Using theory to design effective health behavior interventions

Martin Fishbein, Marco C. Yzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

710 Scopus citations


This article demonstrates the usefulness of two theories for the development of effective health communication campaigns. The integrative model of behavioral prediction focuses on changing beliefs about consequences, normative issues, and efficacy with respect to a particular behavior. Media priming theory focuses on strengthening the association between a belief and its outcomes, such as attitude and intention toward performing the behavior. Both the integrative model of behavioral prediction and media priming theory provide guidance with respect to the selection of beliefs to target in an intervention. The article describes the theories, shows how they can be applied to the selection of target beliefs, and, for each theory, defines the criteria for belief selection. The two theories as well as their appropriate analytic strategies are complementary rather than conflicting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-183
Number of pages20
JournalCommunication Theory
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


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