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Physical activity promotion: a natural selection?
  1. R Graham
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rodger Graham, Clinical Psychology Department, McQueen Home, Ards Hospital, Newtownards BT23 4AS, UK; rodger_g_graham{at}

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Contemporary theories of health behaviour change are certainly informative—however, they are usually manifest in interventions of merely low to moderate effectiveness. Such theories are predicated on the standard social science model of human behaviour.1 This cultural-determinist view emphasises social learning, acquired beliefs and cultural norms as the primary antecedents of human action, including health behaviours. These and similar variables are the focus for widely utilised health psychology models wherein human action is conceptualised as the result of conscious cognition, free-agent change and rational volition. Such a view ignites hopes of engineering better population health based on a linear learning model. Unfortunately, the cross-sectional, “tabula rasa” view of human psychology fails to explain the sheer truculence of most humans, this author included, to diligently undertake that which they know to be good for them. This issue is particularly pronounced in the …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.