Chapter 11 Glossary and Chrestomathy

Because there are many different approaches to behavior change, and people have been studying behavior change systematically for many years, various terms exist for what are essentially the same things. Because of this, it is important to precisely define terms one uses, which we do in the glossary.

Similarly, because so many terms exist, a translation table would be useful. This is what we provide in the chrestomathy section.4

The definitions in the glossary are all about humans. Two versions of the glossary are provided: one organised conceptually, so that more basic, fundamental terms precede the more complex terms that build upon those fundamental concepts, and one alphabetically.

11.1 Conceptually organized glossary

Behavior
Motor activity.
Psychology
The brain and how it works.
Constructs
Descriptions of parts of psychology. Constructs are not natural kinds; they are not observable, and can be seen as metaphors (Peters and Crutzen 2017).
Determinants
Constructs that contribute to determining whether people engage in a behavior (i.e. constructs that causally predict a behavior).
Manipulations
Descriptions of procedures and zero or more stimuli designed to influence one or more constructs.
Parameter
A dimension along which a manipulation or construct can be specified with a higher degree of specificity (e.g., type of model used, type of information provided). Most potential dimensions are irrelevant, e.g. when providing a glass of water as a reward, whether the glass is made of glass of crystal may be irrelevant; when a message is shown, whether the font is serif or sans-serif may be irrelevant; and when a group session is held, whether all participants have the same hair color may be irrelevant.
Operational decisions
Decisions where a parameter value is selected, for example using a coping model versus a mastery model; rewarding behaviors versus rewarding goals; and giving information about advantages versus disadvantages.
To parametrize
Taking one or more operational decisions in order to operationalize a manipulation into an operationalization.
Conditions for effectiveness
Identified optimal operational decisions of manipulations (e.g. always use a coping model, not a mastery model).
Operationalization
A specific implementation of a manipulation, i.e. a completely parametrized manipulation (an ‘application’ in the vocabularies of the Book of Behavior Change and Intervention Mapping).
Moderator
A construct that causally influences the association between two other constructs. Note how this differs from a parameter, which describes a dimension along which a manipulation is operationalized into an operationalization.

11.2 Alphabetically organized glossary

Behavior
Motor activity.
Conditions for effectiveness
Identified optimal operational decisions of manipulations (e.g. always use a coping model, not a mastery model).
Constructs
Descriptions of parts of psychology. Constructs are not natural kinds; they are not observable, and can be seen as metaphors (Peters and Crutzen 2017).
Determinants
Constructs that contribute to determining whether people engage in a behavior (i.e. constructs that causally predict a behavior).
Manipulations
Descriptions of procedures and zero or more stimuli designed to influence one or more constructs.
Moderator
A construct that causally influences the association between two other constructs. Note how this differs from a parameter, which describes a dimension along which a manipulation is operationalized into an operationalization.
Operational decisions
Decisions where a parameter value is selected, for example using a coping model versus a mastery model; rewarding behaviors versus rewarding goals; and giving information about advantages versus disadvantages.
Operationalization
A specific implementation of a manipulation, i.e. a completely parametrized manipulation (an ‘application’ in the vocabularies of the Book of Behavior Change and Intervention Mapping).
Parameter
A dimension along which a manipulation or construct can be specified with a higher degree of specificity (e.g., type of model used, type of information provided). Most potential dimensions are irrelevant, e.g. when providing a glass of water as a reward, whether the glass is made of glass of crystal may be irrelevant; when a message is shown, whether the font is serif or sans-serif may be irrelevant; and when a group session is held, whether all participants have the same hair color may be irrelevant.
Psychology
The brain and how it works.
To parametrize
Taking one or more operational decisions in order to operationalize a manipulation into an operationalization.

11.3 Chrestomathy

Definition Book of Behavior Change Wider psychological literature Intervention Mapping Behavior Change Wheel
Part of human psychology Construct Construct - -
Construct that (co-)determines behavior Determinant - Determinant Mechanism of Action
Description of procedure and stimuli designed to change a construct Behavior Change Principle Manipulation Method of Behavior Change Behavior Change Technique
Dimension along which a construct or manipulation can be specified Parameter - - -
For one parameter, the optimal parametrization of a manipulation Condition for effectiveness - Parameter for use -
One specific full parametrization of a construct or manipulation Application Operationalization Application -

References

Peters, G.-J.Y., and R. Crutzen. 2017. “Pragmatic Nihilism: How a Theory of Nothing Can Help Health Psychology Progress.” Health Psychology Review 11: 103–21.


  1. It’s not really a chrestomathy, but close enough.