Transtheoretical Model of Change

VARIABLES: Processes of change (independent) - five are Experiential and five are Behavioral

DOMAINS: Computer Science, Health, Organizational change, Psychology, Social issues
Contributors:  Patricia McKenna           


James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente (1983); Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross (1992); Prochaska & Velicer (1997)


Also referred to as Transtheoretical Model (TTM); Transtheoretical Model of Intentional Behavior Change (TTM); Stages of Change Model

The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) is a theory of behavioral change processes stating " that intentional behavior change is a process occurring in a series of stages, rather than a single event ... Motivation is required for the focus, effort and energy needed to move through the stages." Note: references to 'self-regulation theory'. (Miller, W.R., Rollnick, S., 2002).

Prochaska refers to nine elements pertaining to behavior change: commitment, consciousness raising, counter conditioning, emotional arousal, environmental control, helping relationships, reward, self evaluation and social liberation,

The stages of change include:

  • Pre-contemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance
  • Termination

Transtheoretical Model overview and detailed overview  - "The central organizing construct of the model is the Stages of Change. The model also includes a series of independent variables, the Processes of Change, and a series of outcome measures, including the Decisional Balance and the Temptation scales. The Processes of Change are ten cognitive and behavior activities that facilitate change "

Key constructs: pros and cons as part of Decisional Balance measures

Core constructs: Stages of Change (organizing framework for the other dimensions) 

Theoretical Perspectives:

  • Boyd and Myers (1988) - Theory of Transformative Education
  • Brug et. al. (2005) - critique and reference to Goal
    Achievement Theory, Model of Action Phases and cites the Theory of Planned Behavior (an extension of the Theory of Reasoned Action).
  • Consolvo, McDonald,and  Landay (2009) - draw on Goal-Setting Theory, the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, Presentation of Self in Everyday Life ("addresses the social interactions that individuals manage daily"), and Cognitive Dissonance Theory ("describes what happens when an individual realizes that her behaviors and attitudes are inconsistent") to "propose design strategies for persuasive technologies that help people who want to change their everyday behaviors ... technologies that motivate behavior change in everyday life that specifically account for the intersection of the technology with the individual’s social world."
  • Mezirow (1978) - Transformational Learning Theory (TLT)  see also Transformative Learning Centre
  • Moore (2005) - attempts to integrate the Transtheoretical Model of the Stages of Change with Transformational Learning Theory (TLT) "to explain the process of transformational, or emancipatory, change."

Relationship to Other Theories:

  • Cognitive Dissonance Theory. "Cognitive Dissonance Theory suggests that a persuasive technology to encourage lifestyle behavior change should address whichever factors may prevent the individual from incorporating the change into her everyday life (i.e., by helping her change her behavior to match her attitudes)."
  • I-Change Model (Integrated Model)  "explaining motivational and behavioral change is derived from the Attitude – Social influence – self-Efficacy Model, that can be considered as an integration of ideas of Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior, Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory, Prochaska’s Transtheoretical Model, the Health Belief Model, and Goal setting theories. Previous versions of this model (referred to as the ASE-model) have been used to explain a variety of types of health behaviour."

  • Self-Efficacy Theory: According to the TTM: Self-Efficacy / Situational Temptation -  "Self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977) conceptualizes a person's perceived ability to perform on a task as a mediator of performance on future tasks. A change in the level of self-efficacy can predict a lasting change in behavior if there are adequate incentives and skills. The Transtheoretical model employs an overall confidence score to assess an individual's self-efficacy. Situational temptations assess how tempted people are to engage in a problem behavior in a certain situation."

Other Findings and Implications:

  • Challenges to the Model - West (2005)
  • Defense of the Model - Prochaska (2006)
REFERENCES ~ Coding Spreadsheet - Web View

Subpages (1): TTM File Cabinet