Grand Final behavior change

Behavior Change 1
Student’s Name
Behavior Change 2
Influences of Behavior Change
In recent years, behavioral change has been a tool that businesses, governments, and
organizations use to enact policies or change the course of action. For instance, the rapidly
developing technology has fueled fast marketing and companies have to be flexible in accepting
changes otherwise it easily lose its competitive edge and thus faced out due to its inability to
meet clients' needs. Additionally, the healthcare industry campaign for behavioral change in the
aspect that will lead to quality of life such as the campaign against cigarette smoking or
excessive drinking. As a result, numerous philosophical theories try to explain how behavioral
change come by and the main ingredients to motivate such changes. An example of such
arguments is the Social Cognitive Theory that proposes that external factors but not inner drive
influence people and therefore triadic interaction composed of environmental factors, personal
and behavior can best describe human functioning (Vlaev and Dolan, 2015, P.69). From all the
theories, the essential elements that define behavior change are like a threat, fear, response
efficacy, self-efficacy, barriers, and attitude. The agents of impacting behavioral change in
society are the government, non-governmental agencies, churches, leaders, and other agencies
(Lyons et al., 2014). The media is the most influential of all in the campaign for behavioral
change. The big questions that remain are who define what is good or bad and where is a change
required. Therefore, this paper seeks to find out if behavior change occur through publicity and
media campaigns.
The environment surrounding an individual is the most influencing factor in behavioral
change. For instance, the government plays a pivotal role in bringing behavioral change to its
citizens through a range of policies, namely regulations, taxes, sanctions, subsidies, and public
services provisions. The reason behind government engagement in behavior change is due to
Behavior Change 3
associated benefits concerning economic and social. Examples are like regulations to prevent
collusive behavior in businesses or to curb undesirable practices such as crime (Scollo et al.,
2015). The government of Australia, for instance, have enacted legislation to reduce the impact
that smoking and other tobacco products has had on the citizens. On May 31, 2007, South
Australia passed a law that bans smoking in a vehicle in the presence of children under 16 years.
Also, all tobacco products either imported or manufactured for retail had to have warning labels
since March 2016. As a result, 30% of the front and 90% on the back of the cigarette pack
contains health warnings (Roeseler et al., 2016). Another approach is increasing the tax on
tobacco products. The increase in price in 2011 saw an 11% fall in the tobacco consumption.
Another example is the enactment of the smoke-free workplace in California, and from
1990 to 2005, the rate dropped from 29% to 14%. Californians reported 95% having smoke-free
workplaces. It also saw a decline of 20% for daily smokers from 17.3 to 13.8 sticks per day and a
higher number considering and attempting to quit smoking (Roeseler et al., 2016).
Furthermore, the issue of same-sex marriage has been a contentious issue in most parts of
the world. People's behavior was majorly defined by their religious stands which for the staunch,
it was intolerable and abhorred. However, with the relentless campaigns of gay and lesbian
community people have started to accept the inevitable (Thibaut, 2017). In Australia, the law that
restricted same-sex marriage in 2004 was amended in December 2017 after a rigorous yes-and-
no campaign that lasted for three months. Since that date equality in marriages, regardless of sex
is active, and Australia became the 25
country to recognize same-sex marriage. In the United
States, public opinion regarding gay marriages changed since presentation on the issue in 1980's
on an occasional basis and hastening in the 1990's. The "people power" supporting gay marriages
rose above 50% in 2011 (Sherkat, 2017: 390). Between 1988 and 2009, the rate of supporters of
Behavior Change 4
same-sex marriages was rising at 1 to 1.5%, and henceforth the pace accelerated. By 2016, 83%
of Americans between the age bracket of 18 and 29 support gay marriages (Sherkat, 2017: 390).
These statistics expatriate culture shift in gay marriages as a result of publicity and media
Behavior change in the society is entrenched in identity groups and role models. For
instance, the celebrities influence our dressing codes, hairstyle, walking, and body alterations,
especially on the youth (Taylor, 2017). It is through this knowledge that marketers focus on
identifying their products with famous people in the advertisements. Additionally, celebrities can
influence attitude, decision making, and understanding that people retain. The society is
conditioned to react positively to the standpoint of personalities. This influence accelerated
through social networks, and people emulate in the attempt to acquire such social capital.
Celebrity advocacy also has a behavioral change in the adoption of specific healthcare
prevention as in the case of Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy announcement (Evans et al.,
2014: 442). Following that announcement, there was an increase in the number of patients
screening for the impugned gene. Therefore, role models can serve as agents of positive behavior
change. However, the power of celebrities can be misused to impact an adverse behavior change.
For example, Jenny McCarthy led an anti-vaccine movement, and that action roused public
concern about the safety of the vaccines (Capurro, 2018:27). The popularity of media outlets has
made it easy for celebrities to communicate directly with the public to influence their knowledge,
desires, and attitude. Therefore, role models play a big part in shaping what people think is good
or bad.
As already stated, the social media plays a significant influence on behavior change. The
social outlets form the primary platform for people to present themselves and to communicate
Behavior Change 5
their thoughts. Social networking platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter together
with social media has changed the means of information creation and transmission (Vlaev and
Dolan, 2015, P.69). Consumers are subjected to social media influence with daily generated
content. Besides, human behavior change as we delve more into technology, especially the
internet use in daily life. Today, relationships, habits, shopping choices and good humor are a
subject of social media. According to the study conducted on social networking, it shows that
people adapt distinct personas in social networking which are due to the need to fit in the society
with a different culture (Lyons et al., 2014). It is worth noting, behavioral in social interaction
whereby the old-fashioned meet and talk is diminishing. Now, people are always with their
smartphones or tablets checking on their social status that is tied to virtual identity. Apart from
social networking, social media such as television and radios are more common. Previously,
owning a TV set was a big deal but now missing one is a big dent (Lyons et al., 2014).
