Compensatory Health Beliefs Relate to Decision-Making Coherence and Health Patterns

Bethany D. Merillat, Claudia González-Vallejo


This study tested hypotheses that link cognitive decision-making coherence and health behavioral patterns to the endorsement of compensatory health beliefs (CHBs). Structural equation modeling was used to investigate relationships among the latent variables Compensatory Health Beliefs and 2 other constructs: Decision-Making Coherence (measured by resistance to framing, under/overconfidence, applying decision rules, consistency in risk perception, and resistance to sunk cost bias), and Risk Tendencies with Health Consequences (measured by self-control, the Health Behavior Checklist, and risk perception scales). An online, adult, United States sample—recruited through®’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk)—was assessed. The model described key relationships for the MTurk sample. Low levels of Decision-Making Coherence and Risk Tendencies with Health Consequences were associated with increased endorsement of Compensatory Health Beliefs. Results can help clarify the relationship between health-related cognitions and actions, and impact the design of interventions that rely on the use of the CHB scale.


Judgment/Decision Making; Applied Psychology; Cognition; Health; Compensatory Health Beliefs

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Copyright (c) 2019 Bethany D. Merillat, Claudia González-Vallejo

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ISSN: 2471-9390 (Online); 0030-0950 (Print)