Document Detail

Self-evaluative emotions and expectations about self-evaluative emotions in health-behaviour change.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17588290     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Engaging in a behaviour that has negative physical consequences is considered to be a threat to the self because it makes the self appear inadequate and non-adaptive. This self-threat is experienced as self-evaluative emotions. The self-threat can be removed by refraining from the unhealthy behaviour. The experience of self-threat influences behaviour because it contributes to expectations about the occurrence of self-evaluative emotions in the case of behaviour change. The results of Study 1, conducted among 503 smokers, showed that self-evaluative emotions were the central predictor of quitting activity during a 7-month period, among measures related to the negative consequences of smoking. The results of Study 2, conducted among 409 smokers, showed that expectations about the self-evaluative emotions that follow quitting smoking predicted quitting activity during a 9-month period and that these expectations partly mediated the relation between self-evaluative emotions and quitting. The results of Study 3, conducted among 255 smokers, showed that information on the negative outcomes of smoking led to quitting activity only when there was room to change self-evaluative outcome expectations. In addition, increases in these expectations predicted quitting activity during a 6-month period. The results suggest that negative self-evaluative emotions are a central motive to change unhealthy behaviour and that self-evaluative outcome expectations govern the behaviour change. The results can be understood within Steele's (1999) Self-affirmation theory.
Arie Dijkstra; Abraham P Buunk
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The British journal of social psychology / the British Psychological Society     Volume:  47     ISSN:  0144-6665     ISO Abbreviation:  Br J Soc Psychol     Publication Date:  2008 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-03-07     Completed Date:  2008-06-10     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8105534     Medline TA:  Br J Soc Psychol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  119-37     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of Groningen, Social and Organizational Psychology, Groningen, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Health Behavior*
Self Concept*
Smoking / epidemiology

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