VIDEO: A quick introduction to self-determination theory and behaviour change

Dan Gipple, BetterPoints CEO - 31 October 2018

I just want to tell you about a theory that I think is really important for people involved in behaviour change to understand: Self-Determination Theory.

What this basically means is that people have three intrinsic needs. The first need is for people to feel like they're autonomous, that they're independent; they can live their lives independently.

The second one is that they feel confident that they can actually achieve things, that they can be respected for the things that they do.

And the third one is how do they relate to people: do they feel like they're they're isolated or do they feel like they actually have good relationships.

So anytime here at BetterPoints we're looking at a behaviour change theory, we're looking at the target audience we're working with and what position are they in on those three levels.

The second thing we look at – if we're asking them to start taking the bus, or running or walking – do they even have the capability to do that?

If somebody's been in a deep cycle of inactivity for a long time and they're on a couch and they don't feel well, we need to think about how do we actually begin to convince them they've got a capability; how do we give them the opportunity to do that; and finally, how do we motivate them to do that.

That's a model of behaviour change called COM-B: Capability, Opportunity and Motivation. 


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