareness of Consequences (AC) factor driving norm activation is “ a feeling of moral obligation ”, which is explicitly unrelated to intentions. intention and habit represent separate paths to the behavioural outcome. Triandis describes how, as experience of a behaviour is acquired, the influence of habit increases, and that of intention declines Most of these socio-psychological models do not include external factors, such as barriers
  • Triandis TIB has been shown to be a better predictor of behavioural outcomes than other models (including the most used TPB) in behaviours where there is a significant habitual component (eg daily commuting). When behaviour is simply habitual, rational appeals will have no impacts on behavioural outcomes. behaviour can follow a deliberative path (via intentions) and an automatic path (via habits). Triandis chose to measure habits simply through frequency of past behaviour
  • In the NOA model, ‘Opportunities’ include factors external to an individual, ‘abilities’ internal factors – however, cost spans both sets of factors, being a combination of price (‘opportunities’) and available income (‘abilities’). In the face of such evidence it is more appropriate to regard barriers as constructs, reflecting individuals’ perceptions of external limits. The concept of behaviour as social practice reflects this interrelation between internal and external forces in determining our behaviour. behaviour as produced between lifestyles and systems of provision. One sociological approach to energy behaviour looks at behaviour in terms of ‘social practices’. In this approach, the individual is no longer taken to be the unit of enquiry . Instead focus is moved to the actions (or practices) themselves. Materials: Physical objects which permit or facilitate certain activities to be performed in specific ways (such as the move away from cups and saucers to mugs, the introduction of the teabag removing the need for a teapot, the introduction of the electric kettle). Meanings: Images, interpretations or concepts associated with activities that determine how and when they might be performed (such as the notion of a tea-break which posits tea as a refreshing or revitalising activity, or associations with times of day such as ‘English Breakfast T ea’). Procedures: Skills, know-how or competencies that permit, or lead to activities being undertaken in certain ways (such as “one for each person and one for the pot”, “milk first or after?” or the art of the Japanese Tea Ceremony).
  • Lewin’s Change Theory description of an unfreezing/refreezing process in changing behaviour, whereby habitual behaviour is exposed to scrutiny by the group before being allowed to fall back into position in day to day life, but based on altered group standards. Lewin’s metaphor of behaviour is that of the flow of a river. Diffusion of Innovations Network Theory Shared Learning Systems Thinking
  • 1) Lewin - habit ensures that behaviour remains consistent and was in line with group standards. To change habits, it means revealing, then adjusting the group standards which underpin them. ‘Emotional stir up which breaks the shell of complacency’. Gather a group of people, discuss an issue they have in common, make commitments in front of each other to adopt new behaviour. 2) Concept of cueing - if you change the context in which a behaviour occurs you will disrupt the cueing process. Eg avoid places where unwanted habits have occured or people who they occurred with. Needs interventions that are designed to interrupt the cueing process 3) If-then plans which individuals adopt and rehearse - write a plan based on a deliberative response to a specific contextual cue (eg if situation x occurs I will do z) 4) Teachable moments eg having a baby, moving house, moving out of parent’s home, retiring etc. Different to other 3 as thinking on habits doesn’t shape the intervention but informs its delivery. It shapes the context of the intervention (timing) but not the content of the activities. Theory consistent with thinking from practice theory.
