Research and Publications

Theory Development and Integration

A.) Trans-contextual model. Together with my colleague Nikos Chatzisarantis, I have developed an integrated model that explains the processes by which autonomous motivation and autonomy support for activities (e.g., physical activity, learning) in an educational setting relates to autonomous motivation, attitudes, and intention toward, and actual participation in, activities outside of school. The model has been applied in numerous educational contexts (e.g., physical education classes, math and science lessons) and extra-mural behaviors (e.g., physical activity, math and science homework).

Representative publications:

Hagger, M. S., Chatzisarantis, N. L. D., Culverhouse, T., & Biddle, S. J. H. (2003). The processes by which perceived autonomy support in physical education promotes leisure-time physical activity intentions and behavior: A trans-contextual model. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 784–795. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.95.4.784

Hagger, M. S., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. D. (2016). The trans-contextual model of autonomous motivation in education: Conceptual and empirical issues and meta-analysis.Review of Educational Research, 86, 360-407. doi: 10.3102/0034654315585005

Hagger, M. S., Sultan, S., Hardcastle, S. J., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. D. (2015). Perceived autonomy support and autonomous motivation toward mathematics activities in educational and out-of-school contexts is related to mathematics homework behavior and attainment. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 41, 111–123. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2014.12.002

Hagger, M. S., Sultan, S., Hardcastle, S. J., Reeve, J., Patall, E. A., Fraser, B. J., Hamilton, K., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. D. (2016). Applying the trans-contextual model to mathematics activities in the classroom and homework behaviour and attainment. Learning and Individual Differences, 45, 166-175. doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2015.11.017

New Research:

*Polet, J., Lintunen, T., Hansen, M., & Hagger, M. S. (2019). Predicting change in high school school students’ leisure-time physical activity participation: A longitudinal test of the trans-contextual model. Unpublished manuscript, Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.

Kalajas-Tilga, H., Hein, V., Koka, A., Tilga, H., Raudsepp, L., & Hagger, M. S. (2019) Motivational antecedents of adolescents’ engagement in objectively measured leisure-time and self-reported physical activity: An application of the trans-contextual model using residual change scores. Unpublished manuscript, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

B.) Theory integration. I am keen on the integration of theories to address shortcomings of current theory, such as redundancy across constructs and boundary conditions, and, in so doing, facilitate more comprehensive, effective prediction of behavior. In particular I am interested in integrating theories such as self-determination theory with theories of social cognition like the theory of planned behavior and reasoned action approach, and incorporating constructs that represent non-conscious processes (e.g., implicit attitudes, habit) as behavioral determinants within current social cognition models.

Representative publications:

Chan, D. K. C., Keatley, D. A., Tang, T. C. W., Dimmock, J. A., & Hagger, M. S. (2018). Implicit versus explicit attitude to doping: Which better predicts athletes’ vigilance towards unintentional doping? Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 21, 238-244. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2017.05.020

*Brown, D. J., Hagger, M. S., Morrissey, S., & Hamilton, K. (2017). Predicting fruit and vegetable consumption in long-haul heavy goods vehicle drivers: Application of a multi-theory, dual-phase model and the contribution of past behaviour. Appetite, 121, 326-336. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.11.106

*Keatley, D. A., Clarke, D. D., & Hagger, M. S. (2012). Investigating the predictive validity of implicit and explicit measures of motivation on condom use, physical activity, and healthy eating. Psychology & Health, 27, 550-569. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2011.605451

Hagger, M. S., Gucciardi, D. F., Turrell, A., & Hamilton, K. (2019). Self-control and health-related behavior: The role of implicit self-control, trait self-control, and lay beliefs in self-control. British Journal of Health Psychology. doi: 10.1111/bjhp.12378

Hagger, M. S., Trost, N., Keech, J., Chan, D. K. C., & Hamilton, K. (2017). Predicting sugar consumption: Application of an integrated dual-process, dual-phase model.Appetite, 116, 147-156. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.04.032

Hamilton, K., Kirkpatrick, A., Rebar, A., & Hagger, M. S. (2017). Child sun safety: Application of an integrated behavior change model. Health Psychology, 36, 916-926. doi: 10.1037/hea0000533

Zhang, C. Q., Wong, M. C.-Y., Zhang, R., Hamilton, K., & Hagger, M. S. (2019). Adolescent sugar-sweetened beverage consumption: An extended health action process approach. Appetite. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2019.104332

New research:

Chan, D. K. C., Zhang, L., Lee, A. S. Y., & Hagger, M. S. (2019). Sport injury prevention and the reciprocal relationship between motivation from self-determination theory and social cognitive variables from the theory of planned behaviour. Unpublished manuscript, Education University of Hing Kong, Hong Kong.

Lee, A. S. Y., Yung, P. S.-H., Mok, K.-M., Hagger, M. S., & Chan, D. K. C. Psychological processes of ACL-patients' post-surgery rehabilitation: A prospective test of an integrated theoretical model. Unpublished manuscript, Education University of Hing Kong, Hong Kong.

Phipps, D. J., Hagger, M. S., & Hamilton, K., (2019). The role of implicit beliefs on behavior: examination of a moderation effect. Unpublished manuscript, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.

Synthesis and development of behavioral theories

A.) Testing key theories through meta-analyses. A key strand of my research is testing key hypotheses from social psychological theories, particularly theories that have been applied to health behaviors using meta-analysis. The aim is to examine the cumulative evidence for theory predictions across the extant literature to provide an overview of the general efficacy in predicting behavior. The research also enables testing of whether theory effects vary across contexts according to key methodological and theoretical moderating variables. The typical approach to doing this is through meta-analysis, including means to test theories across studies using meta-analytic structural equation modeling and path analysis.

