Auld Lang Syne: Success Predictors, Change Processes, and Self-Reported Outcomes of New Year's Resolvers and Nonresolvers

ArticleinJournal of Clinical Psychology 58(4):397-405 · April 2002with 9,545 Reads 
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DOI: 10.1002/jclp.1151 · Source: PubMed
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Abstract
New Year's resolvers (n = 159) and comparable nonresolvers interested in changing a problem later (n = 123) were followed for six months via telephone interviews to determine their self-reported outcomes, predictors of success, and change processes. The two groups did not differ in terms of demographic characteristics, problem histories, or behavioral goals (weight loss, exercise program, and smoking cessation being the most prevalent). Resolvers reported higher rates of success than nonresolvers; at six months, 46% of the resolvers were continuously successful compared to 4% of the nonresolvers. Self-efficacy, skills to change, and readiness to change assessed before January 1 all predicted positive outcome for resolvers. Once into the new year, successful resolvers employed more cognitive-behavioral processes but fewer awareness-generating and emotion-enhancing processes than nonsuccessful resolvers. Discussion centers on the research and intervention opportunities afforded by the annual tradition of resolutions.

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  • ... The beginning of the year is widely documented as a time when millions of people commit themselves with atypical vigor to achieving their goals, such as losing weight, eating more healthfully, quitting smoking, obtaining a better education, and saving more money (Marlatt, and Kaplan, 1972; Norcross, Mrykalo, and Blagys, 2002). The U.S. government actually lists popular New Year's resolutions on its official website and provides resources to help its citizens tackle their goals in the coming year (USA.gov, ...
    ... However, sparse research has investigated naturally-arising points in time when people feel particularly motivated to tackle their goals. Notable exceptions include past work demonstrating increased attention to aspirations at the outset of the New Year (Marlatt and Kaplan, 1972; Norcross et al., 2002) as well as unpublished studies suggesting that people are most likely to think about their health on Mondays (Cross, Peretz, Munoz-LaBoy, Lapp, Shelley, and Rosenfield, 2006; Fry and Neff, 2010). This paper empirically examines whether other points in time, beyond (but including) the start of a new year or week, are associated with increases in aspirational behavior. ...
    ... Such processes are predicted to spur people to pursue aspirational behaviors following temporal landmarks – a hypothesis that we test in Study 2 by examining the frequency of engagement in one important aspirational behavior – exercise. Increasing the frequency of exercise is one of the three most popular New Year's resolutions (Norcross et al., 2002; Schwarz, 1997). Like dieting, regular physical activity helps with weight loss and weight maintenance (Catenacci and Wyatt, 2007). ...
    Article
    Many view the commencement of each New Year as an opportunity for a fresh start, which motivates them to pursue virtuous goals. We demonstrate that this well-known uptick in virtuous behavior following New Year’s is just one example of a broader phenomenon, which we refer to as the 'fresh start effect.' Specifically, special (and mundane) occasions in our lives and calendar events demarcate the passage of time (e.g., a promotion, a birthday, the beginning of a new week/month), creating many breaking points in each year. We show that these breaking points generate fresh start feelings, which are stronger at meaningful discontinuities and motivate subsequent virtuous behavior such as exercise and dieting. We propose and show that the fresh start feelings associated with breaking points originate from a psychological disassociation from our past self and belief that we are more like our ideal selves at the beginning of a new period.
  • ... New Year's resolutions are a common annual tradition for millions of people worldwide (Mukhopadhyay & Johar, 2005;Norcross, Mrykalo, & Blagys, 2002). Every New ...
    ... year (Norcross et al., 2002). Resolutions provide the self-initiated opportunity to change behaviors in the New Year. ...
    ... Year's resolutions already fail within the first months, but some resolutions also succeed (Norcross et al., 2002). Among the most popular resolutions are health-related issues, such as the realization of exercise (Koestner, Lekes, Powers, & Chicoine, 2002;Norcross et al., 2002). ...
  • ... Attrition is a primary barrier to evaluating web-based interventions, with levels often reaching 60% to 80%. Among people seeking treatment for obesity using weight loss programs in medical centers, one-third to half discontinue their program and are lost to follow-up [49,50]. Similarly, over 40% of people seeking treatment through a smoking cessation clinic were lost to follow-up [51], and 48% of web-based smoking cessation individuals were lost to follow-up [52]. ...
    Preprint
    BACKGROUND Emotional exhaustion (EE) in health care workers is common and consequentially linked to lower quality of care. Effective interventions to address EE are urgently needed. OBJECTIVE This randomized single-exposure trial examined the efficacy of a gratitude letter–writing intervention for improving health care workers’ well-being. METHODS A total of 1575 health care workers were randomly assigned to one of two gratitude letter–writing prompts (self- vs other focused) to assess differential efficacy. Assessments of EE, subjective happiness, work-life balance, and tool engagement were collected at baseline and 1-week post intervention. Participants received their EE score at baseline and quartile benchmarking scores. Paired-samples t tests, independent t tests, and correlations explored the efficacy of the intervention. Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software assessed the linguistic content of the gratitude letters and associations with well-being. RESULTS Participants in both conditions showed significant improvements in EE, happiness, and work-life balance between the intervention and 1-week follow-up ( P <.001). The self-focused (vs other) instruction conditions did not differentially predict improvement in any of the measures ( P =.91). Tool engagement was high, and participants reporting higher motivation to improve their EE had higher EE at baseline ( P <.001) and were more likely to improve EE a week later ( P =.03). Linguistic analyses revealed that participants high on EE at baseline used more negative emotion words in their letters ( P =.005). Reduction in EE at the 1-week follow-up was predicted at the level of a trend by using fewer first-person ( P =.06) and positive emotion words ( P =.09). No baseline differences were found between those who completed the follow-up assessment and those who did not ( P s>.05). CONCLUSIONS This single-exposure gratitude letter–writing intervention appears to be a promising low-cost, brief, and meaningful tool to improve the well-being of health care workers.
  • ... We tested whether immediate and delayed rewards predict adherence to New Year's resolutions. People often commit themselves to achieving various goals at the start of a new year (Dai, Milkman, & Riis, 2014;Marlatt & Kaplan, 1972;Norcross, Mrykalo, & Blagys, 2002). Although people typically set New Year's resolutions to achieve a delayed outcome, we predict that the immediate rewards received when pursuing a resolution are a stronger predictor of persistence in the goal than the delayed rewards. ...
    Article
    People primarily pursue long-term goals, such as exercising, to receive delayed rewards (e.g., improved health). However, we find that the presence of immediate rewards is a stronger predictor of persistence in goal-related activities than the presence of delayed rewards. Specifically, immediate rewards (e.g., enjoyment) predicted current persistence at New Year’s resolutions whereas delayed rewards did not (Study 1). Furthermore, immediate rewards predicted persistence in a single session of studying and exercising whereas delayed rewards did not, even though people report primarily pursuing these activities for delayed rewards (Studies 2 and 3). This is true for both short (1 week) and long (3 month) time frames (Study 4), and regardless of whether anticipated or materialized rewards are assessed (Study 5). Overall, whereas delayed rewards may motivate goal setting and the intentions to pursue long-term goals, a meta-analysis of our studies finds that immediate rewards are more strongly associated with actual persistence in a long-term goal.
  • ... Since January is an optimal time to initiate wellness strategies and programs, (Norcross, Mrykalo, & Blagys, 2002), participants received a weekly e-mail health message starting January 2010. As seen in Table 2, the basic messages (sent to the motivated-basic and unmotivatedbasic groups) contained information about the wellness dimension assigned for that week. ...
