You are required to write an essay to satisfy learning outcome 1. The essay title is as follows:
The development of taxonomies to describe behaviour change techniques (cf. Abraham & Michie 2007, 2008, 2013) is potentially useful in aiding the identification of successful intervention strategies underpinning behaviour change. Drawing on evidence relating to a behavioural pathogen of your choice, critically evaluate the evidence for the adoption of particular strategies to modify behaviour and the implications of this for future intervention design.
Your essay should consider the theoretical basis of the technique(s) selected; the underlying mechanism(s) of behaviour change and demonstrate the utility of the identified behaviour change technique(s) in relation to your chosen behaviour.
Word limit: 2000 words (excluding references)
Essay question model answer:
The general requirement for a good answer is to:
• Be well-written, showing evidence of critical insight and sound argument
• Show reading of relevant material and an ability to integrate this material into the answer in a well-structured and effective manner.
A passing answer must attempt to:
• Introduce the general features of a taxonomy for behaviour change techniques
• Describe the behavioural pathogen in relation to its impact on health and identify any specific features of the behaviour that are potentially modifiable
• Draw on a range of research to illustrate the nature of interventions for the identified behavioural pathogen
• Classify these interventions according to the chosen taxonomy
• Critically evaluate the utility of the identified techniques for modifying the specified behaviour
• Comment on which techniques the evidence suggests future interventions should employ
Furthermore, a good answer will include one or more of the following:
• Describe the attributes of more than one version of the taxonomy identifying developments over time and/or present an argument for adopting an alternative classification system
• Critically discuss the merits of the chosen taxonomy or approach to classifying behaviour change techniques
• Draw on an extensive range of research to illustrate the nature of interventions for the identified behavioural pathogen and/or produce a focussed review of studies addressing a limited range of intervention strategies based on a theoretical argument
• Highlight the limitations of using a taxonomy-based approach to classifying intervention strategies
• Produce a sophisticated critical discussion regarding which techniques the evidence suggests future interventions should employ
• Relate the evidence for specific strategies to identifiable health psychology models or theories.