TABLE 19

Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy v1: 93 hierarchically clustered techniques

Grouping and BCTsGrouping and BCTsGrouping and BCTs
1. Goals and planning6. Comparison of behaviour12. Antecedents
 1.1 Goal-setting (behaviour) 6.1. Demonstration of the behaviour 12.1. Restructuring the physical environment
 1.2. Problem-solving 6.2. Social comparison 12.2. Restructuring the social environment
 1.3. Goal-setting (outcome) 6.3. Information about others’ approval 12.3. Avoidance/reducing exposure to cues for the behaviour
 1.4. Action planning7. Associations 12.4. Distraction
 1.5. Review behaviour goal(s) 7.1. Prompts/cues 12.5. Adding objects to the environment
 1.6. Discrepancy between current behaviour and goal 7.2. Cue signalling reward 12.6. Body changes
 1.7. Review outcome goal(s) 7.3. Reduce prompts/cues13. Identity
 1.8. Behavioural contract 7.4. Remove access to the reward 13.1. Identification of self as role model
 1.9. Commitment 7.5. Remove aversive stimulus 13.2. Framing/reframing
2. Feedback and monitoring 7.6. Satiation 13.3. Incompatible beliefs
 2.1. Monitoring of behaviour by others without feedback 7.7. Exposure 13.4. Valued self-identify
 2.2. Feedback on behaviour 7.8. Associative learning 13.5. Identity associated with changed behaviour
 2.3. Self-monitoring of behaviour8. Repetition and substitution14. Scheduled consequences
 2.4. Self-monitoring of outcome(s) of behaviour 8.1. Behavioural practice/rehearsal 14.1. Behaviour cost
 2.5. Monitoring of outcome(s) of behaviour without feedback 8.2. Behaviour substitution 14.2. Punishment
 2.6. Biofeedback 8.3. Habit formation 14.3. Remove reward
 2.7. Feedback on outcome(s) of behaviour 8.4. Habit reversal 14.4. Reward approximation
3. Social support 8.5. Overcorrection 14.5. Rewarding completion
 3.1. Social support (unspecified) 8.6. Generalisation of target behaviour 14.6. Situation-specific reward
 3.2. Social support (practical) 8.7. Graded tasks 14.7. Reward incompatible behaviour
 3.3. Social support (emotional)9. Comparison of outcomes 14.8. Reward alternative behaviour
4. Shaping knowledge 9.1. Credible source 14.9. Reduce reward frequency
 4.1. Instruction on how to perform the behaviour 9.2. Pros and cons 14.10. Remove punishment
 4.2. Information about antecedents 9.3. Comparative imagining of future outcomes15. Self-belief
 4.3. Re-attribution10. Reward and threat 15.1. Verbal persuasion about capability
 4.4. Behavioural experiments 10.1. Material incentive (behaviour) 15.2. Mental rehearsal of successful performance
5. Natural consequences 10.2. Material reward (behaviour) 15.3. Focus on past success
 5.1. Information about health consequences 10.3. Non-specific reward 15.4. Self-talk
 5.2. Salience of consequences 10.4. Social reward16. Covert learning
 5.3. Information about social and environmental consequences 10.5. Social incentive 16.1. Imaginary punishment
 5.4. Monitoring of emotional consequences 10.6. Non-specific incentive 16.2. Imaginary reward
 5.5. Anticipated regret 10.7. Self-incentive 16.3. Vicarious consequences
 5.6. Information about emotional consequences 10.8. Incentive (outcome)
 10.9. Self-reward
 10.10. Reward (outcome)
 10.11. Future punishment
11. Regulation
 11.1. Pharmacological support
 11.2. Reduce negative emotions
 11.3. Conserving mental resources
 11.4. Paradoxical instructions
NumberLabelDefinitionExamples
1. Goals and planning
1.1Goal-setting (behaviour)Set or agree on a goal defined in terms of the behaviour to be achieved
Note: only code goal-setting if there is sufficient evidence that goal set as part of intervention; if goal unspecified or a behavioural outcome, code 1.3, goal-setting (outcome); if the goal defines a specific context, frequency, duration or intensity for the behaviour, also code 1.4, action planning
Agree on a daily walking goal (e.g. 3 miles) with the person and reach agreement about the goal. Set the goal of eating five pieces of fruit per day as specified in public health guidelines
1.2*Problem-solvingAnalyse, or prompt the person to analyse, factors influencing the behaviour and generate or select strategies that include overcoming barriers and/or increasing facilitators (includes ‘relapse prevention ’ and ‘coping planning)
Note: barrier identification without solutions is not sufficient. If the BCT does not include analysing the behavioural problem, consider 12.3, avoidance/changing exposure to cues for the behaviour; 12.1, restructuring the physical environment; 12.2, restructuring the social environment; or 11.2, reduce negative emotions
Identify specific triggers (e.g. being in a pub, feeling anxious) that generate the urge/want/need to drink and develop strategies for avoiding environmental triggers or for managing negative emotions, such as anxiety, that motivate drinking. Prompt the patient to identify barriers preventing them from starting a new exercise regime, e.g. lack of motivation, and discuss ways in which they could help overcome them, e.g. going to the gym with a buddy
1.3*Goal-setting (outcome)Set or agree on a goal defined in terms of a positive outcome of wanted behaviour
Note: only code guidelines if set as a goal in an intervention context; if goal is a behaviour, code 1.1, goal-setting (behaviour); if goal unspecified code 1.3, goal-setting (outcome)
Set a weight loss goal (e.g. 0.5 kg over 1 week) as an outcome of changed eating patterns
1.4*Action planningPrompt detailed planning of performance of the behaviour (must include at least one of context, frequency, duration and intensity). Context may be environmental (physical or social) or internal (physical, emotional or cognitive includes implementation intentions)
Note: evidence of action planning does not necessarily imply goal-setting, only code latter if sufficient evidence
Encourage a plan to carry condoms when going out socially at weekends. Prompt planning the performance of a particular physical activity (e.g. running) at a particular time (e.g. before work) on certain days of the week
