CHAPTER 4 - INTERVENTIONS
- An intervention may be defined as a strategy (or procedure) that is intended to
influence the behavior of people for the purpose of improving their functioning
with respect to some social or practical problem.
- Personal interventions are those that people carry out in the course of their daily
lives, that is, when they use their knowledge of social psychology to improve their
own circumstances or those of people around them.
- Programmatic interventions, which commonly are referred to simply as
programs.Aprogram is “an organized collection of activities designed to reach
- Trial interventions are those that are implemented to determine whether the
interventions, as designed, in fact have the intended positive consequences. These
are also known as program efficacy studies
- There are two basic kinds of trial interventions. One is when researchers design a
study to test out a possible intervention strategy.
- The second kind of trial intervention is when an organization conducts a pilot
program to determine its effectiveness before implementing it on a more
permanent basis or before implementing it on a wider scale.
- The process of intervention design and implementation follows four overarching
steps that reflect the general problem-solving approach adopted by many areas of
applied psychology and are applicable whether the recipient of the intervention is
one individual or many individuals. These steps:
o Step 1: Identifying a problem. Programs are initiated to address social
problems or practical problems. The first step in program design is to
identify the existence and severity of a problem.
Aproblem usually is identified and defined by stakeholders.
Stakeholders are individuals or groups who have a vested interest
in the possible development of a program in that they may be
affected by it in some way
o Step 2:Arriving at a solution.Ascertaining the existence of a problem or
need is one thing; determining how best to address it is quite another.
When identifying causal factors one should distinguish between
precipitating factors (i.e. those that triggered the problem) and
perpetuating factors (those that sustain the problem)
For clarity of conceptualization and communication, solutions to
problems should be expressed as intervention hypotheses
Intervention hypotheses are “if–then” statements that summarize
the intervention and the expected outcomes.
o Step 3: Setting goals and designing the intervention. Once the need and
the proposed solution have been determined, it is necessary to develop the
program activities, which refer to the specific components and procedures
of the program
Knowledge of goals and objective serves to guide the selection of
program activities. Goals refer to the ultimate or long-term
outcomes that one hopes to accomplish through and intervention.
Objectives refer to short-term outcomes and intermediate term 2
changes that occur as a result of the intervention and are required
for the attainment of the program goals.
o Step 4: Implementing the intervention.As the term implies,
implementation refers to the actual process of enacting the intervention
activities, that is, of delivering them to the recipients of the intervention
- Aprogram logic model is an explanation or a blueprint of how the program
activities lead to the attainment of the program objectives and, in turn, how the
objectives logically and operationally contribute to the eventual achievement of
the program goal(s)
- Some evaluators have begun to employ the notion of a theory of change model
instead of program logic to underscore the need to make explic