Diverse guidance exists on how to best design and use a TOC. In this curriculum (Theory of Change: Facilitator’s Guide and all accompanying materials), we present one method that does its best to align to the requirements of creating a development hypothesis for Development Food Security Activities (DFSA) funded by USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP). Previous experience in program and TOC development, participant feedback from six years of TOPS workshops, and input from the FFP Monitoring and Evaluation Team all helped craft this curriculum. We update it each year to align to the most current FFP guidance for DFSA implementers and to share newly discovered training tips.
“I realized that when you're not in pain or cold or experiencing a powerful emotion like anger or fear, it's very difficult to imagine yourself in that situation,“ he says.
This phenomenon can help us understand why we sometimes act in ways that mystify us, whether it's making an impulsive decision when we're hungry or freezing in a moment when we expected to be assertive.
This week on Hidden Brain, we explore how certain situations cause us to become strangers to ourselves. We hear from people who can't reconcile the person they believe themselves to be with their actions while in the grip of an intense feeling. And we look at the deep psychological mystery that occurs during these moments: no matter how many times we discover the strangers living inside us, the next time always catches us by surprise.
there is no clear consensus on how long it takes to form a habit is because this has nothing to do with the behavior pattern itself and everything to do with the underlying coherence of the values dictating that behavior.
Nearly every major challenge the United States faces—from alleviating unemployment to protecting itself from terrorism—requires understanding the causes and consequences of people’s behavior. Even societal challenges that at first glance appear to be issues only of medicine or engineering or computer science have social and behavioral components. Having a fundamental understanding of how people and societies behave, why they respond the way they do, what they find important, what they believe or value, and what and how they think about others is critical for the country’s well-being in today’s shrinking global world. The diverse disciplines of the social, behavioral, and economic (SBE) sciences ―anthropology, archaeology, demography, economics, geography, linguistics, neuroscience, political science, psychology, sociology, and statistics―all produce fundamental knowledge, methods, and tools that provide a greater understanding of people and how they live.
A habit is not necessarily a single action. Many behaviors that you may want to turn into habits have sub-actions involved in either instigating or executing the behavior. So there are a number of possible entry points to intervene to support the development of that habit.
However, when the ZCCP video was combined with the social nudge : “Many people in your community have also watched this video,’’ the video shifted the perception of social norms towards less acceptance of GBV i.e. people were more likely to believe that their community found GBV unacceptable and more likely to think that their community thought GBV was a serious issue.
To do so, we drew on a theoretical framework which highlights that defaults operate through three channels: first, defaults work because they reflect an implicit endorsement from the choice architect—your company’s HR department, your city’s policy office, your credit card company, your child’s school. Second, defaults work because staying with the defaulted choice is easier than switching away from it. Third, defaults work because they endow decision makers with an option, meaning they’re less likely to want to give it up, now that it’s theirs. As a result, we hypothesized that default designs that trigger more of these channels (also called the three Es: endorsement, ease, and endowment) would be more effective.
In our analysis, we find partial support for this idea. That is, we find that studies that were designed to trigger endorsement (defaults that are seen as conveying what the choice architect thinks the decision maker should do) or endowment (defaults that are seen as reflecting the status quo) were more likely to be effective.
In addition, we find that defaults in consumer domains tend to be more effective, and that defaults in pro-environmental domains (such as green energy defaults) tend to be less effective.
This commentary argues that social marketing and the application of behavioural sciences to policy constitute two converging paths towards better policies. It highlights points of convergence and divergence between both disciplines and the potential benefits of further embedding social marketing principles and methods within the recent trend of applying behavioural sciences to policy.
Fear appeals are effective. The present meta-analysis found that fear appeals were successful at influencing attitudes, intentions, and behaviors across nearly all conditions that were analyzed. Even when a moderator was unrelated to fear appeal effectiveness, fear appeals were still more effective than comparison treatments. Further, there was not one level of any moderator that we tested for which fear appeals backfired to produce worse outcomes relative to the comparison groups.
In a meta-analysis of real-life experiments drawn from food science, nutrition, health economics, marketing and psychology, the authors find that behavioural nudges - facilitating action rather than providing knowledge or inducing feelings - can reduce daily energy intake by up to 209 kcal, the same number of calories as in 21 cubes of sugar.
Social networks provide a powerful approach for health behavior change. This article documents how social network interventions have been successfully utilized for a range of health behaviors including HIV risk practices, smoking, exercise, dieting, family planning, bullying, and mental health. We review the literature that suggests relationship between health behaviors and social network attributes demonstrate a high degree of specificity. The article then examines hypothesized social influence mechanisms including social norms, modeling, and social rewards and the factors of social identity and social rewards that can be employed to sustain social network interventions. Areas of future research avenues are highlighted, including the need to examine and analytically adjust for contamination and social diffusion, social influence versus differential affiliation, and network change. Use and integration of mhealth and face-to-face networks for promoting health behavior change are also critical research areas.
Successfully adopting a complex, positive behavior involves (I) making a DECISION to adopt the new behavior, (II) performing a number of ACTIONs that comprise the new behavior, and (III) ensuring the CONTINUATION of the relevant conditions for success as time passes.
