Models, Theory and Applications
Chapter 16: Multi-theory models
This chapter provides an overview of the models used in social marketing that have interdisciplinary roots. The research traditions underpinning this chapter are psychology, sociology, anthropology and social psychology. Sometimes there are multiple paradigms at work and this can lead to quite complex relationships between the variety of concepts under consideration. The models in this chapter are presented in order to allow the reader to understand how theories can evolve over time and through the interplay between interdisciplinary ideas. There are a number of theories that do not clearly fit within any paradigm and that use multiple theoretical frameworks. Some are based on earlier models (such as the ‘theory of reasoned action’ or ‘theory of planned behaviour’) with adaptations for different environments. Others include multiple theories and are therefore included in this category. A caution for researchers in this area – some of these models are borrowed from multiple disciplines without due validation in the social marketing domain (see Brennan et al., 2011 for a discussion on validation in social marketing). Another caution is that some multi-theory models are simply combinations of other single-theory models and may not be stable (reliable or valid) in the given context. From a rigorous research methods perspective, pluralism can be an issue that may confound results when it comes to research.
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