Reframing Health Behavior: Change with Behavioral Economics

By Warren K. Bickel; Rudy E. Vuchinich | Go to book overview

Foreword

My first exposure to behavioral economic theory occurred when I was writing on the topic of relapse prevention in the early 1980s. At that time, I was consulting with Professor Lee Beach, a colleague in my department whose expertise is in the area of decision-making research and theory. Together, we were trying to understand if the process of relapse in people who were trying to give up a bad habit such as smoking could be considered a rational or irrational decision or choice. It appeared to us that the process of relapse often involved a series of choices or "minidecisions" that successively increased the probability that an individual eventually would experience a lapse, despite the original commitment to abstinence. Together, we coined the term apparently irrelevant decisions to describe the rationalizations that many people use to "explain" a decision that otherwise appeared to increase the risk of relapse. As an example, one recent ex-smoker told his spouse that he was going out for a long walk to get some exercise, and then walked across town to a store that sold his favorite brand of cigarettes at discount rates; he ended up buying a pack and smoking several cigarettes on his way back home. Another client of mine who had made a commitment to stop drinking decided after 3 months of abstinence that it was now OK for him to purchase a bottle of sherry to keep in his home, "just in case guests drop by for a visit." He ended up drinking the bottle himself several days later after an argument with his wife. In both cases, the apparently irrelevant decision (to take a long walk, or to purchase the sherry for guests) appeared to us to be rationalized rather than irrational in content. However, we were still puzzled by the sudden shift in goals as these individuals suddenly "changed their minds" and succumbed to temptation when faced with the immediate temptation of cigarettes or alcohol, despite their long-term prior commitment to abstinence.

On one day during this period, I came to my office to find a reprint of a journal article Lee Beach had left for me to read. On the cover page, he had written in bold red ink this message: "The truth is in Ainslie!" The article, written by George Ainslie, was entitled "Specious reward: A behavioral theory of impulsiveness and impulse control" (published in 1975 in the Psychological Bulletin). This was, indeed, a breakthrough in our understanding of the sudden shifts in intentions many individuals seemed

-ix-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Reframing Health Behavior: Change with Behavioral Economics
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 426

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.