1.5*Review behaviour goal(s)Review behaviour goal(s) jointly with the person and consider modifying goal(s) or behaviour change strategy in light of achievement. This may lead to resetting the same goal, a small change in that goal or setting a new goal instead of (or in addition to) the first, or no change
Note: if goal specified in terms of behaviour, code 1.5, review behaviour goal(s), if goal unspecified, code 1.7, review outcome goal(s); if discrepancy created consider also 1.6, discrepancy between current behaviour and goal
Examine how well a person’s performance corresponds to agreed goals, e.g. whether or not they consumed less than one unit of alcohol per day, and consider modifying future behavioural goals accordingly, e.g. by increasing or decreasing alcohol target or changing type of alcohol consumed
1.6Discrepancy between current behaviour and goalDraw attention to discrepancies between a person’s current behaviour (in terms of the form, frequency, duration or intensity of that behaviour) and the person’s previously set outcome goals, behavioural goals or action plans (goes beyond self-monitoring of behaviour)
Note: if discomfort is created only code 13.3, incompatible beliefs and not 1.6, discrepancy between current behaviour and goal if goals are modified, also code 1.5, review behaviour goal(s) and/or 1.7, review outcome goal(s); if feedback is provided, also code 2.2, feedback on behaviour
Point out that the recorded exercise fell short of the goal set
1.7*Review outcome goal(s)Review outcome goal(s) jointly with the person and consider modifying goal(s) in light of achievement. This may lead to resetting the same goal, a small change in that goal or setting a new goal instead of, or in addition to the first
Note: if goal specified in terms of behaviour, code 1.5, review behaviour goal(s), if goal unspecified, code 1.7, review outcome goal(s); if discrepancy created consider also 1.6, discrepancy between current behaviour and goal
Examine how much weight has been lost and consider modifying outcome goal(s) accordingly, e.g. by increasing or decreasing subsequent weight loss targets
1.8Behavioural contractCreate a written specification of the behaviour to be performed, agreed on by the person, and witnessed by another
Note: also code 1.1, goal-setting (behaviour)
Sign a contract with the person, e.g. specifying that they will not drink alcohol for 1 week
1.9CommitmentAsk the person to affirm or reaffirm statements indicating commitment to change the behaviour
Note: if defined in terms of the behaviour to be achieved also code 1.1, goal-setting (behaviour)
Ask the person to use an ‘I will’ statement to affirm or reaffirm a strong commitment (i.e. using the words ‘strongly’, ‘committed’ or ‘high priority’) to start, continue or restart the attempt to take medication as prescribed
2. Feedback and monitoring
2.1Monitoring of behaviour by others without feedbackObserve or record behaviour with the person’s knowledge as part of a behaviour change strategy
Note: if monitoring is part of a data collection procedure rather than a strategy aimed at changing behaviour, do not code; if feedback given, code only 2.2, feedback on behaviour, and not 2.1, monitoring of behaviour by others without feedback; if monitoring outcome(s) code 2.5, monitoring outcome(s) of behaviour by others without feedback; if self-monitoring behaviour, code 2.3, self-monitoring of behaviour
Watch hand washing behaviours among health-care staff and make notes on context, frequency and technique used
2.2*Feedback on behaviourMonitor and provide informative or evaluative feedback on performance of the behaviour (e.g. form, frequency, duration, intensity)
Note: if biofeedback, code only 2.6, biofeedback and not 2.2, feedback on behaviour; if feedback is on outcome(s) of behaviour, code 2.7, feedback on outcome(s) of behaviour; if there is no clear evidence that feedback was given, code 2.1, monitoring of behaviour by others without feedback; if feedback on behaviour is evaluative e.g. praise, also code 10.4, social reward
Inform the person of how many steps they walked each day (as recorded on a pedometer) or how many calories they ate each day (based on a food consumption questionnaire)
2.3*Self-monitoring of behaviourEstablish a method for the person to monitor and record their behaviour(s) as part of a behaviour change strategy
Note: if monitoring is part of a data collection procedure rather than a strategy aimed at changing behaviour, do not code; if monitoring of outcome of behaviour, code 2.4, self-monitoring of outcome(s) of behaviour; if monitoring is by someone else (without feedback), code 2.1, monitoring of behaviour by others without feedback
Ask the person to record daily, in a diary, whether or not they have brushed their teeth for at least two minutes before going to bed. Give patient a pedometer and a form for recording daily total number of steps
2.4Self-monitoring of outcome(s) of behaviourEstablish a method for the person to monitor and record the outcome(s) of their behaviour as part of a behaviour change strategy
Note: if monitoring is part of a data collection procedure rather than a strategy aimed at changing behaviour, do not code; if monitoring behaviour, code 2.3, self-monitoring of behaviour; if monitoring is by someone else (without feedback), code 2.5, monitoring outcome(s) of behaviour by others without feedback
Ask the person to weigh themselves at the end of each day, over a 2 week period, and record their daily weight on a graph to increase exercise behaviours
2.5*Monitoring outcome(s) of behaviour by others without feedbackObserve or record outcomes of behaviour with the person’s knowledge as part of a behaviour change strategy
