Changing Public Behavior
Unit 4 Introduction
Linking environmental management with behavior change goals
Background for this section:
Changing Public Behavior Self Study Modules, STEP 4. Collect audience information relevant to the environmental practice and specific behaviors
Linking environmental management with behavior change goals requires an understanding of how to apply behavior-change theories and techniques.
In Unit 3, you identified one or more preferred environmental practices applicable to the situation you want to manage. In order to refine outreach or education goals likely to result in the behavior change you seek, you further defined the recommended practice into separate, sequential behaviors. Each of these can be tested for their acceptability and any need for training. And as practice for applying Unit 3 concepts, you analyzed sample recommendations, with a behavior change model in mind. [See Forum 3.2]
In brief, to incorporate behavior change into an outreach plan, we eventually want to know:
- What does the individual believe about the specific behavior?
- What does the individual believe about his or her ability to perform the behavior?
- Can/does the individual perform the behavior?
- What do other people believe about the behavior? And do they perform it?
- What does the individual think that other people think?
Print a copy of the Behavior Change Tip sheet to help you keep these points in mind.
In Unit 4, you will explore behavior change in more detail. You will engage in practice activities that will increase your understanding of what the audience is capable and willing to do. You will consider how to assess your audience including deciding what information to collect, how to collect the information, and analyzing what the information means and how it could be used in an outreach initiative.
Educators need to decide
- what to learn about their target audience,
- how to select indicators of change, and
- how to use audience information to create change.
Understanding theories about behavior change and practice in applying those theories will allow you to imagine a targeted education initiative that has a good chance of achieving the goals you’ve identified.
Unit 4 Content includes:
4.1 Using behavior change theories
4.2 Whose behavior is relevant?
4.3 Typical barriers to behavior change
4.4 Theories about individual behavior
4.5 Other influences on behavior
4.6 Applying behavior theories
4.7 Integrative model of behavior theories
4.8 Understand intention to change