Synthesis and Development of Theories

Testing Theories Using Meta-Analysis


Testing Theories Using Meta-Analysis. 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

Protogerou, C., Johnson, B. T., & Hagger, M. S. (2018). An integrated model of condom use in sub-Saharan African youth: A meta-analysis. Health Psychology, 37, 586-602. doi: 10.1037/hea0000604

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 Unpublished manuscript, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.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


Theory Development


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 linking habits with other implicit processes. Unpublished manuscript, University of California, Merced, USA.