Social ranking effects on tooth-brushing behaviour

Maltby, John, Paterson, Kevin, Day, Liz, Jones, Ceri, Kinnear, Hayley and Buchanan, Heather (2016) Social ranking effects on tooth-brushing behaviour. British Journal of Health Psychology, 21 (2). pp. 374-388. ISSN 1359-107X

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Objective: A tooth-brushing social rank hypothesis is tested suggesting tooth-brushing duration is influenced when individuals position their behaviour in a rank when comparing their behaviour with other individuals.

Design: Study 1 used a correlation design, Study 2 used a semi-experimental design, and Study 3 used a randomized intervention design to examine the tooth-brushing social rank hypothesis in terms of self-reported attitudes, cognitions, and behaviour towards tooth-brushing duration.

Methods: Study 1 surveyed participants to examine whether the perceived health benefits of tooth-brushing duration could be predicted from the ranking of each person's tooth-brushing duration. Study 2 tested whether manipulating the rank position of the tooth-brushing duration influenced participant-perceived health benefits of tooth-brushing duration. Study 3 used a longitudinal intervention method to examine whether messages relating to the rank positions of tooth-brushing durations causally influenced the self-report tooth-brushing duration.

Results: Study 1 demonstrates that perceptions of the health benefits from tooth-brushing duration are predicted by the perceptions of how that behaviour ranks in comparison to other people's behaviour. Study 2 demonstrates that the perceptions of the health benefits of tooth-brushing duration can be manipulated experimentally by changing the ranked position of a person's tooth-brushing duration. Study 3 experimentally demonstrates the possibility of increasing the length of time for which individuals clean their teeth by focusing on how they rank among their peers in terms of tooth-brushing duration.

Conclusions: The effectiveness of interventions using social-ranking methods relative to those that emphasize comparisons made against group averages or normative guidelines are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Dziunka, Patricia
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2017 12:51
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 17:53

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