Connecting perceptual control theory with health behavior

Sigger, Jonathan (2023) Connecting perceptual control theory with health behavior. In: The Interdisciplinary Handbook of Perceptual Control Theory, Volume 2: Living in the Loop. Mansell, Warren, de Hullu, Eva, Huddy, Vyv and Scholte, Tom, eds. Elsevier, pp. 165-188. pbk-ISBN 9780323911658, e-ISBN 9780323998413. [Book Section] (doi:10.1016/B978-0-323-91165-8.00005-6)


This chapter presents a case for bringing a perceptual control theory (PCT; Powers, 1973) perspective into health psychology. The central thesis is that PCT offers new insights for health and health research that go beyond the conventional cognitive-behavioral mainstream theories that inform health behavior change interventions. The main contribution being that PCT offers a coherent definition of health and an explanation of health behavior and health behavior variability under invariant reference states or goals. The chapter summarizes the process of gathering initial evidence for perceptual control, presents a case study on variability in hand hygiene, and describes how behavior change in dieting and quitting smoking can be framed as processes of control loops.

Item Type: Book Section
Sustainable Development Goals:
Keywords (uncontrolled): Health psychology; Perceptual control; Hand hygiene; Behavior change
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 37872
Depositing User: Jonathan Sigger
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2023 08:27
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2023 14:16

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