Note: if monitoring is part of a data collection procedure rather than a strategy aimed at changing behaviour, do not code; if feedback given, code only 2.7, feedback on outcome(s) of behaviour; if monitoring behaviour code 2.1, monitoring of behaviour by others without feedback; if self-monitoring outcome(s), code 2.4, self-monitoring of outcome(s) of behaviour
Record blood pressure, blood glucose, weight loss, or physical fitness
2.6BiofeedbackProvide feedback about the body (e.g. physiological or biochemical state) using an external monitoring device as part of a behaviour change strategy
Note: if biofeedback, code only 2.6, biofeedback and not 2.2, feedback on behaviour or 2.7, feedback on outcome(s) of behaviour
Inform the person of their blood pressure reading to improve adoption of health behaviours
2.7*Feedback on outcome(s) of behaviourMonitor and provide feedback on the outcome of performance of the behaviour
Note: if biofeedback, code only 2.6, biofeedback and not 2.7, feedback on outcome(s) of behaviour; if feedback is on behaviour code 2.2, feedback on behaviour; if there is no clear evidence that feedback was given code 2.5, monitoring outcome(s) of behaviour by others without feedback; if feedback on behaviour is evaluative e.g. praise, also code 10.4, social reward
Inform the person of how much weight they have lost following the implementation of a new exercise regime
3. Social support
3.1*Social support (unspecified)Advise on, arrange or provide social support (e.g. from friends, relatives, colleagues, ‘buddies’ or staff) or non-contingent praise or reward for performance of the behaviour. It includes encouragement and counselling, but only when it is directed at the behaviour
Note: attending a group class and/or mention of ‘follow-up’ does not necessarily apply this BCT, support must be explicitly mentioned; if practical, code 3.2, social support (practical); if emotional, code 3.3, social support (emotional) (includes ‘motivational interviewing’ and ‘cognitive–behavioural therapy’)
Advise the person to call a ‘buddy’ when they experience an urge to smoke. Arrange for a housemate to encourage continuation with the behaviour change programme. Give information about a self-help group that offers support for the behaviour
3.2*Social support (practical)Advise on, arrange or provide practical help (e.g. from friends, relatives, colleagues, ‘buddies’ or staff) for performance of the behaviour
Note: if emotional, code 3.3, social support (emotional); if general or unspecified, code 3.1, social support (unspecified). If only restructuring the physical environment or adding objects to the environment, code 12.1, restructuring the physical environment or 12.5, adding objects to the environment; attending a group or class and/or mention of ‘follow-up’ does not necessarily apply this BCT, support must be explicitly mentioned
Ask the partner of the patient to put their tablet on the breakfast tray so that the patient remembers to take it
3.3Social support (emotional)Advise on, arrange or provide emotional social support (e.g. from friends, relatives, colleagues, ‘buddies’ or staff) for performance of the behaviour
Note: if practical, code 3.2, social support (practical); if unspecified, code 3.1, social support (unspecified)
Ask the patient to take a partner or friend with them to their colonoscopy appointment
4. Shaping knowledge
4.1*Instruction on how to perform a behaviourAdvise or agree on how to perform the behaviour (includes ‘skills training’)
Note: when the person attends classes such as exercise or cookery, code 4.1, instruction on how to perform the behaviour, 8.1, behavioural practice/rehearsal and 6.1, demonstration of the behaviour
Advise the person how to put a condom on a model of a penis correctly
4.2Information about antecedentsProvide information about antecedents (e.g. social and environmental situations and events, emotions, cognitions) that reliably predict performance of the behaviourAdvise to keep a record of snacking and of situations or events occurring prior to snacking
4.3Re-attributionElicit perceived causes of behaviour and suggest alternative explanations (e.g. external or internal and stable or unstable)If the person attributes their over-eating to the frequent presence of delicious food, suggest that the ‘real’ cause may be the person’s inattention to bodily signals of hunger and satiety
4.4Behavioural experimentsAdvise on how to identify and test hypotheses about the behaviour, its causes and consequences, by collecting and interpreting dataAsk a family physician to give evidence-based advice rather than prescribe antibiotics and to note whether the patients are grateful or annoyed
5. Natural consequences
5.1*Information about health consequencesProvide information (e.g. written, verbal, visual) about health consequences of performing the behaviour
Note: consequences can be for any target, not just the recipient(s) of the intervention; emphasising importance of consequences is not sufficient; if information about emotional consequences, code 5.6, information about emotional consequences; if about social, environmental or unspecified consequences code 5.3, information about social and environmental consequences
Explain that not finishing a course of antibiotics can increase susceptibility to future infection. Present the likelihood of contracting a sexually transmitted infection following unprotected sexual behaviour
5.2Salience of consequencesUse methods specifically designed to emphasise the consequences of performing the behaviour with the aim of making them more memorable (goes beyond informing about consequences)
Note: if information about consequences, also code 5.1, information about health consequences, 5.6, information about emotional consequences or 5.3, information about social and environmental consequences
Produce cigarette packets showing pictures of health consequences, e.g. diseased lungs, to highlight the dangers of continuing to smoke
5.3*Information about social and environmental consequencesProvide information (e.g. written, verbal, visual) about social and environmental consequences of performing the behaviour