  • ... Interestingly, the variation in success with which will-power is exercised might be significantly related to the nature of the intention one is attempting to fulfill. For example, forming new year's resolutions predicted significantly more success in changing a problem (Norcross, Mrykalo, and Blagys 2002). Similarly, forming " implementation intentions " (Gollwitzer 1993) predicts significantly more success in fulfilling difficult goals (Gollwitzer & Brandstätter 1997; Koestner, Lekes, Powers, and Chicoine 2002). ...
    Conference Paper
    Armchair and experimental investigations suggest that will-power is related to many variables. For example, will-power can vary with mood, metabolism, and neural function — to name a few. Given that will-power is so multi-faceted, it might be unclear how to make sense of the nature of will-power. In this paper, I describe the nature of will-power as the structure and dynamics of a network. Existing investigations have revealed fragments of this will-power network. And further investigation can reveal addition features of the network. Unlike some descriptions of nature of will-power, the network theory can not only make sense of armchair investigations of will-power, it can unify and make sense of experimental approaches to will-power. These and other reasons are offered in defense of the claim that the network theory of will-power can outshine alternative theories.
  • ... This is a hypothesis that we test in Study 2 by examining the frequency of engagement in one important aspirational behaviorexercise. Increasing the frequency of exercise is one of the three most popular New Year's resolutions (Norcross et al. 2002, Schwarz 1997. Like dieting, regular physical activity helps with weight loss and weight maintenance (Catenacci and Wyatt 2007). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    The popularity of New Year's resolutions suggests that people are more likely to tackle their goals immediately following salient temporal landmarks. If true, this little-researched phenomenon has the potential to help people overcome important willpower problems that often limit goal attainment. Across three archival field studies, we provide evidence of a "fresh start effect." We show that Google searches for the term "diet" (Study 1), gym visits (Study 2), and commitments to pursue goals (Study 3) all increase following temporal landmarks (e. g., the outset of a new week, month, year, or semester; a birthday; a holiday). We propose that these landmarks demarcate the passage of time, creating many new mental accounting periods each year, which relegate past imperfections to a previous period, induce people to take a big-picture view of their lives, and thus motivate aspirational behaviors. Data, as supplemental material, are available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2014.1901.
  • ... Such processes are predicted to spur people to pursue aspirational behaviors following temporal landmarks-a hypothesis that we test in Study 2 by examining the frequency of engagement in one important aspirational behavior-exercise. Increasing the frequency of exercise is one of the three most popular New Year's resolutions ( Norcross et al., 2002;Schwarz, 1997). Like dieting, regular physical activity helps with weight loss and weight maintenance (Catenacci and Wyatt, 2007). ...
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    Full-text available
    We introduce and evaluate the effectiveness of temptation bundling – a method for simultaneously tackling two types of self-control problems by harnessing consumption complementarities. We describe a field experiment measuring the impact of bundling instantly-gratifying but guilt-inducing “want” experiences (enjoying page-turner audiobooks) with valuable “should” behaviors providing delayed rewards (exercising). We explore whether such bundles increase should behaviors and whether people would pay to create these restrictive bundles. Participants were randomly assigned to a full treatment condition with gym-only access to tempting audio novels, an intermediate treatment involving encouragement to restrict audiobook enjoyment to the gym, or a control condition. Initially, full and intermediate treatment participants visited the gym 51% and 29% more frequently, respectively, than control participants, but treatment effects declined over time (particularly following Thanksgiving). After the study, 61% of participants opted to pay to have gym-only access to iPods containing tempting audiobooks, suggesting demand for this commitment device.
  • ... Presently, we get the benefit of both, where after a New Year's party many make a resolution to live their lives, in some way, for the better. In a pair of papers, Norcross and colleagues determined how successful were these resolutions (Norcross, Mrykalo, & Blagys, 2002;Norcross, Ratzin, & Payne, 1989). As our experiences might confirm, there was massive drop off, with only 71% holding true by week two, 64% by February, and only 50% by ...
    Chapter
    Full-text available
    Motivation and goals not only play a central role in work behavior but in every aspect of our daily lives. Unfortunately, the importance of motivation has led to an unwieldy number of theories on the topic, making understanding or advancement difficult. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the basic building blocks of motivation. We examine these building blocks in relation to different phases of goal pursuit. Integrating work from neuroscience and general psychology, we propose that there are three major goal phases: Goal Choice, Goal Planning, and Goal Striving. The resulting framework we call the Goal Phase System (GPS). Using this framework, we show how motivation unfolds differentially across each stage. The GPS provides an integrated account of motivation over time that can provide clarity to conflicting findings in motivation. After integration, we review how most self-regulatory or motivational interventions can be understood as modifying specific elements of the motivational process during discrete goal phases.
  • ... However, doing so successfully is difficult. According to Norcross et al, six months after making a New Year's resolution, only 46% of people were still on track [32]. ...
    Conference Paper
    Specific, achievable plans can increase people's commitment to behavior change and increase their likelihood of success. However, many people struggle to create such plans, and available plans often do not fit their individual constraints. We conducted a study with 22 participants exploring the creation of personalized plans by strangers and friends to support three kinds of behavior change: diet, physical activity, and financial. In semi-structured interviews and analyses of the generated plans, we found that friends and strangers can help create behavior change plans that are actionable and help improve behavior. Participants perceived plans more positively when they were personalized to their goals, routines and preferences, or when they could foresee executing the plans with friends – often the friend who created the plan. Participants felt more comfortable sharing information with strangers and they received more diverse recommendations from strangers than friends.
  • ... Attrition is a primary barrier to evaluating web-based interventions, with levels often reaching 60% to 80%. Among people seeking treatment for obesity using weight loss programs in medical centers, one-third to half discontinue their program and are lost to follow-up [49,50]. Similarly, over 40% of people seeking treatment through a smoking cessation clinic were lost to follow-up [51], and 48% of web-based smoking cessation individuals were lost to follow-up [52]. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Background: Emotional exhaustion (EE) in health care workers is common and consequentially linked to lower quality of care. Effective interventions to address EE are urgently needed. Objective: This randomized single-exposure trial examined the efficacy of a gratitude letter–writing intervention for improving health care workers’ well-being. Methods: A total of 1575 health care workers were randomly assigned to one of two gratitude letter–writing prompts (self- vs other focused) to assess differential efficacy. Assessments of EE, subjective happiness, work-life balance, and tool engagement were collected at baseline and 1-week post intervention. Participants received their EE score at baseline and quartile benchmarking scores. Paired-samples t tests, independent t tests, and correlations explored the efficacy of the intervention. Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software assessed the linguistic content of the gratitude letters and associations with well-being. Results: Participants in both conditions showed significant improvements in EE, happiness, and work-life balance between the intervention and 1-week follow-up (P<.001). The self-focused (vs other) instruction conditions did not differentially predict improvement in any of the measures (P=.91). Tool engagement was high, and participants reporting higher motivation to improve their EE had higher EE at baseline (P<.001) and were more likely to improve EE a week later (P=.03). Linguistic analyses revealed that participants high on EE at baseline used more negative emotion words in their letters (P=.005). Reduction in EE at the 1-week follow-up was predicted at the level of a trend by using fewer first-person (P=.06) and positive emotion words (P=.09). No baseline differences were found between those who completed the follow-up assessment and those who did not (Ps>.05). Conclusions: This single-exposure gratitude letter–writing intervention appears to be a promising low-cost, brief, and meaningful tool to improve the well-being of health care workers. J Med Internet Res 2020;22(5):e15562 doi:10.2196/15562
  • ... Although most people believe they can commit to their resolutions permanently, research findings suggest otherwise. One study found that only 50% of people were successful at upholding their resolutions only one month into the year (Norcross, Ratzin, & Payne, 1989; see also Norcross, Mrykalo, & Blagys, 2002). ...
