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Complex Systems and Health Behavior Change: Insights from Cognitive Science

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Objective: To provide proof-of-concept that quantum health behavior can be instantiated as a computational model that is informed by cognitive science, the Theory of Reasoned Action, and quantum health behavior theory. Methods: We conducted a synthetic review of the intersection of quantum health behavior change and cognitive science. We conducted simulations, using a computational model of quantum health behavior (a constraint satisfaction artificial neural network) and tested whether the model exhibited quantum-like behavior. Results: The model exhibited clear signs of quantum-like behavior. Conclusions: Quantum health behavior can be conceptualized as constraint satisfaction: a mitigation between current behavioral state and the social contexts in which it operates. We outlined implications for moving forward with computational models of both quantum health behavior and health behavior in general.
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Keywords: AGENT-BASED MODELING; BEHAVIOR CHANGE; COGNITIVE SCIENCE; COMPLEX SYSTEMS; COMPUTATIONAL MODELING; HEALTH BEHAVIOR; QUANTUM CHANGE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Columbia University, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA., Email: [email protected] 2: Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Psychology, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2014

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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