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Planned Behavior Theory

 

Explanations > Theories > Planned Behavior Theory

Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

The best predictors of person’s planned and deliberate behaviors are:

  • Their attitudes towards specific behaviors (not general attitudes).
  • Subjective norms, which are their beliefs about how their friends will view the specific behaviors.
  • Perceived behavioral control, which is how easily they can perform the behaviors.

The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) was described in 1967 by Fishbein and includes the idea that behavior is driven by intentions, which a function of an individual's attitude toward the behaviour and subjective norms around the performance of the behavior. In 1985, this was extended as the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB).

Research

A number of women were asked a broad set of questions, including their attitude towards the birth control pill and whether they might use it within the next two years. Two years later, they were asked whether they had used the pill. Their previous general attitude turned out not to be a very good predictor of their actions. Only when very specific questions had been asked were these good predictors.

Example

Interviewers for jobs will often probe or otherwise test for these factors in an attempt to discover whether the interviewee will fit well into the target environment.

So what?

Using it

Ask specific questions to elicit attitudes. Be careful about asking what their friends will think. Show how easy it is to do the thing you want them to do.

See also

Attitude, Social Norms

http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~aizen/tpb.html,

References

Fishbein (1967), Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), Ajzen (1985, 1988)

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