Note: consequences can be for any target, not just the recipient(s) of the intervention; if information about health or consequences, code 5.1, information about health consequences; if about emotional consequences, code 5.6, information about emotional consequences; if unspecified, code 5.3, information about social and environmental consequences
Tell family physician about financial remuneration for conducting health screening. Inform a smoker that the majority of people disapprove of smoking in public places
5.4Monitoring of emotional consequencesPrompt assessment of feelings after attempts at performing the behaviourAgree that the person will record how they feel after taking their daily walk
5.5Anticipated regretInduce or raise awareness of expectations of future regret about performance of the unwanted behaviour
Note: not including 5.6, information about emotional consequences; if suggests adoption of a perspective or new perspective in order to change cognitions also code 13.2, framing/reframing
Ask the person to assess the degree of regret they will feel if they do not quit smoking
5.6Information about emotional consequencesProvide information (e.g. written, verbal, visual) about emotional consequences of performing the behaviour
Note: consequences can be related to emotional health disorders (e.g. depression, anxiety) and/or states of mind (e.g. low mood, stress); not including 5.5, anticipated regret; consequences can be for any target, not just the recipient(s) of the intervention; if information about health consequences code 5.1, information about health consequences; if about social, environmental or unspecified code 5.3, information about social and environmental consequences
Explain that quitting smoking increases happiness and life satisfaction
6. Comparison of behaviour
6.1*Demonstration of the behaviourProvide an observable sample of the performance of the behaviour, directly in person or indirectly e.g. via film, pictures, for the person to aspire to or imitate (includes ‘modelling’)
Note: if advised to practice, also code, 8.1, behavioural practice and rehearsal; if provided with instructions on how to perform, also code 4.1, instruction on how to perform the behaviour
Demonstrate to nurses how to raise the issue of excessive drinking with patients via a role play exercise
6.2Social comparisonDraw attention to others’ performance to allow comparison with the person’s own performance
Note: being in a group setting does not necessarily mean that social comparison is actually taking place
Show the doctor the proportion of patients who were prescribed antibiotics for a common cold by other doctors and compare with their own data
6.3Information about others’ approvalProvide information about what other people think about the behaviour. The information clarifies whether others will like, approve or disapprove of what the person is doing or will doTell the staff at the hospital ward that staff at all other wards approve of washing their hands according to the guidelines
7. Associations
7.1*Prompts/cuesIntroduce or define environmental or social stimulus with the purpose of prompting or cueing the behaviour. The prompt or cue would normally occur at the time or place of performance
Note: when a stimulus is linked to a specific action in an if–then plan including one or more of frequency, duration or intensity also code 1.4, action planning
Put a sticker on the bathroom mirror to remind people to brush their teeth
7.2Cue signalling rewardIdentify an environmental stimulus that reliably predicts that reward will follow the behaviour (includes discriminative cue’)Advise that a fee will be paid to dentists for a particular dental treatment of 6–8 year old, but not older, children to encourage delivery of that treatment (the 6- to 8-year-old children are the environmental stimulus)
7.3Reduce prompts/cuesWithdraw gradually prompts to perform the behaviour (includes fading)Reduce gradually the number of reminders used to take medication
7.4Remove access to the rewardAdvise or arrange for the person to be separated from situations in which unwanted behaviour can be rewarded in order to reduce the behaviour (includes time out’)Arrange for cupboard containing high calorie snacks to be locked for a specified period to reduce the consumption of sugary foods in between meals
7.5Remove aversive stimulusAdvise or arrange for the removal of an aversive stimulus to facilitate behaviour change (includes escape learning)Arrange for a gym buddy to stop nagging the person to do more exercise in order to increase the desired exercise behaviour
7.6SatiationAdvise or arrange repeated exposure to a stimulus that reduces or extinguishes a drive for the unwanted behaviourArrange for the person to eat large quantities of chocolate, in order to reduce the person’s appetite for sweet foods
7.7ExposureProvide systematic confrontation with a feared stimulus to reduce the response to a later encounterAgree a schedule by which the person who is frightened of surgery will visit the hospital where they are scheduled to have surgery
7.8Associative learningPresent a neutral stimulus jointly with a stimulus that already elicits the behaviour repeatedly until the neutral stimulus elicits that behaviour (includes classical/Pavlovian conditioning’)
Note: when a BCT involves reward or punishment, code one or more of: 10.2, material reward (behaviour); 10.3, non-specific reward; 10.4, social reward; 10.9, self-reward; 10.10, reward (outcome)
Present repeatedly fatty foods with a disliked sauce to discourage the consumption of fatty foods
8. Repetition and substitution
8.1*Behavioural practice/rehearsalPrompt practice or rehearsal of the performance of the behaviour one or more times in a context or at a time when the performance may not be necessary, in order to increase habit and skill
Note: if aiming to associate performance with the context, also code 8.3, habit formation
