Behavioral Research

Table of Contents
1 Description & Theoretical Background
2 Measurement and Methodological Issues
3 Type of Behavior as a Moderator of the Intention - Behavior Relation
4 Other Proximal Antecedents: Implementation Intentions, Behavioral Expectation, and Behavioral Willingness

Behavioral Intention vs. Behavioral Expectation vs. Behavioral Willingness

6 References
7 Measures Appendix
8 Published Examples

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Other Constructs



Dispositional Optimism




Illness Representations

  Implementation Intentions
  Intention, Expectation, and Willingness
  Normative Beliefs
  Optimistic Bias
  Perceived Benefits
  Perceived Control
  Perceived Severity
  Perceived Vulnerability
  Self-Reported Behavior
  Social Influence
  Social Support

Intention, Expectation, and Willingness
Frederick X. Gibbons

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Behavioral Intention vs. Behavioral Expectation vs. Behavioral Willingness

Two important factors when deciding which measures to use in health research would be the type of behavior being examined and the age of the population being assessed. For health-promoting behaviors, such as those related to diet and nutrition, medical regimen, sun protection, exercise, etc., standard BI measures should work well, especially if accompanied by implementation intentions—where and when to exercise, which diet to follow, or which sunscreen to use. If the behaviors are complex and control is an issue, then these BI items should be accompanied by measures of perceived control. By the same token, if there is reason to believe that commitment to the intention or goal is tenuous, or if the behavior has a clear social desirability element associated with it, or, again, if perceived (or actual) control is low, such as with weight loss or smoking cessation, then BE measures may do better than BI (it's not likely they will do worse). Finally, much health behavior research concerns health risk, which often has a significant "social reaction" component (Webb & Sheeran, 2006)," especially for adolescents. Performance of these behaviors often depends on the situation. The best way to assess these kinds of behaviors would be to use BW as well as BE measures, and, if possible, measures of intention to not engage in the behavior.

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