Tales of logic : a self-presentational view on health-related behaviour

    Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WUAcademic

    Abstract

    <p>This dissertation questions the informational approach to health education. Many health education programmes are conducted with the implicit assumption that providing individuals with relevant information about the consequences of unhealthy behaviour will lead to a healthier way of life. Evaluations of health education programmes show, however, that rational cognitive appeals often do not seem to possess enough power to motivate people to change their behaviour. This study examines the extent to which health-related behaviour can be explained by the wish to be accepted by others.<p>Two theories are described: attribution theory and self-presentation theory. In attribution theory it is assumed that individuals are logical information processors. By means of 'naive scientific' analysis of available information, the individual tries to obtain a veridical view of reality. Self-presentation theory assumes that individuals are motivated to create an impression on significant others that will lead to approval and avoid disapproval, by means of, for example, overt behaviours such as expressed opinions and dressing. The results of two experiments show that individuals use attribution statements for self-presentaional goals. When an actor perceives that others cannot easily repudiate a boosted self-presentation, the actor tries and succeeds to impress on others by self-enhancing attributions. When others do have access to possible repudiating information, actors' attribution statements are accurate.<p>Subsequently, self-presentation theory is applied to health-related behaviour. In two field studies the assumption of many anti-smoking campaigns that smoking adolescents are less capable to resist peer pressure than nonsmoking adolescents is questioned. Self-presentation theory appeared to contribute to a fuller understanding of the working of peer pressure. Peer pressure is related to lifestyles, and it should be conceived of as a twoway influence process, in which it is rewarding for both the individual and the group to act in accordance with existing group norms. Peer pressure is equally strong for smokers, intenders and non-smokers.<p>The results of the four studies show that behaviour often is guided more by self-presentational concerns than by concerns for cognitive consistency. The results of the studies can facilitate a more effective use of the influence of the social environment in health education.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Röling, N.G., Promotor
    • Kok, G.J., Co-promotor, External person
    Award date27 Sep 1988
    Place of PublicationS.l.
    Publisher
    Publication statusPublished - 1988

    Fingerprint

    self-presentation
    health promotion
    health
    attribution
    attribution theory
    smoking
    adolescent
    group norm
    earning a doctorate
    way of life
    available information
    appeal
    campaign
    experiment
    evaluation
    Group

    Keywords

    • communication theory
    • cybernetics
    • health education
    • information

    Cite this

    @phdthesis{1b9ca7a4c8f246818e99cff329f10d71,
    title = "Tales of logic : a self-presentational view on health-related behaviour",
    abstract = "This dissertation questions the informational approach to health education. Many health education programmes are conducted with the implicit assumption that providing individuals with relevant information about the consequences of unhealthy behaviour will lead to a healthier way of life. Evaluations of health education programmes show, however, that rational cognitive appeals often do not seem to possess enough power to motivate people to change their behaviour. This study examines the extent to which health-related behaviour can be explained by the wish to be accepted by others.Two theories are described: attribution theory and self-presentation theory. In attribution theory it is assumed that individuals are logical information processors. By means of 'naive scientific' analysis of available information, the individual tries to obtain a veridical view of reality. Self-presentation theory assumes that individuals are motivated to create an impression on significant others that will lead to approval and avoid disapproval, by means of, for example, overt behaviours such as expressed opinions and dressing. The results of two experiments show that individuals use attribution statements for self-presentaional goals. When an actor perceives that others cannot easily repudiate a boosted self-presentation, the actor tries and succeeds to impress on others by self-enhancing attributions. When others do have access to possible repudiating information, actors' attribution statements are accurate.Subsequently, self-presentation theory is applied to health-related behaviour. In two field studies the assumption of many anti-smoking campaigns that smoking adolescents are less capable to resist peer pressure than nonsmoking adolescents is questioned. Self-presentation theory appeared to contribute to a fuller understanding of the working of peer pressure. Peer pressure is related to lifestyles, and it should be conceived of as a twoway influence process, in which it is rewarding for both the individual and the group to act in accordance with existing group norms. Peer pressure is equally strong for smokers, intenders and non-smokers.The results of the four studies show that behaviour often is guided more by self-presentational concerns than by concerns for cognitive consistency. The results of the studies can facilitate a more effective use of the influence of the social environment in health education.",
    keywords = "communicatietheorie, cybernetica, gezondheidseducatie, informatie, communication theory, cybernetics, health education, information",
    author = "M.A. Koelen",
    note = "WU thesis 1235 Proefschrift Wageningen",
    year = "1988",
    language = "English",
    publisher = "Koelen",

    }

    Tales of logic : a self-presentational view on health-related behaviour. / Koelen, M.A.