Prompt asthma patients to practice measuring their peak flow in the nurse’s consulting room
8.2Behaviour substitutionPrompt substitution of the unwanted behaviour with a wanted or neutral behaviour
Note: if this occurs regularly, also code 8.4, habit reversal
Suggest that the person goes for a walk rather than watches television
8.3Habit formationPrompt rehearsal and repetition of the behaviour in the same context repeatedly so that the context elicits the behaviour
Note: also code 8.1, behavioural practice/rehearsal
Prompt patients to take their statin tablet before brushing their teeth every evening
8.4Habit reversalPrompt rehearsal and repetition of an alternative behaviour to replace an unwanted habitual behaviour
Note: also code 8.2, behaviour substitution
Ask the person to walk up stairs at work where they previously always took the lift
8.5OvercorrectionAsk to repeat the wanted behaviour in an exaggerated way following an unwanted behaviourAsk to eat only fruit and vegetables the day after a poor diet
8.6Generalisation of a target behaviourAdvise to perform the wanted behaviour, which is already performed in a particular situation, in another situationAdvise to repeat toning exercises learned in the gym when at home
8.7Graded tasksSet easy-to-perform tasks, making them increasingly difficult, but achievable, until behaviour is performedAsk the person to walk for 100 yards a day for the first week, then half a mile a day after they have successfully achieved 100 yards, then two miles a day after they have successfully achieved one mile
9. Comparison of outcomes
9.1*Credible sourcePresent verbal or visual communication from a credible source in favour of or against the behaviour
Note: code this BCT if source generally agreed on as credible, e.g. health professionals, celebrities or words used to indicate expertise or leader in field and if the communication has the aim of persuading; if information about health consequences, also code 5.1, information about health consequences, if about emotional consequences, also code 5.6, information about emotional consequences; if about social, environmental or unspecified consequences also code 5.3, information about social and environmental consequences
Present a speech given by a high status professional to emphasise the importance of not exposing patients to unnecessary radiation by ordering radiographs for back pain
9.2Pros and consAdvise the person to identify and compare reasons for wanting (pros) and not wanting to (cons) change the behaviour (includes ‘decisional balance’)
Note: if providing information about health consequences, also code 5.1, information about health consequences; if providing information about emotional consequences, also code 5.6, information about emotional consequences; if providing information about social, environmental or unspecified consequences also code 5.3, information about social and environmental consequences
Advise the person to list and compare the advantages and disadvantages of prescribing antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections
9.3Comparative imagining of future outcomesPrompt or advise the imagining and comparing of future outcomes of changed vs. unchanged behaviourPrompt the person to imagine and compare likely or possible outcomes following attending vs. not attending a screening appointment
10. Reward and threat
10.1Material incentive (behaviour)Inform that money, vouchers or other valued objects will be delivered if and only if there has been effort and/or progress in performing the behaviour (includes positive reinforcement’)
Note: if incentive is social, code 10.5, social incentive if unspecified code 10.6, non-specific incentive, and not 10.1, material incentive (behaviour); if incentive is for outcome, code 10.8, incentive (outcome). If reward is delivered also code one of: 10.2, material reward (behaviour); 10.3, non-specific reward; 10.4, social reward, 10.9, self-reward; 10.10, reward (outcome)
Inform that a financial payment will be made each month in pregnancy that the woman has not smoked
10.2Material reward (behaviour)Arrange for the delivery of money, vouchers or other valued objects if and only if there has been effort and/or progress in performing the behaviour (includes ‘positive reinforcement’)
Note: if reward is social, code 10.4, social reward, if unspecified code 10.3, non-specific reward, and not 10.1, material reward (behaviour); if reward is for outcome, code 10.10, reward (outcome). If informed of reward in advance of rewarded behaviour, also code one of: 10.1, material incentive (behaviour); 10.5, social incentive; 10.6, non-specific incentive; 10.7, self-incentive; 10.8, incentive (outcome)
Arrange for the person to receive money that would have been spent on cigarettes if and only if the smoker has not smoked for 1 month
10.3Non-specific rewardArrange delivery of a reward if and only if there has been effort and/or progress in performing the behaviour (includes ‘positive reinforcement’)
Note: if reward is material, code 10.2, material reward (behaviour), if social, code 10.4, social reward, and not 10.3, non-specific reward; if reward is for outcome code 10.10, reward (outcome). If informed of reward in advance of rewarded behaviour, also code one of: 10.1, material incentive (behaviour); 10.5, social incentive; 10.6, non-specific incentive; 10.7, self-incentive; 10.8, incentive (outcome)
Identify something (e.g. an activity such as a visit to the cinema) that the person values and arrange for this to be delivered if and only if they attend for health screening
10.4Social rewardArrange verbal or non-verbal reward if and only if there has been effort and/or progress in performing the behaviour (includes ‘positive reinforcement’)
