Why we are not acting to save ourselves: ACT, Health, and Culture

Rehfeldt, Ruth Anne and Tyndall, Ian (2021) Why we are not acting to save ourselves: ACT, Health, and Culture. Behaviour Analysis in Practice. pp. 1-16. ISSN 1998-1929

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Chronic health conditions are increasing at an alarming rate world-wide, and many could be prevented if people were to engage in specific lifestyle behaviors. Intervening on lifestyle behaviors is challenging due to the fact that the consequences associated with unhealthy behaviors are temporally distant and probabilistic, and the aversive functions of covert stimuli may interfere with people’s engagement in healthy, preventative behaviors. This paper explores the role of relational framing in the promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors, and summarizes research supporting the use of Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) as a framework for prevention and intervention. We explore how ACT alters the context in which rigid patterns of rule-following occur. ACT loosens the literal functions of stimuli so that experiential avoidance behaviors are weakened and healthy, values-consistent behaviors are strengthened. We propose culture-wide interventions inspired by Contextual Behavior Science so that healthier societies can be cultivated.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Health, prevention, Relational Frame Theory, ACT, culture
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Departments > Psychology and Counselling
Depositing User: Ian Tyndall
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2021 12:43
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2021 14:09
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/5707

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