Quantifying the strength of the associations of prototype perceptions with behaviour, behavioural willingness and intentions: a meta-analysis

B. van Lettow, H. de Vries, A. Burdorf, P. van Empelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prototypes (i.e., social images representing perceptions of typical persons engaging in or refraining from certain behaviour) have been shown to explain health-related behaviours. The present meta-analysis quantified the strength of the associations of prototype perceptions with health motivation and behaviour. Specifically, the analysis addressed (i) the relationship of prototype favourability (i.e., degree of likability) and similarity (i.e., perceived resemblance to the self) with behaviour, willingness and intentions; (ii) the effect of the interaction between favourability and similarity; and (iii) the extent to which health-risk and health-protective prototypes differed in their association with these outcomes. A total of 80 independent studies were identified based on 69 articles. The results indicated that prototype favourability and similarity were related to behaviour, intentions and willingness with small-to-medium effect sizes (r(+) = 0.12-0.43). Direct measures of prototype perceptions generally produced larger effects than indirect measures. The interaction between favourability and similarity produced small-to-large effect sizes (r(+) = .22-.54). The results suggest that both health-risk and health-protective prototypes might be useful targets for interventions (r(+) = .22-.54). In order to increase health-protective behaviours, intentions and behaviour could be targeted by increasing similarity to health-protective prototypes. Health-risk behaviour might be decreased by targeting willingness by modifying health-risk prototype favourability and similarity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-43
Number of pages19
JournalHealth Psychology Review
Volume10
Issue number1
Early online date28 Aug 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • meta-analysis
  • review
  • prototypes
  • behaviour
  • intentions
  • willingness
  • HEALTH-RISK BEHAVIOR
  • SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORY
  • PLANNED BEHAVIOR
  • YOUNG-ADULTS
  • PROTOTYPE/WILLINGNESS MODEL
  • DRINKER PROTOTYPES
  • SMOKING-CESSATION
  • EXERCISE BEHAVIOR
  • SMOKER STEREOTYPE
  • POSSIBLE SELVES

Cite this