Design inspired by Blackle

Rik Crutzen
Professor of Behaviour Change & Technology

Department of Health Promotion
Maastricht University

rik (dot) crutzen (at) maastrichtuniversity (dot) nl

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I. The dynamics of behaviour (change)

Together with Gjalt-Jorn Peters (Open University, The Netherlands), I have published an open access article in Health Psychology Review about pragmatic nihilism: a view on explaining behaviour that enables integrating theories in a flexible and accurate manner and that emphasizes the importance of operationalisations. A second open access article in Health Psychology Review focuses on evolutionary learning processes (ELPs) as fundamental building blocks that are on a lower level of psychological aggregation than behaviour change methods. Using these insights during intervention development may increase the likelihood of developing effective interventions in terms of behaviour change. These are the first steps towards a broader perspective on the dynamics of behaviour (change) and how to study this.


II. Recommender systems

Together with Philippe Giabbanelli (Furman University, USA), I am exploring a novel combination of impactful but resource-intensive interventions (such as provided by therapists) with fully automated interventions. More specifically, Internet-delivered interventions that capture the dynamics of behaviours through recommender systems. Background information can be found in an article in Health Informatics Journal.


III. IPEBA: Iterative Protocol for Evidence Base Accumulation

Together with Gjalt-Jorn Peters (Open University, The Netherlands) and Marijn de Bruin (University of Aberdeen, UK), I have published an open access article in Health Psychology Review about meta-regressions on evaluations of behaviour change interventions, deriving each method's effectiveness from its association to intervention effect size. There are a range of issues that raise concern about whether this approach is actually furthering or instead obstructing the advancement of health psychology theories and the quality of health behaviour change interventions. This article serves as a starting point for further research. For example, together with Dianne Cyr (Simon Fraser University, Canada), I have conducted a study based on the recommendations of IPEBA. More specifically, a full-factorial design is used to explore the optimal combination of parameters for use in an online context. The study is described in an open access article in Frontiers in Psychology.