Therefore, social media outreach is limitless and so is its influence on the behavior change. The
social media are the primary platform for advertising products, and services, and as a result
dictate the mode of change in behavior. The hip-hop culture, for instance, changed the behavior
of many youths through social media influence. The songs and visual performance express a lot
of violence and drug use and from which the young adult emulate (Taylor, 2016). Smoking of
weed or illegal drug usage is portrayed as being cool and have seen many young people
destroying their lives. Another aspect of social media influence is through the constant
advertisement of products. As the primary source of revenue, social media regularly expose their
viewers to ads and campaigns to lure them to change their behavior on specific brands.
The social media campaign that has been very successful are HIV awareness, against
women violation, and the need for gender equality. The onset of HIV saw people exposing
Behavior Change 6
negative perception to the victims. Having the virus, stigmatization at the doorstep whether
acquired from an unfaithful partner or born with was troubling. People had a varied
misconception on the mode of transmission of the virus and their first reaction was the isolation
of the victims (Lyons et al., 2014). The media in conjunction with healthcare practitioners helped
to educate the mass. Today, victims leaving with AIDs co-exist with others in a typical situation.
Another campaign is that of women to have equal rights as men in the workplaces. In the past
years, women were not considered equivalent to the men and were looked-down-upon. As a
result, girls were never sent to school or even considered for the leadership position. However,
through the constant campaign such as “Let Girls Learn” in the US, women have gained an equal
right to men, and any holding higher position in executive positions evidence this (Vlaev and
Dolan, 2015, P.69). The drives had a significant impact in that the pay rate gap is narrowing,
women elected in executive positions, and girls are getting equal opportunity in education.
Currently, the campaigns that are going on are majorly focused on cancer, gender
equality and fight against HIV and AIDs. Non-governmental agencies like the UN also focus on
eradicating hunger and poverty, especially in third world continents. Also, the same-sex
campaigns are still ongoing since some parts, especially in Africa, are yet to absorb the idea.
Retrospectively, influences on behavior change are numerous, and the publicity and
media campaign are the primary agents. Governments, organizations, and other groups influence
behavior change to impact the shift in perception or values. For instance, the government of
Australia uses legislation to reduce the tobacco products used to improve the quality of life.
Additionally, campaigns have allowed people to change their perceptions of people living with
HIV and cancer on top of promoting gender equality. However, the media as the primary agent
of behavioral change has impetus the spread of the hip-hop culture that has resulted in the
Behavior Change 7
adverse outcome to the younger generations. Therefore, as much as media assist in promoting
positive behavior change, it has also played a part in bringing negative influence and moderation
in the use of the same is recommended.
Behavior Change 8
Capurro, G., Greenberg, J., Dubé, E., and Driedger, M., 2018. Measles, Moral Regulation and
the Social Construction of Risk: Media Narratives of "Anti-Vaxxers" and the 2015
Disneyland Outbreak. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 43(1), pp.25-48.
Evans, D.G.R., Barwell, J., Eccles, D.M., Collins, A., Izatt, L., Jacobs, C., Donaldson, A., Brady,
A.F., Cuthbert, A., Harrison, R. and Thomas, S., 2014. The Angelina Jolie effect: how
high celebrity profile can have a major impact on the provision of cancer-related services.
Breast Cancer Research, 16(5), p.442.
Lyons, E.J., Lewis, Z.H., Mayrsohn, B.G., and Rowland, J.L., 2014. Behavior change techniques
implemented in electronic lifestyle activity monitors: A systematic content analysis.
Journal of medical Internet research, 16(8).
Maher, C.A., Lewis, L.K., Ferrar, K., Marshall, S., De Bourdeaudhuij, I. and Vandelanotte, C.,
2014. Are health behavior change interventions that use online social networks
effectively? A systematic review. Journal of medical Internet research, 16(2).
Roeseler, A., Solomon, M., Beatty, C. and Sipler, A.M., 2016. The tobacco control network's
policy readiness and stage of change assessment: what the results suggest for moving
tobacco control efforts forward at the state and territorial levels. Journal of Public Health
Management and Practice, 22(1), pp.9-19.
Scollo, Michelle, Kylie Lindorff, Kerri Coomber, Megan Bayly, and Melanie Wakefield.
"Standardised packaging and new enlarged graphic health warnings for tobacco products
in Australialegislative requirements and implementation of the Tobacco Plain
Packaging Act 2011 and the Competition and Consumer (Tobacco) Information
Standard, 2011." Tobacco control 24, no. Supple 2 (2015): ii9-ii16.
Behavior Change 9
Sherkat, D.E., 2017. Intersecting Identities and Support for Same-sex Marriage in the United
States. Social Currents, 4(4), pp.380-400.
Taylor, K.D., 2016. Pop, Hip Hop, and Empire, Study of a New Pedagogical Approach in a
Developmental Reading and English Class.
Thibaut, J.W., 2017. The social psychology of groups. Routledge.
Vlaev, I., and Dolan, P., 2015. Action change theory: A reinforcement learning perspective on
behavior change. Review of General Psychology, 19(1), p.69.

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