  • ... & Blagys, 2002 ). Implementation intentions are a useful regulatory strategy for individuals attempting to change their behavior; studies have demonstrated that they are beneficial for goal attainment and precede initiation of health behaviors (e.g., Sheeran & Orbell, 1999 ). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Self-affirmation may offset defensiveness to threatening messages, increase intentions to engage in protective behaviors, and facilitate actual change. Relatively little is known about the conditions under which self-affirmation is most beneficial. The authors examined whether self-affirmation facilitates the forming of implementation intentions–plans to engage in specific steps that facilitate behavior change—and whether effects differ by affective state. Undergraduate female drinkers (N = 265) were self-affirmed or not prior to reading an article linking excessive alcohol consumption to breast cancer susceptibility. They then had the opportunity to report implementation intentions, by listing specific steps they planned to take to reduce consumption. Consistent with predictions, self-affirmation promoted formation of implementation intentions, an effect found only among individuals manifesting positive (as opposed to negative) affect following receipt of the message. Self-affirmation may facilitate behavior change by encouraging development of implementation intentions, an effect that is likely enhanced among those experiencing positive affect.
  • ... However, students were at a healthy weight at baseline, and intervention materials were focused on maintaining a healthy weight; therefore, this is not completely unexpected. Furthermore, the intervention was implemented in the spring semester, a time when people are often making New Year's resolutions to improve their health behaviors [56]. It is unknown whether weight differences would have emerged if the sample had been followed for a longer period. ...
    Article
    Background: Both men and women are vulnerable to weight gain during the college years, and this phenomenon is linked to an increased risk of several chronic diseases and mortality. Technology represents an attractive medium for the delivery of weight control interventions focused on college students, given its reach and appeal among this population. However, few technology-mediated weight gain prevention interventions have been evaluated for college students. Objective: This study examined a new technology-based, social media-facilitated weight gain prevention intervention for college students. Methods: Undergraduates (n =58) in two sections of a public university course were allocated to either a behavioral weight gain prevention intervention (Healthy Weight, HW; N=29) or a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination awareness intervention (control; N=29). All students were enrolled, regardless of initial body weight or expressed interest in weight management. The interventions delivered 8 lessons via electronic newsletters and Facebook postings over 9 weeks, which were designed to foster social support and introduce relevant educational content. The HW intervention targeted behavioral strategies to prevent weight gain and provided participants with a Wi-Fi-enabled scale and an electronic physical activity tracker to facilitate weight regulation. A repeated-measures analysis of variance was conducted to examine within- and between-group differences in measures of self-reported weight control practices and objectively measured weight. Use of each intervention medium and device was objectively tracked, and intervention satisfaction measures were obtained. Results: Students remained weight stable (HW: -0.48+1.9 kg; control: -0.45+1.4 kg), with no significant difference between groups over 9 weeks (P =.94). However, HW students reported a significantly greater increase in the number of appropriate weight control strategies than did controls (2.1+4.5 vs -1.1+3.4, respectively; P =.003) and there was no increase in inappropriate weight control behaviors (P =.11). More than 90% of students in the HW arm opened the electronic newsletters each week, and the average number of Facebook interactions (comments and likes) per student each week was 3.3+1.4. Each self-monitoring device was initialized by 90% of HW students. On average, they used their physical activity tracker for 23.7+15.2 days and their Wi-Fi scale for 14.1+13.1 days over the 9 weeks. HW students rated the intervention favorably. Conclusions: The short-term effect of this technology-based weight gain prevention intervention for college students is promising and merits evaluation over a longer duration to determine whether engagement and behavioral improvements positively affect weight outcomes and can be maintained.
  • ... Seasonal variations across a number of smoking and quitting behaviors have been documented. Most smokers express a desire to quit [1] and many make a quit attempt around the start of the New Year [2][3][4][5][6]. Reports have shown that sales of cigarettes are at their lowest during January and February [7,8] and sales of nicotine replacement therapies are at their highest January through March [9]. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Seasonal variations in smoking and quitting behaviors have been documented, with many smokers seeking cessation assistance around the start of the New Year. What remains unknown is whether smokers who are recruited to cessation treatment trials during the New Year are as motivated to quit, or as likely to enroll in a research trial, adhere to a research protocol, and benefit from a cessation intervention compared to those who are recruited during other times of the year. The objective of this study was to determine whether smokers recruited during the New Year period differ on measures of motivation and desire to quit, recruitment and retention rates, website utilization rates, and short-term cessation outcomes compared to smokers recruited at other times. Participants were current smokers who had registered on a free Web-based cessation program (BecomeAnEX.org) and were invited to participate in a clinical trial. The New Year period was defined according to a clear peak and drop in the proportion of visitors who registered on the site, spanning a 15-day period from December 26, 2012 to January 9, 2013. Two other 15-day recruitment periods during summer (July 18, 2012 to August 1, 2012) and fall (November 7, 2012 to November 21, 2012) were selected for comparison. Data were examined from 3 sources: (1) a Web-based clinical trials management system that automated the recruitment and enrollment process, (2) self-report assessments at baseline and 3 months postrandomization, and (3) online tracking software that recorded website utilization during the first 3 months of the trial. Visitors to BecomeAnEX during the New Year period were more likely to register on the site than smokers who visited during summer or fall (conversion rates: 7.4%, 4.6%, 4.9%, respectively; P<.001), but there were no differences in rates of study acceptance, consent, randomization, 3-month follow-up survey completion, or cessation between the 3 periods. New Year participants were older, more educated, more likely to be employed full time, and more likely to have a relationship partner compared with participants recruited at other times during the year, but did not differ on measures of motivation and desire to quit. Smokers visiting a Web-based cessation program during the New Year period were more likely to register for treatment and differ on several demographic variables, but showed similar patterns of treatment engagement, retention, follow-up, and short-term cessation outcomes compared with participants who visited the site during other periods of the year. These results allay scientific concerns about recruiting participants during this time frame and are reassuring for researchers conducting Web-based cessation trials. ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT01544153; http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01544153 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6KjhmAS9u).
  • ... Given the seemingly ever-growing emphasis in academia on publishing papers in high impact journals, it might put a non-trivial burden on one's career. From previous studies, and perhaps personal experience, we know that good resolutions sometimes run aground (Norcross et al., 2002). But what about the "won't publish" commitment? ...
  • ... For instance, it promotes muscular and skeletal strength, as well as mood and mental health, while a lack of exercise is associated with health issues such as obesity (Ross et al., 2000), and cardiovascular disease (Williams, 2001). In view of its health benefits, many people intend to exercise on a regular basis (Norcross et al., 2002). However, the majority of the adult population does not exercise to a sufficient extent (Dishman and Buckworth, 2001). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    A recent study suggests that habits play a mediating role in the association between trait self-control and eating behavior, supporting a notion of effortless processes in trait self-control (Adriaanse et al., 2014). We conceptually replicated this research in the area of exercise behavior, hypothesizing that these associations would generalize to other self-control related behaviors. Sufficient exercise is essential for several health and well-being outcomes, and therefore many people intend to exercise. However, the majority of the population does not actually exercise to a sufficient or intended extent, due to competing temptations and short-term goals. This conflict makes exercise a typical example of a self-control dilemma. A within-subjects survey study was conducted to test associations between trait self-control, habit strength, and exercise behavior. Participants were recruited at a local gym. Results demonstrated that trait self-control predicted exercise behavior. Mediation analysis revealed that the association between self-control and exercise was mediated by stronger exercise habits, replicating findings by Adriaanse et al. (2014). These results highlight the relevance of self-control in the domain of exercise. In addition, they add to a growing body of knowledge on the underlying mechanisms of trait self-control on behavior that point to habit—rather than effortful impulse inhibition—as a potential key to self-control success.
