Compensatory Health Belief Scale

Background:

The search of the ideal balance between maximum pleasure and minimal disadvantage is called the hedonic principle. However, the interaction between our desire and our health goals can lead to a motivational conflict (Rabiau, Knäuper, & Miquelon, 2006), or so-called cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957), because of the incompatibility between both goals. This dissonance generates a state of pressure, whose resolution requires self-regulatory processes to deal with the aversive state of dissonance (Rabiau et al., 2006). According to the Compensatory Health Belief (CHB) Model one possible strategy to diminish this conflict is to use/employ Compensatory Health Beliefs. The activation of CHBs is an automatically motivated regulatory process to reduce cognitive dissonance, by justifying unhealthy behaviour with future planned healthy behaviour. The Compensatory Health Beliefs Scale (CHBS) empirically examines a variety of CHBs.

Psychometrics:

For psychometric information see article:

Knäuper, B., Rabiau, M., Cohen, O., & Patriciu, N. (2004). Compensatory health beliefs: Theory and measurement. Psychology and Health, 19(5), 607-624.)

Author of Tool:

Knäuper, B., Rabiau, M., Cohen, O., & Patriciu, N.

Key references:

Knäuper, B., Rabiau, M., Cohen, O., & Patriciu, N. (2004). Compensatory health beliefs: Theory and measurement. Psychology and Health, 19(5), 607-624.)

Primary use / Purpose:

Measures Compensatory Health Beliefs. CHBs are beliefs that the negative effects of an unhealthy (but pleasurable) behaviour can be compensated for or neutralised by carrying out a healthy behaviour.

Compensatory Health Beliefs Scale

(Reliability and validity data in: Knäuper, B., Rabiau, M., Cohen, O., & Patriciu, N. (2004). Compensatory health beliefs: Theory and measurement. Psychology and Health, 19(5), 607-624.)

Instructions: Different people believe different things about their health. Below is a list of beliefs that someone might have about staying healthy. Please read each sentence carefully and tell us how much you agree or disagree with it by putting an “X” on one of the following responses: Totally disagree; Somewhat disagree; Neither agree nor disagree; Somewhat agree; or Totally agree. Remember that there are no right or wrong answers, because everybody believes different things.

  • Totally disagree
  • Somewhat disagree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Somewhat agree
  • Totally agree
  • 1.       Relaxing on the weekend can make up for stress during the week.
  • 2.       Using artificial sweeteners compensates for extra calories.
  • 3.       Exercising can compensate for smoking.
  • 4.      It is OK to go to bed late if one can sleep longer the next morning (only the number of hours count).
  • 5.      Not drinking alcohol during the week can make up for the effects of drinking too much alcohol during the weekend.
  • 6.       Skipping the main dish can make up for eating dessert.
  • 7.       Relaxing in front of the TV can compensate for a stressful day.
  • 8.      Eating whatever one wants in the evening is OK if one did not eat much during the day.
  • 9.       Eating healthy can make up for the effects of regularly drinking alcohol.
  • 10.   Sleeping in on the weekends can compensate for too little sleep during the week.
  • 11.   Exercising can make up for the bad effects of stress.
  • 12.   Starting a new diet tomorrow compensates for breaking a diet today.
  • 13.   The effects of drinking coffee can be balanced by drinking equal amounts of water.
  • 14.   It is OK to skip breakfast if one eats more during lunch or dinner.
  • 15.   Sleep compensates for stress.
  • 16.   It is alright to drink a lot of alcohol as long as one drinks lots of water to flush it.
  • 17.   Smoking from time to time is OK if one eats healthy.