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Title: An investigation into the role of ambivalence and personality predispositions in predicting health behaviours
Author: Manola, Anastasia
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2005
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During the past decade or so, the construct of ambivalence has proven to be a significant factor in furthering our understanding of people's health behaviours. Despite this recent interest, there are still considerable gaps in knowledge with respect to its origins and the effects that various forms of ambivalence may exert upon the intention-behaviour relationship. The objective of the present piece of research was to address some of these issues. This thesis is comprised of three studies. The first study investigated whether there is evidence of a generalised ambivalence trait running across the health behaviour domain, producing ambivalence towards specific behaviours. This model though was not supported by the findings. This study also looked at the role of a collection of personality predispositions as generalised ambivalence elicitors. However, the associations between ambivalence and the various personality predispositions were low, and deemed as inadequate to support causality. Looking at both potential and felt ambivalence, the second study concluded that it is more meaningful to examine the various forms of ambivalence in the context of the specific behaviours. Additionally, this study employed a prospective design with a one week follow-up to examine the double moderating effect of the various types of ambivalence and personality upon the intention-behaviour relationship. A number of significant effects were revealed, varying for particular ambivalence forms, personality types and behaviours. The third study employed a prospective, three month follow-up design, and replicated the findings from the previous study in the context of physical activity in a fitness centre. It was proposed that ambivalence, in combination with the characteristics of the individual, may determine the value of the outcomes of the behaviour for the person, which in turn may regulate the route of information processing that will be followed (systematic vs. heuristic), and thus the degree of intention formation. Overall, these findings suggest that the contribution of ambivalence in its own right in explaining the predictability of behaviour from intentions may be weak, and the inconclusive literature in the field may be attributed in failing to account for the impact of additional variables, such as people's personality predispositions. The need for further research is highlighted, as well as the importance of examining various forms of direct and indirect ambivalence, in comparison to global ambivalence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available