Evidence-Based Strategies for Behavior Change: Challenging Expectancies

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All of 3rd Millennium’s courses incorporate evidence-based strategies. One of these practices is Challenging Expectancies. 

People who engage in a particular behavior do so with a certain set of expectations. For example, people who drink may expect to become more outgoing or social, feel better about life, or feel more relaxed. In reality, they may actually feel worse about their situation, find themselves more stressed, or become more obnoxious and get into fights when they have been drinking.

Challenging expectancies is all about having a person compare their expected outcomes from an experience to the reality of what they actually experience.

A person’s motivation to do something is determined by the desirability of the outcome. If they expect something good, they are more motivated to do it. Changing expectations changes motivation. 

Someone who is experiencing negative consequences related to alcohol or drug use may reassess his or her expectancies. They will find less motivation to engage in the behavior that resulted in negative outcomes.

To learn about additional evidence-based strategies used in 3rd Millennium courses, check out these other blog posts on using personalized feedback, correcting norms perceptions, addressing a user's perception of risk, and utilizing a goal-oriented, client-centered counseling style called motivational interviewing.

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In a previous blog, we discussed different methods of coping. Some methods are not very effective (such as emotion- or avoidance-oriented coping methods). Some are more effective, and we call these task-oriented methods.

Task-oriented coping activities aim to solve a problem. If you can’t solve it, these aim to change the way that you think about it.

July 10, 2020