  • - but these are not barriers or drivers but emergent properties of that social world revealed through the practice they sustain
  • Giddens’ Theory of Structuration - puts practice at centre of field of enquiry and shows ongoing interaction of individuals on one side and rules and resources which we perceive in society on the other LOOPED vs TIB is LINEAR
  • Helicopter overview of behaviour change models

    1. 1. social media XXIV and IEA DSM Task 24 Subtasks of TASK Task XXIVHelicopter overview of models and theories of behaviour change Dr Sea Rotmann, Operating Agent NZ expert workshop, February 15, 2013
    2. 2. subtask ISubtaskPremise for Task XXIV I - Helicopter Overview • Overview of models, theories, frameworks used in case studies • Overview of definitions • Inventory of experts • Inventory of evaluation metrics and contexts • Navigation tool to translate theory to be useful by practitioners 2
    3. 3. some definitions SubtaskPremise for Task XXIV I - Helicopter OverviewModels of behaviour help us to understand specificbehaviours, by identifying the underlying factorswhich influence them.There are individualistic models and social models.By contrast, theories of change show howbehaviours change over time, and how they can bechanged.Behavioural theory is diagnostic, and change theoryis more pragmatic.Both are important to understand when designinginterventions. 3
    4. 4. feedback from workshops Subtasks of Task XXIV
    5. 5. some caution SubtaskPremise for Task XXIV I - Helicopter Overview Models are concepts, not representations ofbehaviour There is a limit to how far models willstretch Models don’t tend to differentiate betweenpeople Factors don’t always precede behaviour Factors are not barriers 5
    6. 6. howSubtasks of Task XXIV to frame the models
    7. 7. how to chose the most Subtasks of Task XXIV appropriate models Developed from Chatterton and Wilson (2011)
    8. 8. main models SubtaskPremise for Task XXIV I - Helicopter OverviewINDIVIDUALISTIC (A-B-C Models)Rational choice models based on cost-benefit calculations(classical economics)Information deficit models are based on linear assumptions:information generates knowledge, which shapes attitudes, whichlead to behaviour (classical economics)Bounded rationality models include psychological principles suchas cognitive biases and environmental constraints (behaviouraleconomics)Value Action Gap shows the difference of what people say andwhat they do (social psychology) 8
    9. 9. main models SubtaskPremise for Task XXIV I - Helicopter OverviewINDIVIDUALISTICTheory of Planned Behaviour (social psychology) 9
    10. 10. main models SubtaskPremise for Task XXIV I - Helicopter OverviewINDIVIDUALISTICValue Belief Norms Theory (social psychology)Cialdini’s Focus Theory of Normative Conduct (socialpsychology)Schwartz’ Norm Activation Theory (socialpsychology)Triandis’ Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour includeshabit (social psychology) 10
    11. 11. psychology SubtaskPremise for Task XXIV I - Helicopter OverviewDUAL PROCESS Models of CognitionTriandis’ Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour (TIB)(social psychology) 11
    12. 12. main models SubtaskPremise for Task XXIV I - Helicopter OverviewSOCIALLY ORIENTED MODELSNeeds Opportunities Abilities Theory (sociology)Theory of Consumption as Social Practices (socio-technical studies) 12
    13. 13. sociology SubtaskPremise for Task XXIV I - Helicopter OverviewPractice Theory (worked example line drying) 13
    14. 14. theories of change SubtaskPremise for Task XXIV I - Helicopter Overview Central to many conceptions of change is themerging of theory and practice. Applied approaches: Social Marketing,Intervention Mapping, Defra’s 4 E Model etc 14
    15. 15. changing habits - SubtaskPremise for Task XXIV I - Helicopter Overview individuals Unfreezing/Refreezing Vigilant Monitoring Implementation Intentions==> But: individuals need to be pre-motivated,they need to be done quickly and intensely andthey may not be easily scaleable Moments of Change 15
    16. 16. changing habitsXXIV SubtaskPremise for Task - practice I - Helicopter Overview Re-arrange the elements that hold certainpractices together Social practices are by their nature habitual andarise from interaction of people with social world(looped feedback) People are not originators of behaviour, butcarriers of practice which they reproduce Have to address elements in social world whichsupport a particular practice 16
    17. 17. TheoryI -of change - practice SubtaskPremise for Task XXIV Helicopter Overview 17
    18. 18. examples in task 24 SubtaskPremise for Task XXIV I - Helicopter OverviewTheory of Planned Behaviour - fuelconsumption (CH)Norm Activation Model - transport(CH)MINDSPACE - building retrofits (UK)Energy Cultures - building retrofits(NZ) 18