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Self-Reevaluation and Anticipated Regret Did Not Change Attitude, Nor Perceived Distance in an Online Context

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Abstract

Internet-delivered interventions can be effective in changing behavior, but more research is needed on effective elements of behavior change interventions. Moreover, although anonymity is one of the advantages of using an online context, it might also increase the perceived distance between the participant and the intervention. Hence, the current study investigated whether the behavior change methods of self-reevaluation and anticipated regret can be used to narrow the perceived distance and, ultimately, foster attitude change. A 3 × 3 factorial between-persons design with an additional control group was used (N = 466), resulting in a total of 10 conditions (n's ranging from 43 to 49). The first factor manipulated is assessment of self-image; cognitive, affective, or the combination of both. The second factor manipulated is behavioral focus; self-image with behavior, without behavior or both with and without behavior. Post-test measurements were conducted immediately after the manipulation. The key finding of the current study is that the behavior change methods of self-reevaluation and anticipated regret did not have an impact on changes in attitude toward oral contraceptive use, nor on the distance perceived by participants. Despite the null results, the current study contributes to the body of evidence regarding self-reevaluation and anticipated regret, which can be integrated in meta-regressions of experimental studies to advance behavior change theory.

    Research areas

  • behavior change methods, self-reevaluation, anticipated regret, self-reference, eHealth, SOCIAL DESIRABILITY, PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY, WOMENS ATTITUDES, NATIONAL-SURVEY, BIRTH-CONTROL, INTERVENTION, BEHAVIOR, HEALTH, AMBIVALENCE, ENHANCEMENT
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number2038
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2017