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What is meant by "behavior change"?

1. What is meant by "behavior change"? What are some instances of behavior change that can serve as phenomena to be explained or specific targets for intervention?

A common definition is challenging, but one answer could be: Guiding people to stop engaging in behaviors that have negative consequences for them. A frequent theme seems to be that people may want to change the behavior, but do not actually do so – for a host of reasons.

Choosing a set of concrete examples can also help ground the discussion, so that abstract theoretical claims can be spelled out in specific contexts.

Examples of behavior change

Quitting smoking
Increasing physical activity and exercise.
Improving nutrition.
Reducing drinking & Alcoholism.

Reduction in stress, anxiety, depression and sense of subjective well-being.
Medication adherence.
Use of screening practices (e.g. breast cancer, STIs).
Use of better or safer practices (e.g. reducing energy consumption, responsible driving behavior, use of condoms)

Enumerating these examples can also highlight coherent clusters of kinds of behavior change.

One rough distinction in categories of behavior change might be:

(1) Addictive behaviors (may involve issues with self-regulation, automatic habits, delay of gratification)

E.g. Drug abuse; Smoking; Severe Alcoholism; Binge eating.

(2) Non-addictive behaviors people may recognize the value of, but still not actually change (for a host of reasons, such as forgetting, insufficient motivation, or disagreement about the problem's severity.

E.g. Increasing physical activity and exercise. ; Improving nutrition; Reducing Alcohol Consumption; Medication adherence; Screening (e.g. breast cancer, STIs); Safe practices (e.g. reducing energy consumption, responsible driving behavior, use of condoms)