COM-B and the Behaviour Change Wheel
Resources and further reading
STEP 1: COM-B
The COM-B model represents the observation that at any given moment, a particular behaviour will occur only when the person concerned has the capability and opportunity to engage in the behaviour and is more motivated to enact that behaviour than any other behaviours.
(introductory article by Michie & West)
(Recording of my webinar for the ICG)
Videos, PDFs and one-page explainers, including how COM-B/BCW compares with MINDSPACE and EAST
This book includes examples of how to use COM-B in the context of behavioural design - highly recommended!
This is another excellent book that includes COM-B, and situates it in the context of other behaviour change approaches.
STEP 2: Behaviour Change Wheel
The next step after COM-B is to understand the Behaviour Change Wheel. The accessible explainers on Unlocking Behaviour Change website listed in step 1 are a great introduction, but if you want to dig deeper, the BCW book is your next step. Additionally, the wider compendium of behaviour change theories that is linked to the BCW and is very helpful when you need to dive deeper.
The book is a guide to designing and evaluating behaviour change interventions and policies, based on the Behaviour Change Wheel, a synthesis of 19 behaviour change frameworks that draw on a wide range of disciplines and approaches.
This book describes 83 theories of behaviour change, identified by an expert panel of psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and economists as relevant to designing interventions. For each theory, the book provides a brief summary, a list of its component constructs, a more extended description and a network analysis to show its links with other theories in the book. It considers the role of theory in understanding behaviour change and its application to designing and evaluating interventions.
STEP 3: The Theoretical Domains Framework
Determining the factors that influence a given behaviour is essential for any successful behaviour change intervention but the vast number of psychological theories makes this challenging. To simplify the use of theory in behaviour change studies, a group of health psychologists, health psychology theorists, and implementation researchers developed the TDF to behaviour change theories more accessible to implementation researchers.
The TDF provides a theoretical lens through which to view the cognitive, affective, social and environmental influences on behaviour - i.e. a list of factors that could potentially influence a given behaviour. It includes 84 constructs sorted into 14 domains that help identify and describe the factors that influence a behaviour.
N.B. It does not explain or offer causality about the determinants of a behaviour in a given context, or propose testable hypotheses about determinants of a behaviour.
Validation of the theoretical domains framework for use in behaviour change and implementation research
STEP 4: Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy
A behavior change technique (BCT) is "a systematic procedure included as an active component of an intervention designed to change behavior."
Human Behaviour-Change Project
The Human Behaviour-Change Project (HBCP) is creating an online ‘Knowledge System’ that uses Artificial Intelligence, in particular Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, to extract information from intervention evaluation reports to answer key questions about the evidence. It is a collaboration between behavioural scientists, computer scientists and systems architects.
Selected academic references
Want to see how this research has been built on by others?