From changing cognitions to changing the context: a dual-route model of behaviour change
I Vlaev and
Working Papers from Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School
Existing theories of behaviour change in psychology and behavioural economics rely mostly on changing cognitions and incentives as a route to altering behavioural responses. We propose a more general reflective-automatic model (RAM), which postulates that, in addition to cognitive change, interventions can also rely exclusively on contextual change as an alternative route to behaviour change. RAM is a dual-process model which assumes that these two routes rely predominantly on different information processing systems â€“ the reflective system is in charge of changing cognitions and the automatic system responds to changing the context. We also identify four processes: salience, norms, affect, and priming (SNAP), which can bring about behaviour change by relying mainly on the automatic system. The SNAP processes might be important targets for population-wide behaviour change initiatives and have important implications for psychological research, health promotion and policy analysis
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