  • ... Health behaviour change is difficult and fraught with failure. Most New Year's resolutions involve health behaviours but 30% of resolutions are abandoned within 2 weeks, and more than 50% are abandoned by six months (Norcross, Mrykalo, & Blagys, 2002). About 50-65% of health and fitness mobile apps are used for less than 30 days (Klotzbach, 2016). ...
    Article
    Objective: Exercise behaviour change involves multiple experiences with success and failure. The Model of Action Phases (MAP) offers a dynamic account of how success and failure influence both immediate evaluations and future decisions and actions. However, predictions from the MAP have not been formally tested. Design: A longitudinal daily diary study was used to examine how post-behaviour evaluations of exercise success and failure influence subsequent exercise intentions and behaviour. Participants (N = 104) set exercise goals, and then kept a daily online exercise diary for four weeks. Main outcome measures: Participants self-reported exercise behaviour, affective response to exercise, self-evaluations after success or failure at following through on intentions to exercise, and intentions to exercise in the next week. Results: Multilevel modelling revealed significant within- and between-participant relationships among post-behaviour evaluations, intentions and subsequent behaviour. Findings supported MAP-derived predictions about how success and failure at exercise are associated with feelings about exercise and the self, and inform subsequent exercise intentions and behaviour. Conclusion: Positive post-behaviour evaluations of success or failure may stabilise positive intentions and aid maintenance of exercise behaviour. Implications of these MAP-based findings for intervention design are discussed. Access full text here: https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2018.1429612
  • ... Menschen fällt es jedoch schwer, Veränderungsabsichten langfristig umzusetzen. Besonders deutlich wird dies am Beispiel von Neujahrsvorsätzen: Etwa jeder zweite Mensch macht Neujahrsvorsätze (Statistic Brain 2018;Norcross et al. 2002). Bei einer Befragung in Deutschland sind im Jahr 2018 die am häufigsten genannten Vorsätze, Stress abzubauen, mehr Zeit mit Familie und Freunden zu verbringen und sich mehr zu bewegen(Statista 2017). ...
    Thesis
    Mitarbeiter in Unternehmen, deren Tätigkeit mit Freiheiten und somit einem hohen Maß an Eigenverantwortung einhergeht, sind auf gutes Selbstmanagement angewiesen. Insbesondere gewohntes Verhalten aufzugeben fällt Menschen schwer und erfordert strikte und dauerhafte Umsetzung. Persuasive Technology (PT) ist eine Klasse von Informationstechnologie (IT), deren Ziel es ist, Verhalten zu verändern und könnte somit das Selbstmanagement von Mitarbeitern unterstützen. Diese Art von IT-Unterstützung bringt Vorteile mit sich, da sie skalierbar sowie orts- und zeitunabhängig verfügbar ist. Der Stand der Forschung hierzu gilt jedoch als lückenhaft. Deshalb bestehen Zweifel, ob die Technologie tatsächlich die Wirksamkeit entwickeln kann, die man ihr zuschreibt. Diese Arbeit untersucht anhand einer systematischen Literaturstudie, inwieweit PT derzeit das Potenzial hat, die Wirksamkeit von Selbstmanagement zu erhöhen, um eine aktive Veränderung des eigenen gewohnten Verhaltens zu erreichen. Der identifizierte Bedarf nach Personalisierung zur Steigerung der Wirksamkeit von Artefakten und einer ethischen Betrachtung wird diskutiert, um daraus konkrete Handlungsempfehlungen abzuleiten.
  • ... Urban centres that experience multiple weeks with temperatures below freezing at the start of the calendar year provide a unique opportunity for such an approach. Transient frozen waterway trails, groomed to support recreational physical activities, are increasingly being created in northern urban centres [10][11][12]. To the best of our knowledge, there are no empirical studies of these frozen waterway trails on healthy behaviours during winter months. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Background: Very few experimental studies exist describing the effect of changes to the built environment and opportunities for physical activity (PA). We examined the impact of an urban trail created on a frozen waterway on visitor counts and PA levels. Methods: We studied a natural experiment in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada that included 374,204 and 237,362 trail users during the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 winter seasons. The intervention was a 10 km frozen waterway trail lasting 8–10 weeks. The comparator conditions were the time periods immediately before and after the intervention when ~10 kms of land-based trails were accessible to the public. A convenience sample of 466 participants provided directly measured PA while on the frozen waterway. Results: Most trail users were 35 years or older (73%), Caucasian (77%), and had an annual household income >$50,000 (61%). Mean daily trail network visits increased ~four-fold when the frozen waterway was open (median and interquartile range (IQR) = 710 (239–1839) vs. 2897 (1360–5583) visits/day, p < 0.001), compared with when it was closed. Users achieved medians of 3852 steps (IQR: 2574–5496 steps) and 23 min (IQR: 13–37 min) of moderate to vigorous intensity PA (MVPA) per visit, while 37% of users achieved ≥30 min of MVPA. Conclusion: A winter-specific urban trail network on a frozen waterway substantially increased visits to an existing urban trail network and was associated with a meaningful dose of MVPA. Walking on water could nudge populations living in cold climates towards more activity during winter months.
  • ... En undersøkelse fra 2002 viste at 46 % av de som hadde et nyttårsforsett om å endre livsstil, opprettholdt endringen etter seks måneder (9). Et nyttårsforsett om mer trening kan vaere en god start både for å unngå hjerte-og karsykdom og for å unngå senere medikamentell behandling av hypertensjon. ...
  • ... The process of creating behavior change technologies and designs is commonly referred to as Behavior Change Design [23,30,54,59]. However, changing one's behavior is not easy [46], and behavior change designs often fail. ...
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    While numerous design methods used in industry help designers rapidly brainstorm design ideas, few help them to use theory in the design process. Behavior change theories can support such design activities as understanding, ideating, sketching, and prototyping. We present the Behavior Change Design Sprint (BCDS), a design process for applying behavior change theories to the design process and for prototyping behavior change technologies. BCDS facilitates the application of theories into the design process through a series of exercises that help designers identify intervention placement and project behavioral outcomes, conduct more focused ideation, and advocate for their design rationale. We present our process to create the sprint and findings from a series of sprint deployments.
  • ... Casual empiricism, survey data, and the psychology literature all establish an increase in optimism associated with a new year (e.g., Norcross, Mrykalo, andBlagys [2002], Opinion Research Corporation [2009]). While optimism is often viewed as good, optimists may be considered irrational (see Peterson [2000] for a discussion of relevant studies). ...
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    This paper proposes that the January Effect is at least partly explained by a behavioral framework based on optimistic expectations. The turn-of-the-year is hypothesized to be a time of renewed optimism. Indeed, investor sentiment, as measured by the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Confidence, peaks in January. Thus, optimists are expected to bid up the stock prices of firms with higher levels of uncertainty in January. These firms will subsequently underperform as they disappoint investors during the remainder of the year. Despite the disappointment, the January pattern persists due to the “false hope syndrome” described in the psychology literature. Using forecast dispersion to proxy for uncertainty, the results are consistent with the optimism hypothesis. Similar reasoning may help explain other anomalies.
