Positive and Negative Effects of Marijuana

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Updated: Jun 06, 2023
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This weeks reading, Unit 3 of The Psychology of Health and Illness (Ogden, 2017), covered behavior change and four main theories informing behavior change. The first of these four theories was the Learning Theory. This theory believes that all behaviors are learned from modeling, mainly three specific key mechanisms: modeling, reinforcement and association; and that for one to change their behavior they must unlearn the old behaviors and learn new behaviors by using these mechanisms (Ogden, 2017). Another of these theories is called Social Cognition therapy.

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This type of therapy is used along some models we read about in the last unit (the health belief model, the protection motivation theory and the theory of planned behavior) and are sometimes called social cognition models. These models describe the ways beliefs can predict behavior. This theory says that setting goals is a simple way to help ones change.

The third theory in this week’s was the Stages of Change Model and Motivational Interviewing. This model was also mentioned in unit 2 and it describes five different stages of behavior changing: pre-contemplating, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. This model resulted in the development of something called Motivational Interviewing which is used to assist in changing one’s behaviors as well as assisting them move between the five stages. The final theory is using emotion. According to the reading, for many years people in health care promotions believed that fear was the best strategy in changing behavior but studies were able to figure out that fear was not very effective because if there was too much or too little fear people would ignore the information. Using emotion would be something like designing a campaign that would make someone frightening and scared and also include a safety condition that explained how people could avoid the specific threat (Ogden, 2017). Since people ignored the information if it was not the right quantity of fear, there were three possible solutions to make people not block out the information. These possible solutions are to identify the perfect amount of fear, using images instead of text and encourage gratitude or some type of self-affirmation.

The other readings the week were about the use of mass media campaigns and the effectiveness of financial incentives to change behavior and health. The mass media campaign reading talked about how mass media campaigns on tv, newspapers, radio and other places are used to make positive changes or prevent negative changes in large populations. The other reading, The Effectiveness of Financial Incentives for Health Behavior Change (Giles, 2014), was an analysis of 17 papers on 16 studies that showed how financial incentive interventions could be used as a way of promoting healthy changes in behavior.

I really enjoyed reading about and learning about this week’s topics. I thought all of the different methods for assisting in behavior change were very interesting. I would like to talk about how in the Social Cognition Therapy Model it says, ‘research indicates that goal setting can help change a range of health-related behaviors’ (Ogden, 2017, p.32). This is something that I believed for a long time and I have personally used at times to help motivate myself in changing my behaviors in positive ways, but I did not know that it was a proven method of changing behaviors. (A lot of the things I am learning in the class I actually felt were true but I never knew they were actually studied and solid theories or forms of teaching!) One thing I found very useful for me was to buy a daily planner and use that to help keep me from procrastinating and not doing things/pushing them off. There are other things people can do like leave sticky notes to help them change their eating, or I have seen people use sticky notes to write things like “you are beautiful” or “you are awesome” to keep them from getting depressed. This specific therapy has a lot of options for practical behavior changes and I personally like it a lot.

I also would like to talk briefly on how I feel about the effectiveness on financial incentives for changing one’s health and behaviors. I think that this can definitely be a way to change one’s health and behaviors in the short term, but I don’t think it is something that will work long term. For example, in my neighborhood sometimes the health centers will send out promotions that say “Hey! If you come to our facility between these dates for a dental and medical visit, you’ll get a $25 gift card!”. This type of financial incentive will help at the time of the visits, but I think less than more the individual’s won’t go to the doctors more regularly just because that one time they were given money to do it. The gift card promotion gets people to change their health behavior for the better for a short time but unless it is a regular incentive I don’t think it is something that will help long term, especially for something like smoking cessation or things that need way more work to stop the negative behaviors.

I also was very surprised that at one point fear was considered one of the best strategies to help change health behaviors. I think that fear helps to an extent, and really only for some people. My whole life I have seen the text and visual ads on cigarette boxes trying to scare people from smoking but I still see people old and young still smoking every day. I remember seeing since I was young anti-marijuana ads showing how the girl sinks into the couch or something and other things to show the negative effects of marijuana, but where I live marijuana use is widespread recreationally and medically and although it’s illegal people get less than a slap on the wrist for using it recreationally. 

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Positive and Negative Effects of Marijuana. (2022, Jun 24). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/positive-and-negative-effects-of-marijuana/