The Integrated Behavioral Model (IBM) is the natural evolution of two earlier theories within social science; the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). The model is designed to provide an understanding of human behavior. It can also be used as a model for prediction, such as estimating the rate of high-risk drinking among college students. Psychologists regularly utilize IBM in addiction treatment, but it can be used across a multitude of fields. Understanding IBM can go a long way in understanding why people are drawn toward negative behaviors and how they can initiate change in their lives.
The Integrated Behavioral Model
IBM builds upon the models presented by TPB and TRA. There are a number of new/changed determinants within the model, which influence an individual’s intention to perform a certain behavior. These determinants include descriptive norm, personal agency, experiential attitude and self-efficacy. Perceived norm forms a significant part of IBM because it takes into account the social pressures an individual may feel to perform or avoid a certain behavior. Descriptive norm focuses on the individual’s perspective regarding whether or not they perform a certain behavior.
The final defining measure within IBM is the role of personal agency which is a combination of perceived control and self-efficacy. The latter focuses on how confident an individual is in their ability to carry out a certain action or to behave in a certain manner. Understanding these concepts regarding behavior can aid addiction treatment specialists in also understanding the root cause(s) of an individual’s addiction and the obstacles they will need to confront in order to break that addiction.
IBM further elaborates on the four additional factors which transcend intention; this is where the model goes beyond TRA and TPB. The four factors influencing behavior are: knowledge/skills, importance of that behavior, environmental constraints and habit. These four factors should be considered before deciding on an intervention which promotes changes in behavior.
The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA)
TRA is the first theory within social psychology that led to the modern IBM. It aims to explain the connection between behaviors and attitudes within the context of human action.
The theory is applied to predict and explain why someone may behave a certain way, based on their intentions and attitudes. It concentrates mainly on the motivation for someone to perform a certain action. For example, it may be used to understand why someone may want to drink alcohol excessively or indulge in hard drugs.
The Theory Of Planned Behavior (TPB)
TPB was a theory proposed by social psychologist Icek Ajzen with the view to improve TRA’s ability to accurately predict human behaviors.
The main difference between TRA and TPB is that the latter adds perceived behavioral control into the theory. It proposes that attitude, norms and perceived behavioral control are what influence a person’s intentions and behaviors. TPB is widely considered to be a major building block of modern social science. The model is now used within fields as diverse as healthcare, sports management and advertising.
Who Are Integrated Behavioral Models Intended For?
The average patient does not need to have a working knowledge of integrated behavioral models. These models are geared toward healthcare providers within the clinical environment.
They are primarily designed to enhance the understanding of an individual and why they display certain behaviors. Healthcare providers can then provide targeted interventions and treatment plans in an attempt to alter those behaviors. It should be mentioned that IBM is assumed to apply to any situation. It is a generalized approach, so users of this model must not consider it to be a silver bullet. Not every aspect of the IBM carries the same weight and influence on behavior.
One interuniversity study revealed that behavioral intention was by far the biggest factor within the IBM. This explains why, for example, an alcoholic who does not truly want to quit drinking will continue to drink regardless of the health concerns or the perceived damage to their personal and professional lives. Agencies must, therefore, take the conclusions of the IBM and apply them in a way that most benefits the patient. Care providers should not seek to base their decisions exclusively on the conclusions of an IBM study.
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