Note: if reward is material, code 10.2, material reward (behaviour), if unspecified code 10.3, non-specific reward, and not 10.4, social reward; if reward is for outcome code 10.10, reward (outcome). If informed of reward in advance of rewarded behaviour, also code one of: 10.1, material incentive (behaviour); 10.5, social incentive; 10.6, non-specific incentive; 10.7, self-incentive; 10.8, incentive (outcome)
Congratulate the person for each day they eat a reduced fat diet
10.5Social incentiveInform that a verbal or non-verbal reward will be delivered if and only if there has been effort and/or progress in performing the behaviour (includes ‘positive reinforcement’)
Note: if incentive is material, code 10.1, material incentive (behaviour), if unspecified code 10.6, non-specific incentive, and not 10.5, social incentive; if incentive is for outcome code 10.8, incentive (outcome). If reward is delivered also code one of: 10.2, material reward (behaviour); 10.3, non-specific reward; 10.4, social reward, 10.9, self-reward; 10.10, reward (outcome)
Inform that they will be congratulated for each day they eat a reduced fat diet
10.6Non-specific incentiveInform that a reward will be delivered if and only if there has been effort and/or progress in performing the behaviour (includes ‘positive reinforcement’)
Note: if incentive is material, code 10.1, material incentive (behaviour), if social, code 10.5, social incentive and not 10.6, non-specific incentive; if incentive is for outcome code 10.8, incentive (outcome). If reward is delivered also code one of: 10.2, material reward (behaviour); 10.3, non-specific reward; 10.4, social reward, 10.9, self-reward; 10.10, reward (outcome)
Identify an activity that the person values and inform them that this will happen if and only if they attend for health screening
10.7Self-incentivePlan to reward self in future if and only if there has been effort and/or progress in performing the behaviour
Note: if self-reward is material, also code 10.1, material incentive (behaviour), if social, also code 10.5, social incentive, if unspecified, also code 10.6, non-specific incentive; if incentive is for outcome code 10.8, incentive (outcome). If reward is delivered also code one of: 10.2, material reward (behaviour); 10.3, non-specific reward; 10.4, social reward, 10.9, self-reward; 10.10, reward (outcome)
Encourage to provide self with material (e.g. new clothes) or other valued objects if and only if they have adhered to a healthy diet
10.8Incentive (outcome)Inform that a reward will be delivered if and only if there has been effort and/or progress in achieving the behavioural outcome (includes ‘positive reinforcement)
Note: this includes social, material, self- and non-specific incentives for outcome; if incentive is for the behaviour code 10.5, social incentive, 10.1, material incentive (behaviour), 10.6, non-specific incentive or 10.7, self-incentive and not 10.8, incentive (outcome). If reward is delivered also code one of: 10.2, material reward (behaviour); 10.3, non-specific reward; 10.4, social reward, 10.9, self-reward; 10.10, reward (outcome)
Inform the person that they will receive money if and only if a certain amount of weight is lost
10.9Self-rewardPrompt self-praise or self-reward if and only if there has been effort and/or progress in performing the behaviour
Note: if self-reward is material, also code 10.2, material reward (behaviour), if social, also code 10.4, social reward, if unspecified, also code 10.3, non-specific reward; if reward is for outcome code 10.10, reward (outcome). If informed of reward in advance of rewarded behaviour, also code one of: 10.1, material incentive (behaviour); 10.5, social incentive; 10.6, non-specific incentive; 10.7, self-incentive; 10.8, incentive (outcome)
Encourage to reward self with material (e.g. new clothes) or other valued objects if and only if they have adhered to a healthy diet
10.10Reward (outcome)Arrange for the delivery of a reward if and only if there has been effort and/or progress in achieving the behavioural outcome (includes ‘positive reinforcement’)
Note: this includes social, material, self- and non-specific rewards for outcome; if reward is for the behaviour code 10.4, social reward, 10.2, material reward (behaviour), 10.3, non-specific reward or 10.9, self-reward and not 10.10, reward (outcome). If informed of reward in advance of rewarded behaviour, also code one of: 10.1, material incentive (behaviour); 10.5, social incentive; 10.6, non-specific incentive; 10.7, self-incentive; 10.8, incentive (outcome)
Arrange for the person to receive money if and only if a certain amount of weight is lost
10.11Future punishmentInform that future punishment or removal of reward will be a consequence of performance of an unwanted behaviour (may include fear arousal) (includes threat)Inform that continuing to consume 30 units of alcohol per day is likely to result in loss of employment if the person continues
11. Regulation
11.1Pharmacological supportProvide, or encourage the use of or adherence to, drugs to facilitate behaviour change
Note: if pharmacological support to reduce negative emotions (i.e. anxiety) then also code 11.2, reduce negative emotions
Suggest the patient asks the family physician for nicotine replacement therapy to facilitate smoking cessation
11.2Reduce negative emotionsaAdvise on ways of reducing negative emotions to facilitate performance of the behaviour (includes ‘stress management’)
Note: if includes analysing the behavioural problem, also code 1.2, problem-solving
Advise on the use of stress management skills, e.g. to reduce anxiety about joining Alcoholics Anonymous
11.3Conserving mental resourcesAdvise on ways of minimising demands on mental resources to facilitate behaviour changeAdvise to carry food calorie content information to reduce the burden on memory in making food choices
11.4Paradoxical instructionsAdvise to engage in some form of the unwanted behaviour with the aim of reducing motivation to engage in that behaviourAdvise a smoker to smoke twice as many cigarettes a day as they usually do tell the person to stay awake as long as possible in order to reduce insomnia