  • ... Casual empiricism, survey data, and the psychology literature all establish an increase in optimism associated with a new year (e.g., Norcross, Mrykalo, andBlagys [2002], Opinion Research Corporation [2009]). While optimism is often viewed as good, optimists may be considered irrational (see Peterson [2000] for a discussion of relevant studies). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Monthly returns to firms with optimistic expectations are 1.5% lower versus firms with pessimistic expectations, while annual buy-and-hold returns to firms with opti-mistic expectations are 20% lower. The optimistic component of stock prices lingers months after the optimism is revealed to the market. It also exists separately from the component related to analyst forecast dispersion. The possibility that forecast disper-sion is related to transitory versus permanent earnings is proposed. Several recent studies find that analyst earnings forecast properties are related to stock returns. 1 Firms with low dispersion or low error outperform firms with high dispersion or high error. Some researchers believe that firms with highly dispersed forecasts tend to re-flect the views of optimistic investors who are subse-quently disappointed, causing these firms to suffer per-sistently low stock returns. Another possibility is that firms with losses have returns that are different from firms with profits (e.g., Ettredge and Fuller [1991]). Loss firms are associated with overwhelmingly opti-mistic forecasts and low transparency levels (Ciccone [2001]). The purpose of this study is to examine the relation between optimistic expectations and stock returns. The testing analyzes three central issues: 1) the extent to which optimism is a component of stock returns, 2) the relation between any optimism component of stock re-turns and analyst forecast properties, and 3) the rela-tion between any optimism component of stock returns and losses. Optimism is measured using analyst forecasts. Ana-lysts are important for several reasons: they are profes-sional market watchers, and their judgments of stock and earnings performance are followed closely by in-vestors (e.g., Brown and Rozeff [1978]; Crichfield, Dyckman, Lakonishok [1978]; Givoly and Lakonishok [1979]; Fried and Givoly [1982]; and Lys and Sohn [1990]). Importantly, analyst forecasts provide a hu-man-level measure of investor sentiment. 2 Optimism is determined concurrently with returns. Although the measure cannot predict returns ex ante, it does indicate the extent to which optimism is impounded in stock prices. Previous studies do not use a direct measure of optimism. For example, Ackert and Athanassakos [1997] and Dieter, Malloy, and Scherbina [2002] relate forecast optimism to the dispersion of analyst forecasts and show that the dispersion is related to stock returns. Other studies use either time series earnings estimates or analysts' forecasts of earnings growth rates (e.g., Lakonishok, Shleifer, and Vishny [1994]; Chan, Jegadeesh, and Lakonishok [1996]; LaPorta [1996]). I use portfolio sorts and a Fama–MacBeth [1973] cross-sectional regression framework. The results clearly indicate a large optimism component of stock returns. Firms with optimistic expectations earn signif-icantly lower returns; their annual buy-and-hold re-turns are on average 20% lower than firms without op-timistic expectations. These lower returns occur in every sample year, with the smallest annual difference being 9.5%. The optimism component of returns exists independently of size and book-to-market compo-nents. The results are not confined to firms having high dispersion as is proposed in previous studies. Further-more, the results are unrelated to loss firms. The market appears to eliminate the optimism in-herent in stock prices slowly. For example, during a month in which the previously held optimism should have been completely removed from the stock price, returns for optimistic stocks are still 0.92% lower on average (11.04% annualized). The market reacts differently to the improved earnings of transparent firms (low dispersion or low error) versus opaque firms (high dispersion or high error). The possi-bility is raised that the market believes the improved earn-ings of opaque firms to be more transitory in nature versus the improved earnings of transparent firms.
  • ... Whether you plan to return to school, attend a professional conference, publish a manuscript, or join a professional organization, you are 10 times more likely to be successful if you set a resolution than if you do not. 1 This New Year, we all can resolve to prioritize lifelong learning. This is essential to improve not only our own practice but also the future of nursing. ...
  • ... One need only consider the countless number of unfulfilled New Year's Resolutions to know this to be true. 3 Called the "intention-behavior gap," numerous studies have demonstrated that intention to change behavior alone does not often result in actual behavior change. [4][5][6] Intention precedes action; therefore, one must act on one's intentions in order to change behavior. ...
    Article
    Health behavior change is challenging for most individuals, but there are many strategies that individuals can use to facilitate their behavior change efforts. Goal setting is one such strategy that assists individuals to identify specific behaviors to change and how to go about doing so. For many, however, simply setting a goal seldom leads to actual behavior change. For some, identifying an appropriate goal is difficult, while for others, putting goals into action is the roadblock. Two strategies may be of assistance for setting and achieving goals. First, consideration of key goal characteristics (eg, approach vs avoidance goals, performance vs mastery goals, level of difficulty) may result in selection of more appropriate and feasible goals. Second, action planning can help individuals put goals into action. Clinicians can help patients utilize these strategies to set and achieve goals for health behavior change.
  • ... Non-adherence is often discussed by healthcare professionals as an incomprehensible problem that only afflicts badly-behaved patients. In fact non-adherence affects us all: 80% of New Year's resolutions fail, [4] not all members of the CF MDT take 30 minutes of exercise each day, eat 5-a-day and keep their BMI's below 25. The insight that adherence is a problem of humans, rather than simply a problem of naughty patients, allows adherence to be reframed as one of the most challenging areas of chronic disease management. ...
    Article
    Cystic fibrosis [CF] is a chronic disease in which preventative treatment with nebulised antibiotics can reduce pulmonary exacerbations that otherwise require rescue therapy. However, adherence is low. Making adherence to maintenance treatment visible is a crucial step towards improving adherence. In this article, we discuss how adherence data can be used to support Quality Improvement in CF through behaviour change in both people with cystic fibrosis and their clinical teams. (C) 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Article
    The purpose of this study was to quantify the frequency and timing of Canadians' Internet searches for information on modifying cancer prevention-related behavioural risk factors. We used the Google AdWords Keyword tool to estimate the number of Internet searches in Canada from July 2010 to May 2011 for content associated with the keywords "physical activity / exercise," "healthy eating / weight loss" and "quit smoking." For "physical activity / exercise," 663 related keywords resulted in 117 951 699 searches. For "healthy eating / weight loss," 687 related search terms yielded 98 277 954 searches. "Quit smoking" was associated with 759 related keywords with 31 688 973 searches. All search patterns noticeably peaked in January 2011. Many Canadians are actively searching for information on the Internet to support health behaviour change associated with cancer prevention, especially during the month of January. To take advantage of this opportunity, key stakeholders in cancer prevention need to identify knowledge translation priorities and work with health agencies to develop evidence-based strategies to support Internet-facilitated behaviour change.
  • Article
    There is a mounting crisis in delivering affordable healthcare in the US. For decades, key decision makers in the public and private sectors have considered cost-effectiveness in healthcare a top priority. Their actions have focused on putting a limit on fees, services, or care options. However, they have met with limited success as costs have increased rapidly while the quality isn't commensurate with the high costs. A new approach is needed. Here we provide eight scientifically-based steps for improving the healthcare system. The core of the approach is promoting the best use of resources by matching the people and organization to the tasks they are good at, and providing the right incentive structure. Harnessing costs need not mean sacrificing quality. Quality service and low costs can be achieved by making sure the right people and the right organizations deliver services. As an example, the frequent use of emergency rooms for non-emergency care demonstrates the waste of resources of highly capable individuals and facilities resulting in high costs and ineffective care. Neither free markets nor managed care guarantees the best use of resources. A different oversight system is needed to promote the right incentives. Unlike managed care, effective oversight must not interfere with the performance of care. Otherwise, cost control only makes care more cumbersome. The eight steps we propose are designed to dramatically improve the effectiveness of the healthcare system, both for those who receive services and those who provide them.
