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What are health-related behaviours? Suggest three different health-related behaviours.

Anything that may promote good health or lead
to illness...such as smoking, drinking, practising safe sex.


What are the three main theories that attempt to explain learned behaviour?

-Classical conditioning
-Operant conditioning
-Social learning theory (more complex than other two)


Describe what is meant by the theory of classical conditioning?

Associations are made between a cause and an effect. If you can add something to this association then eventually this new thing will generate the effect without the need for the cause. (Pavlov's dogs with the bell)


Describe what is meant by the theory of operant conditioning?

Behaviours that are to be promoted are rewarded (or the punishment removed), while behaviours that are to be prohibited are punished (or the reward is removed).


Suggest how clinicians may be able to exploit classical conditioning in order

-Take drug that makes you sick when drinking alcohol (disulfiram) and eventually associate alcohol with feeling awful
-Rubber band on pack of cigarettes breaks the unconscious reflex of needing one on your break


Why is operant conditioning thought to be implicated in negative health-related behaviours?

Short term reward for drinking, smoking, banging - long term mebs not so good.


What are some of the criticisms given to classical and operant conditioning?

-Based on simple stimulus-response association with no consideration for cognitive processes, knowledge, beliefs,
memory, attitudes, expectations etc.
-No account of social context


How may operant conditioning be used to target negative health-related behaviours?

Money saved from not doing them goes in a jar and is used as a reward.


Describe social learning theory.

Learn from the environment around you and attempt to model your behaviour based on the people around. (more significant if you they are high status etc.) The idea is that you mimic behaviours that are rewarded and mimic behaviours you think you can do.


What are the two main social cognition models significant to peoples action around healthcare?

-Health belief model
-Theory of planned behaviour


Describe the health belief model.

There are three things that determine why people will seek help/perform an action:
-Beliefs about health-related behaviour (what are the benefits, what are the barriers to me doing something)
-Beliefs about health threat (perceived susceptibility and severity)
-Cues to action (posters, advice etc.)


What is cognitive dissonance theory?

There is a feeling of discomfort when you hold inconsistent beliefs or actions/events don’t match your beliefs. To reduce this discomfort you have to change your beliefs.


Suggest some possible limitations of the health belief model.

-Are they reasonable and rational enough to accept these things and fully weigh up all the options?
-Habit, conditioned behaviour and coercion all play a role in whether there will be an action/whether the person can fully understand an action
-Emotional factors such as fear, depression can alter when people will choose to take action


Describe the theory of planned behaviour.

This is the idea that many factors (beliefs about outcome, beliefs about what is normal, beliefs about amount of control) all come together to determine your intention of making a change. This intention should then translate into a behaviour.


Critically evaluate the theory of planned behaviour.

This theory is great at describing what people's intentions are, however, it doesn't manage to understand or explain the difficulties of moving from intention to behaviour. There are factors that go beyond the control of what people intend/want to do. (imagine revision right now, you may intend to do all of health psych tonight but then you realise that Superbad is on TV and you are like nahhhh...intention does not always translate into behaviour.


Describe the stages of change (transtheoretical) model of altering health-related behaviours.

-Pre-contemplation – not considering a change
-Contemplation – is my health-related behaviour causing me problems?
-Preparation – I should probably reduce/stop my health-related behaviour
-Action – I have reduced by health-related behaviour
-Maintenance – I really shouldn't start do as much of that health-related behaviour
-Relapse – Shit, I didn't mean to do that health-related behaviour anymore, ahh well what can you do YOLO!

And the cycle goes round and round like this forever.


Describe which specific technique a general practitioner may employ in order to get a patient to reduce how much they smoke.

Motivational interviewing - guiding a patient to consider a change and question their own behaviour without you being the one to suggest it (watch the film Inception, MI is like a really shitty NHS version of that)