Health Risk Tolerance as a Key Determinant of (Un)willingness to Behavior Change: Conceptualization and Scale Development

Abstract: As Heath and O’Hair (2009) defined, crisis is when risk is manifested. The urgency and uncertainty of crisis can induce more complexity to organizations (Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 1998). Public health crisis and risk communications are tasked to communicate about risks that can harm public health and persuade the public to adopt healthier and less risky behavior (Freimuth, Linnan, & Potter, 2000). Although risk perception itself has been extensively studied, it remains unclear how individuals choose not to modify unhealthy behaviors despite their awareness of the benefits of changing such behaviors. To further unearth the psychological process of refusal to change, our study introduces and explicates the concept of risk tolerance as a key determinant of individuals’ (un)willingness to modify unhealthy behaviors. Risk tolerance, a concept originally developed in management and financial planning, is defined in our study as how much individuals tolerate not to follow the recommended healthy behavior. To refine the conceptualization and develop a scale measuring health risk tolerance, a multi-phase, multi-method research design is employed.

Book Chapter: Gaming and behavior change

Abstract: This chapter explores how video games interact with individual characteristics to afford unique opportunities for behavior change. It first considers how video games differ from traditional media, and more specifically how they create virtual situations that may be perceived differently from those naturally occurring in reality. In this regard, the concept of situational affordance is discussed. It then examines simulated experiences provided by video games before describing a range of psychosocial pathways (both cognitive and affective) through which video games can impact behavior change both intentionally and inadvertently (motivation, personalization, Proteus Effect). It also recommends game elements aimed at eliciting behavior change and highlights some concrete applications that illustrate how games or game elements can be used to induce and sustain changes in health attitudes and behaviors. Finally, it identifies several areas for future research that are emerging in the field of game studies.