Teoría centrada en los atributos para abordar los cambios de comportamiento

Translated title of the contribution: Attribute-centred theorizing to address behavioural changes

Rajiv N. Rimal, Maria Knight Lapinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the importance of behaviours in promoting health and wellness, persuading people to adopt and sustain healthy behaviours remains a significant public health challenge. Considerable progress has been made in developing and testing theories about the personal, social, environmental and structural drivers of behaviours. However, theorizing about behaviours themselves has remained elusive, as evidenced by the absence of a widely accepted taxonomy of behaviours. By carefully examining the nature of behaviours, practitioners and researchers can identify the most effective ways to promote behavioural change. We propose attribute-centred theorizing as an approach for defining behaviours based on their relevant properties, which can then assist in developing a taxonomy of behaviours and theorizing about them. Behaviours differ because of their underlying properties; for example, some behaviours are addictive, others are publicly observable and others are expensive. Addictiveness, privacy and cost are therefore three (of the many) attributes relevant for theorizing about behaviours. We describe a framework for operationalizing attribute-centred theorizing, which includes generating behavioural attributes, verifying and testing those attributes, and constructing a behavioural matrix to inform campaigns or interventions. We illustrate this framework using the examples of Guinea-worm disease and cardiovascular diseases. The benefits of our approach include the ability to inform intervention development and the ability to generalize across different behaviours; however, more research on converting the behavioural matrix into actual policy is needed.

Translated title of the contributionAttribute-centred theorizing to address behavioural changes
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)828-833
Number of pages6
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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