Key Studies Physical Environment Interventions

Understanding interventions that change behaviour outside of conscious awareness

In a paper published in Health Psychology Review, we have proposed a framework for describing or categorising interventions to change behaviour by the degree to which their effects may be considered non-conscious. This is important because unhealthy behaviours often occur directly in response to environmental cues outside of conscious awareness, meaning that interventions that target non-conscious rather than conscious processes may have significant potential to shape healthier behaviours and improve health. However, examining this key premise requires a practicable conceptual framework that can be used to better describe and assess these interventions. This paper builds on a previous analysis by the same authors highlighting the importance of targeting automatic processes to change behaviour, published in Science in 2012.

Non-conscious processes in changing health-related behaviour: a conceptual analysis and framework. Hollands, Marteau, & Fletcher.

Access full text.

Can portion, package and tableware size increase consumption?

Our systematic review has produced the most conclusive evidence to date that people consistently consume more food and drink when offered larger-sized portions, packages or tableware than when offered smaller-sized versions. The size of this effect, based on combining data…