12. Antecedents
12.1*Restructuring the physical environmentChange, or advise to change the physical environment in order to facilitate performance of the wanted behaviour or create barriers to the unwanted behaviour (other than prompts/cues, rewards and punishments)
Note: this may also involve 12.3, avoidance/reducing exposure to cues for the behaviour; if restructuring of the social environment code 12.2, restructuring the social environment; if only adding objects to the environment, code 12.5, adding objects to the environment
Advise to keep biscuits and snacks in a cupboard that is inconvenient to get to arrange to move vending machine out of the school
12.2Restructuring the social environmentChange, or advise to change the social environment in order to facilitate performance of the wanted behaviour or create barriers to the unwanted behaviour (other than prompts/cues, rewards and punishments)
Note: this may also involve 12.3, avoidance/reducing exposure to cues for the behaviour; if also restructuring of the physical environment also code 12.1, restructuring the physical environment
Advise to minimise time spent with friends who drink heavily to reduce alcohol consumption
12.3Avoidance/reducing exposure to cues for the behaviourAdvise on how to avoid exposure to specific social and contextual/physical cues for the behaviour, including changing daily or weekly routines
Note: this may also involve 12.1, restructuring the physical environment and/or 12.2, restructuring the social environment; if the BCT includes analysing the behavioural problem, only code 1.2, problem-solving
Suggest to a person who wants to quit smoking that their social life focus on activities other than pubs and bars which have been associated with smoking
12.4DistractionAdvise or arrange to use an alternative focus for attention to avoid triggers for unwanted behaviourSuggest to a person who is trying to avoid between-meal snacking to focus on a topic they enjoy (e.g. holiday plans) instead of focusing on food
12.5*Adding objects to the environmentAdd objects to the environment in order to facilitate performance of the behaviour
Note: provision of information (e.g. written, verbal, visual) in a booklet or leaflet is insufficient. If this is accompanied by social support, also code 3.2, social support (practical); if the environment is changed beyond the addition of objects, also code 12.1, restructuring the physical environment
Provide free condoms to facilitate safe sex. Provide attractive toothbrush to improve tooth brushing technique
12.6Body changesAlter body structure, functioning or support directly to facilitate behaviour changePrompt strength training, relaxation training or provide assistive aids (e.g. a hearing aid)
13. Identity
13.1Identification of self as role modelInform that one’s own behaviour may be an example to othersInform the person that if they eat healthily, that may be a good example for their children
13.2Framing/reframingSuggest the deliberate adoption of a perspective or new perspective on behaviour (e.g. its purpose) in order to change cognitions or emotions about performing the behaviour (includes ‘cognitive structuring’)
Note: if information about consequences then code 5.1, information about health consequences, 5.6, information about emotional consequences or 5.3, information about social and environmental consequences instead of 13.2, framing/reframing
Suggest that the person might think of the tasks as reducing sedentary behaviour (rather than increasing activity)
13.3Incompatible beliefsDraw attention to discrepancies between current or past behaviour and self-image, in order to create discomfort (includes cognitive dissonance’)Draw attention to a doctor’s liberal use of blood transfusion and their self-identification as a proponent of evidence-based medical practice
13.4Valued self-identityAdvise the person to write or complete rating scales about a cherished value or personal strength as a means of affirming the person’s identity as part of a behaviour change strategy (includes self-affirmation’)Advise the person to write about their personal strengths before they receive a message advocating the behaviour change
13.5Identity associated with changed behaviourAdvise the person to construct a new self-identity as someone who ‘used to engage with the unwanted behaviour’Ask the person to articulate their new identity as an ‘ex-smoker’
14. Scheduled consequences
14.1Behaviour costArrange for withdrawal of something valued if and only if an unwanted behaviour is performed (includes ‘response cost’)
Note: if withdrawal of contingent reward code, 14.3, remove reward
Subtract money from a prepaid refundable deposit when a cigarette is smoked
14.2PunishmentArrange for aversive consequence contingent on the performance of the unwanted behaviourArrange for the person to wear unattractive clothes following consumption of fatty foods
14.3Remove rewardArrange for discontinuation of contingent reward following performance of the unwanted behaviour (includes ‘extinction’)Arrange for the other people in the household to ignore the person every time they eat chocolate (rather than attending to them by criticising or persuading)
14.4Reward approximationArrange for reward following any approximation to the target behaviour, gradually rewarding only performance closer to the wanted behaviour (includes shaping)
Note: also code one of 59–63
Arrange reward for any reduction in daily calories, gradually requiring the daily calorie count to become closer to the planned calorie intake
14.5Rewarding completionBuild up behaviour by arranging reward following final component of the behaviour; gradually add the components of the behaviour that occur earlier in the behavioural sequence (includes backward chaining’)
Note: also code one of 10.2, material reward (behaviour); 10.3, non-specific reward; 10.4, social reward, 10.9, self-reward; 10.10, reward (outcome)
