Social Cognition models play a big role in regulation of human behavior. They explain vital cognitions in a view of relating them to human behavior. There are two types of models which are commonly used in determining people’s behavior. Through observation and analysis a relationship between a person’s reaction to treatment and his healthy behavior can be drawn. The two cognition models include Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and Health Belief Behavior (HBM) models (Ajzen, 1988 and Rosenstock, 1966).
The HBM model is a key model used to determine certain actions of a person that they engage in with an aim of preventing health problems. (Rosenstock 1966; Becker 1974) For this reason, there are two types of human behavior observed and analyzed under this model. One of the behaviors is a person’s readiness to deal with the health problem when it pops up.
The second behavior is a person’s preventive mechanism towards health problems. Kasl and Cobb (1966) introduce illness behavior and sick -role behavior as examples of HBM. Illness behavior is described as including the behaviors of a sick person in seeking suitable remedy, whereas sickrole behavior is the activity that the person undergoes in receiving treatment.
It involves surrendering to a quailed medical practitioner. Severity of the illness and the illness itself acts as barriers to action perception (Rosenstock, 1974). However the benefit of a perceived action arises in cases where a person has laid down the funds ready to meet the costs of the illness he had perceived.(Nejad, Weirthheim and Greenhood, 2004).
According to Sheehan and Abraham, the modifying variables include costs and constraints of the illness. (Sheeran and Abraham, 1996). In switching variables the HBM model aims to determine why people engage in unhealthy activities despite their knowledge of the risks it can pose to them.
The difference between the HBM model and the TPB is that there is no specific mode of behavior determination. It is assumed that independent variables may cause prediction of certain human behaviors. This model has however been met with criticisms from other scholars (Norman and Conner 2006). Despite the criticisms it has been established that this method is effective in behavior analysis in different situations due to its flexibility (Barsen-Engquist and Parcel, 1992).
TPB model is an extension of the Theory of Reasoned Action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). It majors in the following predictors of Human behavior: attitude change, Subjective norm and perceived behavioral control (Ajzen, 1985, 1988).
Attitude is defined as a person’s belief in relation to the outcome of the behavior in conjunction with that person’s belief for evaluation of the behavioral outcome. Subjective norm is defined as a person’s belief in others accompanied by an evaluation of whether she is motivated by the others action ( Cialdini, Kallgren and Reno 1991).
Perceived behavior control variable involves determining a person’s belief in control in whatever behavior he engages in. This variable is used to analyze whether a person’s belief in control either catalyses his engagement in the behavior or inhibits it. Despite its weaknesses of lack of health assessment as a threat, lack of sequence in events and timing coupled with the fact that it predicts intention only, TPB has been labeled a better predictor than other models
There are certain similarities between the two models from previous studies (Weinstein 1993, Garcia and Mann, 2003). One major similarity is that both the TPB and the HBM can predict positive behavior (Beck, 1981). Another similarity arises from the fact that apart from predicting positive health behaviors this two cognition models can be used to predict negative health behavior.
In conclusion, both the TPB and the HBM are relevant methods of predicting behaviors since research shows that they have been successful in the prediction of certain type of behaviors for instance predicting sexual behavior in students (Rutter, 1989), eating sugary foodstuff and smoking(Mullen, Hersey and Iverson, 1987). These two methods help a great deal in reduction of deaths caused by unhealthy behavior.
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