Representative publications:

Hagger, M. S., Chan, D. K. C., Protogerou, C., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. D. (2016). Using meta-analytic path analysis to test theoretical predictions in health behavior: An illustration based on meta-analyses of the theory of planned behavior. Preventive Medicine, 89, 154-161. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.05.020

Hagger, M. S., Koch, S., Chatzisarantis, N. L. D., & Orbell, S. (2017). The common-sense model of self-regulation: Meta-analysis and test of a process model. Psychological Bulletin, 143, 1117-1154. doi: 10.1037/bul0000118

Hagger, M. S., Polet, J., & Lintunen, T. (2018). The reasoned action approach applied to health behavior: Role of past behavior and test of some key moderators using meta-analytic structural equation modeling. Social Science & Medicine, 213, 85-94. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.07.038

Hagger, M. S., Wood, C., Stiff, C., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. D. (2010). Ego depletion and the strength model of self-control: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 495-525. doi: 10.1037/a0019486

Zhang, C. Q., Zhang, R., Schwarzer, R., & Hagger, M. S. (2019). A meta-analysis of the health action process approach. Health Psychology, 38, 623-637. doi: 10.1037/hea0000728

New research:

Hamilton, K., van Dongen, A., & Hagger, M. S. (2019). Meta-analysis of the theory of planned behavior for parent-for-child health behaviors. Unpublished manuscript, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.

Hagger, M. S., Smith, S., & Hamilton, K. (2019). Meta-analysis of treatment beliefs in chronic illness. Manuscript in preparation, University of California, Merced, USA, and Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.

Wang, D., Hagger, M. S., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. D. (2019). Ironic effects of thought suppression: A meta-analysis. Retrieved September 16, 2019, from

B.) Theory development. I have commented on, and contributed to, the development of theories applied to predict and understand health behavior, as well as theory development in general.

Representative publications:

Hagger, M. S. (2014). Avoiding the ‘déjà-variable’ phenomenon: Social psychology needs more guides to constructs. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 52. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00052

Hagger, M. S. (2014). The multiple pathways by which trait self-control predicts health behavior. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 48, 282-283. doi: 10.1007/s12160-014-9631-x

Hagger, M. S. (2019). Habit and physical activity: Theoretical advances, practical implications, and agenda for future research. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 42, 118-129. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2018.12.007

Hagger, M. S., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. D. (2014). An integrated behavior-change model for physical activity. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 42, 62-69. doi: 10.1249/JES.0000000000000008

Hagger, M. S., & Weed, M. E. (2019). DEBATE: Do behavioral interventions work in the real world? International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 16, 36. doi: 10.1186/s12966-019-0795-4

New research:

Hagger, M S., & Orbell, S. (2019). A revised common sense model of illness self-regulation. Unpublished manuscript, University of California, Merced, USA and University of Essex, UK.

Hagger, M. S. (2019). Redefining habits and integrating habits with other implicit processes. Unpublished manuscript, University of California, Merced, USA.

Development of theory-based behavior change interventions

Alongside theory testing and development, I also focus on leveraging these theoretical insights to develop effective health behavior change interventions. I am currently involved in multiple grant-funded projects aimed at developing, implementing, and evaluating theory-based behavior change interventions in multiple contexts, populations, and behaviors.

Representative publications:

Chatzisarantis, N. L. D., & Hagger, M. S. (2009). Effects of an intervention based on self-determination theory on self-reported leisure-time physical activity participation. Psychology & Health, 24, 29-48. doi: 10.1080/08870440701809533

Hagger, M. S., Lonsdale, A. J., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. D. (2011). Effectiveness of a brief intervention using mental simulations in reducing alcohol consumption in corporate employees. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 16, 375-392. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2011.554568

Hagger, M. S., Wong, G. G., & Davey, S. R. (2015). A theory-based behavior-change intervention to reduce alcohol consumption in undergraduate students: Trial protocol. BMC Public Health, 15, 306. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-1648-y

Hamilton, K., Keech, J. J., Peden, A., & Hagger, M. S. (2019). A protocol for developing a mental imagery intervention: A randomised controlled trial testing a novel implementation imagery e-health intervention to change driver behaviour during floods. BMJ Open, 9, e025565. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025565

Keech, J. J., Hagger, M. S., & Hamilton, K. (2019). Changing stress mindsets with a novel imagery intervention: A randomized controlled trial. Emotion. doi: 10.1037/emo0000678

Kwasnicka, D., Vandelanotte, C., Rebar, A., Gardner, B., Short, C., Duncan, M., . . . Hagger, M. S. (2017). Comparing motivational, self-regulatory and habitual processes in a computer-tailored physical activity intervention in hospital employees - protocol for the PATHS randomised controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 17, 518. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4415-4

Polet, J., Hassandra, M., Lintunen, T., Laukkanen, A., Hankonen, N., Hirvensalo, M., . . . Hagger, M. S. (2019). Using physical education to promote out-of school physical activity in lower secondary school students - A randomized controlled trial protocol. BMC Public Health, 19, 157. doi: 10.1186/s12889-019-6478-x

New research:

Schneider, K., Polet, J., Hassandra, M., Lintunen, T., Laukkanen, A., Hankonen, N., Hirvensalo, M., . . . Hagger, M. S. (2019). Effects of a teacher autonomy supportive intervention to promote change in children’s physical activity behavior outside of school. Unpublished manuscript, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.