Reward eating a supplied low calorie meal; then make reward contingent on cooking and eating the meal; then make reward contingent on purchasing, cooking and eating the meal
14.6Situation-specific rewardArrange for reward following the behaviour in one situation but not in another (includes discrimination training’)
Note: also code one of 10.2, material reward (behaviour); 10.3, non-specific reward; 10.4, social reward, 10.9, self-reward; 10.10, reward (outcome)
Arrange reward for eating at mealtimes but not between meals
14.7Reward incompatible behaviourArrange reward for responding in a manner that is incompatible with a previous response to that situation (includes counter-conditioning’)
Note: also code one of 10.2, material reward (behaviour); 10.3, non-specific reward; 10.4, social reward, 10.9, self-reward; 10.10, reward (outcome)
Arrange reward for ordering a soft drink at the bar rather than an alcoholic beverage
14.8Reward alternative behaviourArrange reward for performance of an alternative to the unwanted behaviour (includes differential reinforcement)
Note: also code one of 10.2, material reward (behaviour); 10.3, non-specific reward; 10.4, social reward, 10.9, self-reward; 10.10, reward (outcome); consider also coding 1.2, problem-solving
Reward for consumption of low fat foods but not consumption of high fat foods
14.9Reduce reward frequencyArrange for rewards to be made contingent on increasing duration or frequency of the behaviour (includes thinning)
Note: also code one of 10.2, material reward (behaviour); 10.3, non-specific reward; 10.4, social reward, 10.9, self-reward; 10.10, reward (outcome)
Arrange reward for each day without smoking, then each week, then each month, then every 2 months and so on
14.10Remove punishmentArrange for removal of an unpleasant consequence contingent on performance of the wanted behaviour (includes negative reinforcement’)Arrange for someone else to do housecleaning only if the person has adhered to the medication regimen for a week
15. Self-belief
15.1Verbal persuasion about capabilityTell the person that they can successfully perform the wanted behaviour, arguing against self-doubts and asserting that they can and will succeedTell the person that they can successfully increase their physical activity, despite their recent heart attack
15.2Mental rehearsal of successful performanceAdvise to practise imagining performing the behaviour successfully in relevant contextsAdvise to imagine eating and enjoying a salad in a work canteen
15.3Focus on past successAdvise to think about or list previous successes in performing the behaviour (or parts of it)Advise to describe or list the occasions on which the person had ordered a non-alcoholic drink in a bar
15.4Self-talkPrompt positive self-talk (aloud or silently) before and during the behaviourPrompt the person to tell themselves that a walk will be energising
16. Covert learning
16.1Imaginary punishmentAdvise to imagine performing the unwanted behaviour in a real-life situation followed by imagining an unpleasant consequence (includes covert sensitisation’)Advise to imagine overeating and then vomiting
16.2Imaginary rewardAdvise to imagine performing the wanted behaviour in a real-life situation followed by imagining a pleasant consequence (includes covert conditioning’)Advise the health professional to imagine giving dietary advice followed by the patient losing weight and no longer being diabetic
16.3Vicarious consequencesPrompt observation of the consequences (including rewards and punishments) for others when they perform the behaviour
Note: if observation of health consequences, also code 5.1, information about health consequences; if of emotional consequences, also code 5.6, information about emotional consequences, if of social, environmental or unspecified consequences, also code 5.3, information about social and environmental consequences
Draw attention to the positive comments other staff get when they disinfect their hands regularly
a

An additional technique increases positive emotions will be included in BCT Taxonomy v2.

Notes

Notes about the BCT are provided in italics and technical terms are underlined.

Each of the BCTs in BCTTv1 has been given a number to aid navigation of the taxonomy. BCT numbers are given in column 1.

BCT labels and numbers listed here represent their labels and numbers in BCTTv1.40

The definitions of BCTs:

  • Contain verbs (e.g. provide, advise, arrange, prompt) that refer to the action(s).
  • Taken by the person/s delivering the technique. BCTs can be delivered by an ‘interventionist’ or be self-delivered.
  • Contain the term ‘behaviour’ referring to a single action or sequence of actions that includes the performance of wanted behaviour(s) and/or inhibition (non-performance) of unwanted behaviour(s).

Alternative coding is given for BCTs when relevant. Technical terms associated with particular theoretical frameworks are shown for BCTs when relevant (e.g. ‘implementation intentions’).

Note the technical terms associated with particular theoretical frameworks when relevant (e.g. ‘including implementation intentions).

See Chapter 2, Methods.

From: Appendix 2, International Advisory Board members

Cover of Behaviour change techniques: the development and evaluation of a taxonomic method for reporting and describing behaviour change interventions (a suite of five studies involving consensus methods, randomised controlled trials and analysis of qualitative data)
Behaviour change techniques: the development and evaluation of a taxonomic method for reporting and describing behaviour change interventions (a suite of five studies involving consensus methods, randomised controlled trials and analysis of qualitative data).
Health Technology Assessment, No. 19.99.
Michie S, Wood CE, Johnston M, et al.
Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library; 2015 Nov.
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