  • Chapter
    Maintenance of Health BehaviorsUnderstanding Health Behavior MaintenanceConclusions References
  • Article
    The present article reviews recent research on motivational factors that influence the success of personal goals. Although achieving progress on personal goals is made difficult by limitations in self-regulatory strength, it is argued that individuals who feel autonomous regarding their goals will benefit in distinct ways. The issue of autonomy concerns whether a goal reflects an individual's interests and personal values versus whether it is adopted because of social pressures or expectations of what an individual "should do." Recent research indicates that autonomous goal motivation can lead directly to greater goal progress by allowing individuals to exert more effort, experience less conflict, and feel a greater sense of readiness to change their behaviour. It also allows individuals to make better use of implementation plans specifying how, when, and where they will enact goal-directed behaviours. Support from other people (health care providers, etc.) can play a vital role in facilitating goal pursuits, especially when such support enhances feelings of autonomy. Successful goal progress results in enhanced positive affect and reduced negative affect, particularly if the goal pursuits involved satisfaction of intrinsic psychological needs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Built environments that support walking and other physical activities have the potential to reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD). Walkable neighborhoods-characterized by density, land use diversity, and well-connected transportation networks-have been linked to more walking, less obesity, and lower coronary heart disease risk. Yet ongoing research on pedestrian-friendly built environments has the potential to address important gaps. While much of the literature has focused on urban form and planning characteristics, additional aspects of street-scapes, such as natural and architectural amenities, should also be considered. Promising future directions include (1) integration of multiple built environment measures that facilitate an understanding of how individuals perceive and act within their environment; (2) examination of both the daily physical activities that are most feasibly influenced by the local environment and those more deliberate or vigorous patterns of physical activity that are most predictive of CVD; (3) consideration of multiple pathways that could mediate a link between walkability and CVD, including not only physical activity, but also air quality improvements from reduced vehicle mileage and enhanced neighborhood social cohesion from unplanned interactions; (4) testing competing hypotheses that may explain interactions of built environment characteristics with each other and with personal barriers to walking; (5) stronger conceptualization of the multiple neighborhoods or activity spaces that structure opportunities for physical activity throughout the day; (6) collecting and strategically analyzing longitudinal data to support causal inference; and (7) studying neighborhood preferences and selection to move beyond biased assessments of neighborhood health effects. While walkability has been linked to health-related behaviors and CVD risk factors, the implications of the observed correlations are not yet clear. New theoretical insights, measurement technologies, and built environment changes represent opportunities to enhance the evidence base for bringing health promotion and cardiovascular disease prevention into the conversation about how communities are planned and built.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Americans have been gaining weight in recent decades, prompting widespread concern about the health implications of this change. Governments, health practitioners, and the general public all want to know: What is the best way to reduce the health risks associated with higher body weight? The dominant weightloss solution to this “obesity problem” encourages individuals to lose weight through behavior change. This solution rests on the assumptions that higher body weight causes health problems, that permanent weight loss is attainable, and that weight loss improves health. But comprehensive reviews of the scientific evidence find mixed, weak, and sometimes contradictory evidence for these premises.We suggest that a different solution to the “obesity problem” is needed – a solution that acknowledges both the multifaceted nature of health and the complex interaction between person and situation that characterizes the connection between weight and health. Thus, we use the lens of social psychological science to propose an alternative, well-being solution to the “obesity problem”. This solution has the potential to improve health by encouraging eating and exercising for optimal health rather than weight loss, by developing interventions to reduce weight stigma and discrimination, and by helping higher body-weight people cope with the stress of stigma and discrimination.
  • Article
    In industrialized nations, patterns of behavior such as attending work or school are strongly predicted by the seven-day weekly calendar. The weekly cycle can be disrupted by unexpected events (e.g. familial death) or planned days off (e.g. vacation). Because the weekly cycle typically begins on Monday, people should expect others who experience disruption to re-enter the weekly cycle on Mondays in order to synchronize with the conventional weekly pattern. Study 1 examined expectations for returning to work after the death of a spouse, Study 2 examined expectations for returning to university classes after the death of a parent, and Study 3 examined preferences for Monday versus Friday holidays from work and from classes. All three studies showed an overwhelming expectation for returning to work or class on Mondays, and people explained this expectation by referencing time (e.g. it's time to get back to routine). Expectations of return times other than Monday were explained by referencing emotion (e.g. she's upset and can't think straight). Conceivably, expectations to synchronize behavior to the beginning phases of a cycle hold across daily, weekly, and annual cycles.
  • Article
    Self-regulation is a critical ability for maintaining a wide range of health behaviors, especially in preventing overeating and weight gain. Previous work has identified various threats to self-control in the eating domain, chief among which are desire strength and negative affect. In the present study, we examined individual differences in college-aged dieters' experiences of these threats as they encountered temptations to eat in their daily lives, and tested whether these differences characterized sub-groups of dieters with divergent self-control outcomes. Specifically, 75 dieting females (age range: 18-23) participated in a combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and experience sampling study. Participants passively viewed food cues during an fMRI session, and then reported their daily eating behaviors for one week via ecological momentary assessment. We examined the characteristics of dieters who exhibited the most favorable combination of the aforementioned factors (i.e., low desire strength and positive mood) and who were thus most successful at regulating their eating. These dieters endorsed more autonomous reasons for their self-regulatory goals, and during the food cue reactivity task more readily recruited the inferior frontal gyrus, a brain region associated with inhibitory control. We suggest that these motivational and neural correlates may also be implicated in self-regulation of other important health behaviors.
  • Article
    Objective: Previous research has shown that nostalgia, a sentimental longing for the past, leads to greater feelings of optimism, with other work demonstrating that optimistic thinking (general & health-orientated) is associated with better physical and psychological health. Integrating these two lines of research, the current studies examined whether nostalgia-induced health optimism promotes attitudes and behaviors associated with better physical well-being. Methods: Participants, in three experiments, were randomly assigned to write about either a nostalgic or ordinary event. Following this, everyone completed a measure of health optimism (Studies 1-3), measures of health attitudes (Study 2), and had their physical activity monitored over the course of 2 weeks (Study 3). Results: The results revealed that, in comparison to control conditions, nostalgic reverie led to greater health optimism (Studies 1-3). Further, heightened health optimism following nostalgic reflection led to more positive health attitudes (Study 2), and increased physical activity over a 2-week period (i.e., Fitbit activity trackers; Study 3). Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of nostalgia on health attitudes and behaviors. Specifically, this work suggests that nostalgia can be used as a mechanism to increase the importance, perceived efficacy, and behavior associated with better physical health.
  • Chapter
    The US healthcare system suffers from high costs and low quality compared to healthcare systems internationally [1–3], as measured by reported life expectancy [4] and infant mortality [5]. High rates of nosocomial infection (infections acquired in healthcare settings) as well as adverse drug effects (errors in the administration of medication) manifest the need for improvement in the system of care. At a cost of $2.5 trillion annually [6] the system is not delivering affordable, effective care.
  • Chapter
    When we consider two possible and contradictory actions, their adjacent desires have corresponding rewards, which might not be available at the same time. Thus time influences our decision , leading to what is described as intertemporal choice : Often, in chronic diseases, the choice of adherence or nonadherence can be seen as a choice between an abstract and distant reward, maintaining health, and a near and concrete reward, for example the pleasure of smoking. Many people are naturally impatient, preferring a small, near reward to a large, distant reward. This trait, patient or impatient, may be linked to adherence. I propose that, in the particular case of akrasia represented by patient nonadherence to long-term therapies, there is such disequilibrium between the two types of actions, the continent and the incontinent , that it does not allow the principle of continence to express itself, or rather this principle becomes insufficient, or even inappropriate, if used alone. This leads me to propose a hypothesis introducing a second principle, which I call the principle of foresight , which pushes us to give priority to the future , i.e., to accept taking care of ourselves. Maybe we have here something that is essentially human. One can also speculate that this differentiation is accomplished slowly in adults, leading from the simple age of reason to an age of foresight . According to this hypothesis, not conforming to this principle leads to nonadherence.
