Table 1

Definitions of key terms in behavioural science as used in the tutorial

Behaviour: a specific action taken by a specific person at a specific time/context.
Behaviour change model: hypothesised causal paths that draw on a number of behaviour change theories to link specific target constructs with specific behavioural objectives.
Behavioural objective: clear, explicit behaviours that if adopted and performed are directly and strongly related to reduction in the incidence or severity of an injury.
Behaviour change theory: abstract, hypothesised mechanisms by which types of events or situations mediate, moderate or otherwise influence outcomes. They comprise a set of concepts (also known as theoretical constructs) and define the ordered relationships among these concepts as they might apply to a broad array of situations.
Elicitation research: Research that is guided by theory about categories of determinants of risk and preventive behaviours and conducted with a sample of a target population to help to identify target constructs; subsequent research assesses pre-intervention levels of target constructs.
Evaluation: research designed to assess whether and how well the intervention achieves the goals as articulated in the programme theory and its associated behaviour change model.
Formative research: research conducted in advance of intervention design and development with a sample of the target population, most often to understand their current behaviours and perceptions.
Key outcome: the ‘grand prize’ or long term vision (eg, reduction in severity and frequency of road traffic injuries).
Programme theory: a clear actionable plan that integrates key outcomes, behavioural objectives, and target constructs and guides the development of the intervention content and evaluation plans and describes the path of influence through which the intervention is intended to work.
Stakeholders: those with practical expertise about, contact with, and/or influence on the target population and a strong interest in injury mitigation.
Target constructs: theoretical concepts (eg, knowledge, self-efficacy beliefs, normative beliefs) developed or adopted for use in a particular programme theory and its underlying behaviour change model.