Grounding motivation for behaviour change

Papies, E. K. , Barsalou, L. W. , Claassen, M. A., Davis, T., Farrar, S. T., Gauthier, E., Rodger, A., Tatar, B. , Wehbe, L. H. and Werner, J. (2022) Grounding motivation for behaviour change. In: Gawronski, B. (ed.) Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Academic Press, pp. 107-189. ISBN 9780323990806 (doi: 10.1016/bs.aesp.2022.04.002)

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Many of the key problems humans are facing today result from desires, habits, and social norms impeding behavior change. Here, we apply a grounded cognition perspective to these phenomena, suggesting that simulating the consequences of one's behaviors plays a key role in them. We first describe the grounded cognition theory of desire and motivated behavior, and present evidence on how consumption and reward simulations underlie people's representation of appetitive stimuli and guide motivated behavior. Then, we discuss how the theory can be used to understand the effects of habits, social norms, and various self-regulation strategies. We suggest conceptualizing behavior change as overcoming the simulations of hedonic and social reward that favor existing habits and behaviors, and as updating situated representations of motivated behaviors in their social context. We discuss how this perspective can help us understand the challenges that people experience in initiating and repeating new behaviors, and in high-impact decision-making in the face of the status quo. In order to move beyond the socially sanctioned, habitual behaviors that currently threaten human and planetary health, we must understand what motivates them, and how this motivation can be harnessed for the greater good.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Papies, Dr Esther and Barsalou, Professor Lawrence and Rodger, Ms Amy and Claassen, Mrs Maria Almudena and Farrar, Dr Stephanie and Gauthier, Ms Elodie and Wehbe, Ms Lara and Tatar, Betül and Davis, Ms Tess and Werner, Johanna
Authors: Papies, E. K., Barsalou, L. W., Claassen, M. A., Davis, T., Farrar, S. T., Gauthier, E., Rodger, A., Tatar, B., Wehbe, L. H., and Werner, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Publisher:Academic Press
Published Online:28 July 2022

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