  • Article
    Primary objective: The purpose of this pilot study was to explore feasibility and effects of participation in a computerized cognitive fitness exercise program by a group of adults with chronic moderate-to-severe cognitive impairments following an acquired brain injury (ABI). Research design: This study used a mixed methods design with a convenience sample of individuals forming two groups (+/– exercise). Methods and procedures: Following neurocognitive and satisfaction with life pre-testing of 14 participants, seven were enrolled in a 5-month, 5-days a week computerized cognitive exercise program. Post-testing of all participants and semi-structured interviews of exercise group participants were completed. Main outcomes and results: It was feasible for adults with chronic moderate-to-severe cognitive impairments post-ABI to participate in a computerized cognitive exercise program with ongoing external cues to initiate exercise sessions and/or to complete them as needed. Significant exercise group improvements were made on memory and verbal fluency post-tests and life satisfaction. The majority of exercise group participants reported some degree of positive impact on cognitive abilities and some on everyday functioning from program participation. Conclusions: Adults with chronic moderate-to-severe cognitive impairments following an ABI may benefit from participation in computerized cognitive exercise programs. Further study is warranted.
  • Presentation
    Full-text available
    This workshop provides an update on (1) the science-base for community-based programming to maximize physical, cognitive, and social health of individuals with moderate-to-severe disabilities from brain injury; (2) outcomes used to measure benefits of participation in community-based programming; and (3) challenges and supports to program sustainability and outcomes.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    For the first time in two decades, overall life expectancy in the United States is in decline. This unsettling increase in mortality is largely due to lifestyle-associated causes. It is in the national interest to address this decline. This article outlines identity-based motivation theory (IBM), an evidence-based behavioral science theory that provides insight and a behavioral toolset which together may help lower lifestyle-associated mortality and morbidity rates. A key place to start is the health aspiration-attainment gap: Most people aspire to live healthy lives yet often fail to sufficiently engage in behaviors necessary to achieve or maintain good health. This aspiration-attainment gap is particularly prevalent amongst people of lower socioeconomic status. We offer evidentiary insight into how IBM may be deployed by health-care providers, insurers and policymakers to help ameliorate the health aspiration-attainment gap and improve the health status of various demographic groups. Lewis, N. A., Jr., & Oyserman, D. (2016). Using identity-based motivation to improve the nation's health without breaking the bank.
  • Article
    C. Norcross has made significant contributions in the areas of the transthe-oretical model of change, psychotherapy integration, and empirically supported psychotherapy relationships. This interview explores the contributions of pragmatic philosophy and his personal upbringing to his work as a psychotherapy researcher and practitioner. Dr. Norcross discusses the status of the psychotherapy integration movement, the work of the Task Force on Empirically Supported Psychotherapy Relationships, and future trends in psychotherapy over the next 25 years. He emphasizes the importance of a methodological rigor that recognizes the unique characteristics of the psychotherapy relationship. He describes his current interest in the psychotherapy of psychotherapists, illustrating it with his personal challenges in balancing work and home. KEY WORDS: psychotherapy; psychotherapy research; person of therapist; pragmatism; integration; therapeutic relationship. We must find a theory that will work; and that means something extremely difficult; for our theory must mediate between all previous truths and certain new experiences. It must derange common sense and previous belief as little as possible, and it must lead to some sensible terminus or other that can be verified exactly.-William James PRAGMATISM Abraham Wolf (AW)-You have written widely in the areas of psychotherapy integration, stages of change, and empirically supported psychotherapy relationships , among others. What do you see as the common thread?
  • Article
    This paper investigates the impact of the public smoking ban which came into effect in Italy in January 2005 on individual smoking behaviour. Current empirical evidence supports the existence of a negative effect of the Italian ban on smoking prevalence and consumption in the general population. Our analysis shows that the apparent success of the ban is due to the fact that existing results do not take into account seasonal differences in smoking behaviour. Using quarterly data from the 1999/2000 and 2004/2005 Italian Health Surveys and adopting a difference-indifference approach that nets out monthly variation in smoking rates, we show that the Italian smoking ban had no impact on smoking behaviour for the population as a whole but only on some subgroups. This result notwithstanding, we find that the smoking ban increased the overall well-being of non-smokers.
  • Article
    According to the Temporal Focus Hypothesis (TFH), people’s implicit spatial conceptions are shaped by their temporal focus. Whereas previous studies have demonstrated that people’s cultural or individual differences related to certain temporal focus may influence their spatializations of time, we focus on temporal landmarks as potential additional influences on people’s space-time mappings. In Experiment 1, we investigated how personally-related events influence students’ conceptions of time. The results showed that student examinees were more likely to think about time according to the past-in-front mapping, and student registrants, future-in-front mapping. Experiment 2 explored the influence of calendar markers and found that participants tested on the Chinese Spring Festival, a symbol of a fresh start, tended to conceptualize the future as in front of them, while those tested on the Tomb Sweeping Day, an opportunity to remember the ancestors, showed the reversed pattern. In Experiment 3, two scenarios representing past or future landmarks correspondingly were presented to participants. We found that past-focused/future -focused scenarios caused an increase in the rate of past-in-front/future-in-front responses respectively. Taken together, the results from these three studies suggest that people’s conceptions of time may vary according to temporal landmarks, which can be explained by the TFH.
  • Article
    Primary objective: Motivation to initiate and persist with any kind of exercise activity is challenging. This pilot study queried adults with chronic-acquired brain injuries (ABI) regarding their perceptions about motivational facilitators of and barriers to engagement in cognitive exercise activity. Research design: A mixed methods design was used to characterize individuals’ perceptions regarding exercise and their exercise experience (written questionnaire) and to obtain their input regarding exercise-related motivational strategies and obstacles (semi-structured group interviews). Methods: Thirty-four community-based individuals with chronic ABI and moderate-to-severe cognitive impairments completed questionnaires and engaged in audio-recorded scripted group interviews. Tallies of closed-ended questionnaire data and thematic analysis of open-ended questionnaire and group interview data were completed. Main outcomes and results: Participants indicated a strong preference for engaging in cognitive exercise activity with others versus alone. Frequently recurring motivational facilitators regarding exercise in general and cognitive exercise in particular included ‘receipt of positive reinforcement for exercise activity’, ‘possession of needed information to engage in exercise’, and ‘possession of exercise-related goals’. Frequently recurring motivational barriers included ‘absence of exercise-related goals’ and ‘absence of consistent structure conducive to exercise’. Conclusion: Study findings may facilitate successful engagement in cognitive exercise by chronic ABI survivors. Further research is needed.
  • Unaided quitters' strategies for coping with temptations to smoke Resolutions not kept long by most Americans
    • S G Curry
    • G A Marlatt
    Curry, S.G., & Marlatt, G.A. (1985). Unaided quitters' strategies for coping with temptations to smoke. In S. Shiffman & T.A. Wills (Eds.), Coping and substance use (pp. 243–265). New York: Academic Press. Epcot Poll. (1985). Resolutions not kept long by most Americans. Lake Buena Vista, FL: Walt Disney World.
  • The picture of Dorian Gray New Year's Resolutions
    • O Wilde
    Wilde, O. (1909). The picture of Dorian Gray. New York: Pearson. New Year's Resolutions
  • New Year's resolution survey
    American Medical Association. (1995). New Year's resolution survey.
  • Resolutions not kept long by most Americans
    • Epcot Poll
    Epcot Poll. (1985). Resolutions not kept long by most Americans. Lake Buena Vista, FL: Walt Disney World.
