Health Belief Model
The health belief model
is a psychological health behavior change
model developed to explain and predict health-related behaviors, particularly in regard to the uptake of health services.
The health belief model was developed in the 1950s by social psychologists at the U.S. Public Health Service
and remains one of the most well-known and widely used theories in health behavior research.
The health belief model suggests that people's beliefs about health
problems, perceived benefits of action and barriers to action, and self-efficacy
explain engagement (or lack of engagement) in health-promoting behavior.
A stimulus, or cue to action, must also be present in order to trigger the health-promoting behavior.
Theory of Planned Behavior
, the theory of planned behavior
is a theory about the link between beliefs and behavior
. The concept was proposed by Icek Ajzen
to improve on the predictive power of the theory of reasoned action
by including perceived behavioural control.
It is one of the most predictive persuasion theories. It has been applied to studies of the relations among beliefs
, attitudes, behavioral intentions
and behaviors in various fields such as advertising
, public relations
, advertising campaigns
The theory states that attitude toward behavior, subjective norms,
and perceived behavioral control, together shape an individual's
behavioral intentions and behaviors.
Diffusion of Innovation Theory
Diffusion of innovations is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas
spread through cultures
. Everett Rogers
, a professor of communication studies
, popularized the theory in his book Diffusion of Innovations
; the book was first published in 1962, and is now in its fifth edition (2003).
The book says that diffusion is the process by which an innovation
is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of
a social system. The origins of the diffusion of innovations theory are
varied and span multiple disciplines. The book espouses the theory that
there are four main elements that influence the spread of a new idea:
the innovation, communication channels, time, and a social system. This
process relies heavily on human capital
The innovation must be widely adopted in order to self-sustain. Within
the rate of adoption, there is a point at which an innovation reaches critical mass
. The categories of adopters are: innovators, early adopters
, early majority, late majority, and laggards (Rogers 1962
p. 150). Diffusion of Innovations manifests itself in different ways in
various cultures and fields and is highly subject to the type of
adopters and innovation-decision process.
Social Cognitive Theory
Social cognitive theory (SCT), used in psychology, education, and
communication, pontificates that portions of an individual's knowledge
acquisition can be directly related to observing
others within the context of social interactions, experiences, and
outside media influences. In other words, people do not learn new
behaviors solely by trying them and either succeeding or failing, but
rather, the survival of humanity is dependent upon the replication of
the actions of others. Depending on whether people are rewarded or
punished for their behavior and the outcome of the behavior, that
behavior may be modeled. Further, media provide models for a vast array
of people in many different environmental settings.
The Transtheoretical Model
The transtheoretical model
of behavior change assesses an
individual's readiness to act on a new healthier behavior, and provides
strategies, or processes of change to guide the individual through the
stages of change to Action and Maintenance.
The transtheoretical model is also known by the abbreviation "TTM" and by the term "stages of change." A popular book, Changing for Good, and articles in the news media
have discussed the model. It is "arguably the dominant model of health
behaviour change, having received unprecedented research attention, yet
it has simultaneously attracted criticism."
Social Norms Theory (Approach)
The social norms approach
, or social norms marketing
is an environmental strategy gaining ground in health campaigns.
While conducting research in the mid-1980s, two researchers, H.W. Perkins
and A.D. Berkowitz
reported that students at a small U.S. college held exaggerated beliefs
about the normal frequency and consumption habits of other students
with regard to alcohol. These inflated perceptions have been found in
many educational institutions, with varying populations and locations.
Despite the fact that college drinking is at elevated levels, the perceived amount almost always exceeds actual behavior 
The social norms approach has shown signs of countering misperceptions,
however research on resulting changes in behavior resulting from
changed perceptions varies between mixed to conclusively nonexistent.