Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 468–482 | Cite as

Investigating the role of implicit prototypes in the prototype willingness model

  • Jennifer L. HowellEmail author
  • Kate A. Ratliff


One useful theory to predict health behavior is the prototype-willingness model (PWM), which posits that people are more willing to engage in behavior to the extent that they have a positive view of the prototypical person who performs that behavior. The goal of the present research is to test whether adding an implicit measure of prototype favorability might improve explanatory power in the PWM. Two studies examined whether implicit prototype favorability uniquely predicted White women’s intentions to engage in healthy sun behavior over the next 3–6 months, and their willingness to engage in risky sun behavior, should the opportunity arise. The results suggested that implicit prototype favorability, particularly implicit prototypes of those who engage in risky UV-related behaviors, uniquely predicted intentions to engage in healthy sun behavior and willingness to engage in risky sun behavior in the PWM.


Prototypes Prototype willingness model Implicit attitudes UV protection Sun behavior Health behavior models  


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Jennifer L. Howell and Kate A. Ratliff declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights and Informed consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOhio UniversityAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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