  • The picture of Dorian Gray: Pearson. New Year's Resolutions
    • O Wilde
    Wilde, O. (1909). The picture of Dorian Gray. New York: Pearson. New Year's Resolutions
  • Article
    The debate over the ability of researchers to substitute self-reports for measured weights is not settled. Studies conducted to date on the self-reports of weight have not provided a clear conclusion as to whether self-reports of weight are valid. The purpose of the present study was to organize and integrate the conflicting findings utilizing the statistical methods of meta-analysis (Hedges & Olkin, 1985). Data were analyzed by two methods of constructing effect sizes for the total sample, by sex of subject, and by type of population. Bias was found to be a significant component of self-reported weight for all groups. Discrepancies between self-report and true weight are reported for all groups, including estimations in pounds. Self-reported weight is concluded to be sufficiently accurate for epidemiological groups but not in clinical weight-loss subjects pools. Recommendations for future research and practice are suggested.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    When people encounter problems in translating their goals into action (e.g., failing to get started, becoming distracted, or falling into bad habits), they may strategically call on automatic processes in an attempt to secure goal attainment. This can be achieved by plans in the form of implementation intentions that link anticipated critical situations to goal-directed responses ("Whenever situation x arises, I will initiate the goal-directed response y!"). Implementation intentions delegate the control of goal-directed responses to anticipated situational cues, which (when actually encountered) elicit these responses automatically. A program of research demonstrates that implementation intentions further the attainment of goals, and it reveals the underlying processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
    Sequentially assigned 554 smokers (mean age 41.4 yrs) in 2 cohorts (Great American Smokeout and New Year's Day) who intended to quit smoking on their own without formalized external aid to a frequent-contact and an infrequent-contact group. All Ss completed a detailed baseline questionnaire and were followed for 12 mo. Findings revealed that neither frequency of interviews nor cohort affected outcome. The rate of nonsmoking at each follow-up point declined from 34% at 1 mo to 25% at 1 yr. 11% of Ss were continuous abstainers, 21% of Ss never stopped smoking, and 68% of Ss who ever quit had relapsed by 1 yr. Continuous abstainers were lighter smokers, less addicted, more aware of the health risks associated with smoking, more highly motivated to stop, more confident of their ability to do so, and more committed to quitting at baseline than other Ss. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
    This study prospectively tracked the self-change attempts of 200 New Year's resolvers over a 2-year period in order to more fully understand the coping determinants of maintenance and the natural history of lapses and relapses. Seventy-seven percent maintained their pledges for 1 week but only 19% for 2 years. Successful resolvers reported employing significantly more stimulus control, reinforcement, and willpower than the unsuccessful over the 2 years; social support and interpersonal strategies failed to predict success before 6 months but did so thereafter. Counterconditioning and fading were retrospectively nominated as the most efficacious coping strategies; paucity of willpower and failure of stimulus control were reported as the most hindering to maintenance. Fifty-three percent of the successful group experienced at least one slip, and the mean number of slips over the 2-year interval was 14. Slips were typically precipitated by a lack of personal control, excessive stress, and negative emotion.
  • Article
    How people intentionally change addictive behaviors with and without treatment is not well understood by behavioral scientists. This article summarizes research on self-initiated and professionally facilitated change of addictive behaviors using the key transtheoretical constructs of stages and processes of change. Modification of addictive behaviors involves progression through five stages—pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance—and individuals typically recycle through these stages several times before termination of the addiction. Multiple studies provide strong support for these stages as well as for a finite and common set of change processes used to progress through the stages. Research to date supports a transtheoretical model of change that systematically integrates the stages with processes of change from diverse theories of psychotherapy.
  • Article
    How people intentionally change addictive behaviors with and without treatment is not well understood by behavioral scientists. This article summarizes research on self-initiated and professionally facilitated change of addictive behaviors using the key trans-theoretical constructs of stages and processes of change. Modification of addictive behaviors involves progression through five stages--pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance--and individuals typically recycle through these stages several times before termination of the addiction. Multiple studies provide strong support for these stages as well as for a finite and common set of change processes used to progress through the stages. Research to date supports a trans-theoretical model of change that systematically integrates the stages with processes of change from diverse theories of psychotherapy.
  • Article
    This study tracked the coping processes and self-reported outcomes of 213 adults making New Year's resolutions in order to identify prospective variables which predict successful self-change and to examine the relative effectiveness of various coping strategies. Prior to January 1st, participants provided information on their resolutions, demographic characteristics, and five variables previously associated with positive outcome. Subsequent telephone interviews ascertained short-term retrospective accounts of the utilization of 14 coping strategies and self-reported outcomes over six months. Readiness to change and self-efficacy, but not social support or behavioral skills, prospectively predicted successful outcome at both one week and one month. Successful resolvers were also found to report employing significantly more behavioral strategies and less self-blame and wishful thinking than unsuccessful resolvers. These findings are discussed within the context of previous research on self-initiated change, and several implications for clinical practice are offered.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    An integrative model of change was applied to the study of 872 Ss (mean age 40 yrs) who were changing their smoking habits on their own. Ss represented the following 5 stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, action, maintenance, and relapse. 10 processes of change were expected to receive differential emphases during particular stages of change. Results indicate that Ss (a) used the fewest processes of change during precontemplation; (b) emphasized consciousness raising during the contemplation stage; (c) emphasized self-reevaluation in both contemplation and action stages; (d) emphasized self-liberation, a helping relationship, and reinforcement management during the action stage; and (e) used counterconditioning and stimulus control the most in both action and maintenance stages. Relapsers responded as a combination of contemplaters and people in action would. Results are discussed in terms of developing a model of self-change of smoking and enhancing a more integrative general model of change. (14 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
    This study analyzes the ways 100 community-residing men and women aged 45 to 64 coped with the stressful events of daily living during one year. Lazarus's cognitive-phenomenological analysis of psychological stress provides the theoretical framework. Information about recently experienced stressful encounters was elicited through monthly interviews and self-report questionnaires completed between interviews. At the end of each interview and questionnaire, the participant indicated on a 68-item Ways of Coping checklist those coping thoughts and actions used in the specific encounter. A mean of 13.3 episodes was reported by each participant. Two functions of coping, problem-focused and emotion-focused, are analyzed with separate measures. Both problem- and emotion-focused coping were used in 98% of the 1,332 episodes, emphasizing that coping conceptualized in either defensive or problem-solving terms is incomplete- both functions are usually involved. Intraindividual analyses show that people are more variable than consistent in their coping patterns. The context of an event, who is involved, how it is appraised, age, and gender are examined as potential influences on coping. Context and how the event is appraised are the most potent factors. Work contexts favor problem-focused coping, and health contexts favor emotion-focused coping. Situations in which the person thinks something constructive can be done or that are appraised as requiring more information favor problem-focused coping, whereas those having to be accepted favor emotion-focused coping. There are no effects associated with age, and gender differences emerge only in problem-focused coping: Men use more problem-focused coping than women at work and in situations having to be accepted and requiring more information. Contrary to the cultural stereotype, there are no gender differences in emotion-focused coping.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    The purpose of this study was to identify circumstances in which biochemical assessments of smoking produce systematically higher or lower estimates of smoking than self-reports. A secondary aim was to evaluate different statistical approaches to analyzing variation in validity estimates. Literature searches and personal inquiries identified 26 published reports containing 51 comparisons between self-reported behavior and biochemical measures. The sensitivity and specificity of self-reports of smoking were calculated for each study as measures of accuracy. Sensitivity ranged from 6% to 100% (mean = 87.5%), and specificity ranged from 33% to 100% (mean = 89.2%). Interviewer-administered questionnaires, observational studies, reports by adults, and biochemical validation with cotinine plasma were associated with higher estimates of sensitivity and specificity. Self-reports of smoking are accurate in most studies. To improve accuracy, biochemical assessment, preferably with cotinine plasma, should be considered in intervention studies and student populations.