The compendium of self-enactable techniques to change and self-manage motivation and behaviour v.1.0


Behaviour change techniques describe the content of behaviour change interventions, but do not adequately account for the actions that people must themselves undertake to successfully change or self-manage motivation or behaviour. This paper describes the development of a compendium of self-enactable techniques, combining behaviour- and motivation-regulation techniques across six existing classifications of behaviour change techniques and three scoping reviews. The compendium includes 123 techniques, each of which is labelled, defined and presented with instructive examples to facilitate self-enactment. Qualitative feedback was gathered from intervention developers and the general public to improve the utility, congruence and ease of self-enactability of the techniques. This integrative index of self-enactable techniques can assist intervention developers in selecting appropriate self-directed techniques to help people self-manage their motivation and behaviour. Future research with this compendium can expand on the number of behaviours covered by the instructive examples and link techniques with their potential impacts on factors that influence behaviours.

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Fig. 1: Outline of the compendium development process.
Fig. 2: Results of the expert review exercise.

Data availability

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article and its Supplementary Files. All supplementary files, including copies of the Supplementary Files 15 hosted by Nature Human Behaviour, are available via the Open Science Framework at; Supplementary Files A–F are available only at, where any future updates will also be made available.


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The contributions of K.K., M.H., M.S. and M.B. to this work were funded by the Academy of Finland (project grant no. 295765 to N.H. as principal investigator). N.H.’s contribution was supported by Academy of Finland Research Fellowship (grant no. 285283). M.M.M. is funded by a Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship (Co-fund EDGE programme, grant agreement no. 713567). M.H.’s contribution was supported by a Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) award (Dnro 1801/31/2105) from Business Finland. These funders had no role in the conceptualization, design, data collection, analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript. We thank the following expert review participants, whose insights and feedback were vital in carrying out this work: R. Carey, T. Corbett, S. Dombrowski, L. Fleig, J. Inauen, D. Kwasnicka, J. McSharry, L. Morrison, E. Norris, H. Patrick, S. Pears, J. Presseau, A. Rodrigues, K. Sainsbury, M. Silva, J. Spook and L. Warner.

Author information

N.H. conceived the study and acquired funding. K.K., M.H., M.M.M., M.S., M.S.H., W.H. and N.H. contributed to its design. K.K., M.H., M.M.M., M.S., M.B., F.E. and N.H. acquired data. K.K., M.H., M.M.M., M.S., M.B., F.E. and N.H. analysed data. K.K., M.H., M.M.M., M.S., M.B., F.E., W.H. and N.H. interpreted data. K.K., M.H., M.M.M., M.S., M.B., F.E. and N.H. drafted the manuscript. All authors substantively revised the manuscript. All authors approved the submitted manuscript and any substantially modified version that involved the author’s contribution to the study. All authors agree both to be personally accountable for the author’s own contributions and to ensure that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work, even those in which the author was not personally involved, are appropriately investigated, resolved and the resolution documented in the literature.

Correspondence to Nelli Hankonen.

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Competing interests

M.S.H., W.H. and M.M.M. are co-authors of existing taxonomies of behaviour change techniques that have informed this work. The authors declare no other competing interests.

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Peer review information Primary handling editors: Mary Elizabeth Sutherland and Stavroula Kousta

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Results: list version of the compendium (Supplementary File 1) and plain-language introduction (Supplementary File 2).

Reporting Summary

Supplementary Data 1.

Supplementary Files 3, 4 and 5.

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Knittle, K., Heino, M., Marques, M.M. et al. The compendium of self-enactable techniques to change and self-manage motivation and behaviour v.1.0. Nat Hum Behav 4, 215–223 (2020).

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