While awareness of social, health and environmental consequences of our collective action are growing, additional efforts are required to deliver the changes needed to affect the greater good. A review of the literature indicates that research efforts may be misdirected. Drawing from empirical data where a total of 161 caregivers reported changes in their child’s walking behaviour following a month long social marketing program, the purpose of this paper is to illustrate differences between behaviour and behaviour change.
Data analyses involved use of multiple linear regression on static followed by dynamic measures of behaviour and behavioural change and their respective determinants. The static model used variables reported by caregivers after program participation, while the dynamic measures used change scores for all variables reported (T2-T1).
Results from the static model showed that only intentions and barriers explained behaviour at Time point 2. In contrast, findings from the dynamic data analysis indicated that a change in injunctive norms (important others’ approval of the child walking to school) explained a change in walking to and from school behaviour. Taken together, the results of the current paper suggest research attention needs to be directed towards dynamic methodologies to re-centre research attention on behavioural change and not behaviour, which dominates current practice.
This paper offers a foundational step to support the research community to redirect research efforts from understanding behaviour to focussing research design and theoretical development on behavioural change. Theories of behaviour change are needed to affect the greater good.
The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) funded and supported this research. The funders played no role in study design, collection, analysis, interpretation of data or in the decision to submit the paper for publication. They accept no responsibility for contents.
David, P. and Rundle-Thiele, S. (2019), "Rethinking behaviour change: a dynamic approach in social marketing", Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 252-268. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSOCM-10-2018-0113Download as .RIS
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