An integrated approach towards behavior-change: the influence of implicit and explicit cognitions on red-meat consumption


  • C. Muschalik
  • I. Elfeddali
  • H. de Vries


Background: Social-cognitive models which focus on explicit cognitions are mostly used to explain and change health-related behaviors. However, many aspects of behavior are controlled by less conscious and automatic cognitions. Although confirmed by research, there have been hardly any attempts to integrate implicit attitudes in theories that are used for health promotion. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between implicit attitudes and explicit cognitions, and to integrate both explicit and implicit cognitions in a unified model that predicts red meat consumption. Method: A quantitative longitudinal study, consisting of a baseline measure and two follow-ups will be conducted among 1000 persons. The baseline and follow-ups are composed of a reaction-time task to assess implicit attitudes and a questionnaire to assess explicit cognitions and red meat consumption. Multiple hierarchical regressions will be used to assess moderations between implicit and explicit factors such as attitudes, norms and self-efficacy. Expected results: Based on a former study concerning physical activity, we expect implicit attitudes to moderate the relations between explicit cognitions and intention. Current stage of work: The questionnaire and the reaction-time task are currently prepared. The first data collection will be in March 2017. Discussion: Social-cognitive theories explain around 40% of variance in behavior. More research is needed to assess factors which may explain additional variance, and automatic cognitions such as implicit attitudes are strong candidates. If these could be integrated in social-cognitive theories, this would aid in the development of even better and more successful interventions for behavior change.





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