HC3 Research Primers

Social (or Observational) Learning Theory stipulates that people can learn new behaviors by observing others. Earlier learning theories emphasized how people behave in response to environmental stimuli, such as physical rewards or punishment.

Ideation refers to how new ways of thinking (or new behaviors) are diffused through a community by means of communication and social interaction among individuals and groups. Behavior is influenced by multiple social and psychological factors, as well as skills and environmental conditions that facilitate behavior.

Propensity Score Matching is a statistical technique that allows researchers to more accurately measure social and behavior change communication (SBCC) program impact and to make a strong case for causal attribution.

The Extended Parallel Processing Model (also widely known as Threat Management or Fear Management) describes how rational considerations (efficacy beliefs) and emotional reactions (fear of a health threat) combine to determine behavioral decisions.

Gender transformative approaches (GTA) are programs and interventions that create opportunities for individuals to actively challenge gender norms, promote positions of social and political influence for women in communities, and address power inequities between persons of different genders.

The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) is developing a series of research briefs on a variety of communication theories to help social and behavior change communication professionals design and implement their programs.

This research brief describes the Theory of Planned Behavior and when it should be used in designing social and behavior change communication programs.

It also features a case study of the theory in action, as well as what implementers need to know about the Theory of Planned Behavior.