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By Maria A. Koelen, Anne W. Van Den Ban

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52 Health education and health promotion Binnenwerk health education 06-05-2004 10:51 Pagina 53 Theoretical background to health behaviour than if the cause is unstable (effort). Consistent failure in a task, for example losing weight, leads to stable internal attribution (lack of ability) and therefore reduces confidence. Lowered success expectancies will lead individuals to think it is inefficient to invest a lot of energy in the task, because they think they may not succeed. It should be noted that the theory deals with the way individuals actually derive causes from consequences and not how they ought to make such derivations.

One form of organisation is into figure and ground. In a fraction of a second, our senses sort out visual and oral stimuli in figures that stand out from a background. The interpretation of the ‘figure’ will often be determined by the ‘ground’. One might interpret a picture of a man with a dirty face and hands and wearing old clothes as a lazy or very poor person. On the other hand, one might interpret the picture as one of a hard-working farmer, if it included a farmyard in the background. 1. 1 Figure and ground 44 Health education and health promotion Binnenwerk health education 06-05-2004 10:51 Pagina 45 Theoretical background to health behaviour Interpretations of what we perceive are often based on experiences.

These sectors could be, for example, environment, transport, agriculture, food industry, housing, church, community groups and media professionals, and they may involve both professionals and non-professionals. Intersectoral collaboration has the potential for synergy. It means that many people, representing different institutions, with different backgrounds, different expertise and qualities, co-operate to achieve goals that they are unable to reach independently. To summarise, health promotion brings together actions directed at strengthening the skills and capabilities of individuals, and actions directed towards changing social, environmental and economic conditions that may have an impact on public and individual health.

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