More specifically, a person will very likely engage in a new positive behavior if ten conditions are met.
There are three conditions to meet in the DECISION phase (Considers, Desires, Intends), six conditions to meet for every ACTION (Remembers, Believes, Chooses, Knows, Has, Embodies), and one condition to meet for CONTINUATION (Maintains).
We applied a Hidden Markov Model* (see Figure 1) to examine how and why behaviours did or did not change. The longitudinal repeated measure design meant we knew about food waste behaviour at two points (the amount of food wasted before and after the program), changes in the amount of food wasted reported over time for each household (more or less food wasted) and other factors (e.g. self-efficacy).
By using a new method we could extend our understanding beyond the overall effect (households in the Waste Not Want Not program group wasted less food after participating when compared to the control group).
“Tracking your daily activity with a pedometer, wearable, or smartphone is an important part of any physical activity program,” Patel said by email. “However, it should be combined with other behavior change strategies such as goal-setting, coaching, or social interventions to increase sustainability.”
I started with the raw list of the 175 biases and added them all to a spreadsheet, then took another pass removing duplicates, and grouping similar biases (like bizarreness effect and humor effect) or complementary biases (like optimism bias and pessimism bias). The list came down to about 20 unique biased mental strategies that we use for very specific reasons.
I made several different attempts to try to group these 20 or so at a higher level, and eventually landed on grouping them by the general mental problem that they were attempting to address. Every cognitive bias is there for a reason — primarily to save our brains time or energy. If you look at them by the problem they’re trying to solve, it becomes a lot easier to understand why they exist, how they’re useful, and the trade-offs (and resulting mental errors) that they introduce.
Like the physical properties of the universe, human behavior is complicated. And just as Newton’s Laws describe the motion of physical objects, these Laws of Human Behavior aim to provide a general model for how humans behave. People tend to stick to the status quo unless the forces of friction or fuel push us off of our path; behavior is a function of the person and their environment; every decision includes tradeoffs and the potential for unintended consequences.
Use of natural language to represent behaviour-change theories has resulted in lack of clarity and consistency, hindering com-parison, integration, development and use. This paper describes development of a formal system for representing behaviour-change theories that aims to improve clarity and consistency. A given theory is represented in terms of (1) its component constructs (for example, ‘self-efficacy’, ‘perceived threat’ or ‘subjective norm’), which are labelled and defined, and (2) rela-tionships between pairs of constructs, which may be causal, structural or semantic. This formalism appears adequate to rep-resent five commonly used theories (health belief model, information–motivation–behavioural skill model, social cognitive theory, theory of planned behaviour and the trans-theoretical model).
Although heuristics may not always give the most accurate judgment in social situations, avoiding them is usually not an option. Social heuristics are innate in us, to help us make sense of complex social interactions. Nonetheless, it is crucial to bear in mind that an overreliance on heuristics can potentially result in judgment errors that manifest themselves as social stereotypes.
Theory of Change Online (TOCO) is the only web-based software (no download required) that you can use to design and edit and store your Theory of Change, learn the concepts of theory of change, and capture your outcomes, indicators, rationales and assumptions in an interactive graphical environment.
Often, there's a disproportionate focus on pre-existing attitudes or other exogenous factors explaining why behavioural interventions may not work. In other words, attitudes or other factors got in the way of the intervention being effective. But that's not necessarily the case, as this study suggests.
Instead, it might be the nature of the intervention itself which blocks the behaviour (change).
tories, and their ability to transport their audience, constitute a central part of human life and consumption experience. Integrating previous literature derived from fields as diverse as anthropology, marketing, psychology, communication, consumer, and literary studies, this article offers a review of two decades’ worth of research on narrative transportation, the phenomenon in which consumers mentally enter a world that a story evokes. Despite the relevance of narrative transportation for storytelling and narrative persuasion, extant contributions seem to lack systematization. The authors conceive the extended transportation-imagery model (ETIM), which provides not only a comprehensive model that includes the antecedents and consequences of narrative transportation but also a multidisciplinary framework in which cognitive psychology and consumer culture theory cross-fertilize this field of inquiry. The authors test the model using a quantitative meta-analysis of 132 effect sizes of narrative transportation from 76 published and unpublished articles and identify fruitful directions for further research.
This principle of storytelling (more accurately, story-creating) does not only apply to bizarre YouTube videos featuring shapes. We are all perpetual storytellers in and of our own lives—in fact, we often see our lives as a “journey.” When we tell our friends anecdotes from the past, when we gossip or tell jokes, we are striving to find meaning and order in our lives through storytelling.
Narrative is the basic mode of human interaction and a fundamental way of acquiring knowledge. In the
rapidly growing field of health communication, narrative approaches are emerging as a promising set of tools
for motivating and supporting health-behavior change. This article defines narrative communication and
describes the rationale for using it in health-promotion programs, reviews theoretical explanations of narrative effects and research comparing narrative and nonnarrative approaches to persuasion, and makes recommendations for future research needs in narrative health communication.