    S.l. : Koelen, 1988. 129 p.

    Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WUAcademic

    TY - THES

    T1 - Tales of logic : a self-presentational view on health-related behaviour

    AU - Koelen, M.A.

    N1 - WU thesis 1235 Proefschrift Wageningen

    PY - 1988

    Y1 - 1988

    N2 - This dissertation questions the informational approach to health education. Many health education programmes are conducted with the implicit assumption that providing individuals with relevant information about the consequences of unhealthy behaviour will lead to a healthier way of life. Evaluations of health education programmes show, however, that rational cognitive appeals often do not seem to possess enough power to motivate people to change their behaviour. This study examines the extent to which health-related behaviour can be explained by the wish to be accepted by others.Two theories are described: attribution theory and self-presentation theory. In attribution theory it is assumed that individuals are logical information processors. By means of 'naive scientific' analysis of available information, the individual tries to obtain a veridical view of reality. Self-presentation theory assumes that individuals are motivated to create an impression on significant others that will lead to approval and avoid disapproval, by means of, for example, overt behaviours such as expressed opinions and dressing. The results of two experiments show that individuals use attribution statements for self-presentaional goals. When an actor perceives that others cannot easily repudiate a boosted self-presentation, the actor tries and succeeds to impress on others by self-enhancing attributions. When others do have access to possible repudiating information, actors' attribution statements are accurate.Subsequently, self-presentation theory is applied to health-related behaviour. In two field studies the assumption of many anti-smoking campaigns that smoking adolescents are less capable to resist peer pressure than nonsmoking adolescents is questioned. Self-presentation theory appeared to contribute to a fuller understanding of the working of peer pressure. Peer pressure is related to lifestyles, and it should be conceived of as a twoway influence process, in which it is rewarding for both the individual and the group to act in accordance with existing group norms. Peer pressure is equally strong for smokers, intenders and non-smokers.The results of the four studies show that behaviour often is guided more by self-presentational concerns than by concerns for cognitive consistency. The results of the studies can facilitate a more effective use of the influence of the social environment in health education.

    AB - This dissertation questions the informational approach to health education. Many health education programmes are conducted with the implicit assumption that providing individuals with relevant information about the consequences of unhealthy behaviour will lead to a healthier way of life. Evaluations of health education programmes show, however, that rational cognitive appeals often do not seem to possess enough power to motivate people to change their behaviour. This study examines the extent to which health-related behaviour can be explained by the wish to be accepted by others.Two theories are described: attribution theory and self-presentation theory. In attribution theory it is assumed that individuals are logical information processors. By means of 'naive scientific' analysis of available information, the individual tries to obtain a veridical view of reality. Self-presentation theory assumes that individuals are motivated to create an impression on significant others that will lead to approval and avoid disapproval, by means of, for example, overt behaviours such as expressed opinions and dressing. The results of two experiments show that individuals use attribution statements for self-presentaional goals. When an actor perceives that others cannot easily repudiate a boosted self-presentation, the actor tries and succeeds to impress on others by self-enhancing attributions. When others do have access to possible repudiating information, actors' attribution statements are accurate.Subsequently, self-presentation theory is applied to health-related behaviour. In two field studies the assumption of many anti-smoking campaigns that smoking adolescents are less capable to resist peer pressure than nonsmoking adolescents is questioned. Self-presentation theory appeared to contribute to a fuller understanding of the working of peer pressure. Peer pressure is related to lifestyles, and it should be conceived of as a twoway influence process, in which it is rewarding for both the individual and the group to act in accordance with existing group norms. Peer pressure is equally strong for smokers, intenders and non-smokers.The results of the four studies show that behaviour often is guided more by self-presentational concerns than by concerns for cognitive consistency. The results of the studies can facilitate a more effective use of the influence of the social environment in health education.

    KW - communicatietheorie

    KW - cybernetica

    KW - gezondheidseducatie

    KW - informatie

    KW - communication theory

    KW - cybernetics

    KW - health education

    KW - information

    M3 - internal PhD, WU

    PB - Koelen

    CY - S.l.

    ER -