The? theory of reasoned action? (TRA), is a model for the prediction of? behavioral intention, spanning predictions of? attitude? and predictions of behavior. The subsequent separation of behavioral intention from behavior allows for explanation of limiting factors on? attitudinal influence? (Ajzen, 1980). The Theory of Reasoned Action was developed by? Martin Fishbein? and? Icek Ajzen? (1975, 1980), derived from previous research that started out as the theory of attitude, which led to the study of attitude and behavior. The theory was “born largely out of frustration with traditional attitude??“behavior research, much of which found weak correlations between attitude measures and performance of volitional behaviors” (Hale, Householder & Greene, 2003, p.? 259).
Definition and example
Derived from the social psychology setting, the theory of reasoned action (TRA) was proposed by Ajzen and Fishbein (1975 & 1980). The components of TRA are three general constructs: behavioral intention (BI), attitude (A), and subjective norm (SN). TRA suggests that a persons behavioral intention depends on the persons attitude about the behavior and subjective norms (BI? =? A? +? SN). If a person intends to do a behavior then it is likely that the person will do it.
Behavioral intention measures a persons relative strength of intention to perform a behavior. Attitude consists of beliefs about the consequences of performing the behavior multiplied by his or her evaluation of these consequences (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). Subjective norm is seen as a combination of perceived expectations from relevant individuals or groups along with intentions to comply with these expectations. In other words, “the persons perception that most people who are important to him or her think he should or should not perform the behavior in question” (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975).
To put the definition into simple terms: a persons volitional (voluntary) behavior is predicted by his attitude toward that behavior and how he thinks other people would view them if they performed the behavior. A persons attitude, combined with subjective norms, forms his behavioral intention.
Fishbein and Ajzen suggest, however, that attitudes and norms are not weighted equally in predicting behavior. “Indeed, depending on the individual and the situation, these factors might be very different effects on behavioral intention; thus a weight is associated with each of these factors in the predictive formula of the theory. For example, you might be the kind of person who cares little for what others think. If this is the case, the subjective norms would carry little weight in predicting your behavior” (Miller, 2005, p.? 127).
Miller (2005) defines each of the three components of the theory as follows and uses the example of embarking on a new exercise program to illustrate the theory:
* Attitudes: the sum of beliefs about a particular behavior weighted by evaluations of these beliefs
* You might have the beliefs that exercise is good for your health, that exercise makes you look good, that exercise takes too much time, and that exercise is uncomfortable. Each of these beliefs can be weighted (e.g., health issues might be more important to you than issues of time and comfort).
* Subjective norms: looks at the influence of people in ones social environment on his behavioral intentions; the beliefs of people, weighted by the importance one attributes to each of their opinions, will influence ones behavioral intention
* You might have some friends who are avid exercisers and constantly encourage you to join them. However, your spouse might prefer a more sedentary lifestyle and scoff at those who work out. The beliefs of these people, weighted by the importance you attribute to each of their opinions, will influence your behavioral intention to exercise, which will lead to your behavior to exercise or not exercise.
* Behavioral intention: a function of both attitudes toward a behavior and subjective norms toward that behavior, which has been found to predict actual behavior.
* Your attitudes about exercise combined with the subjective norms about exercise, each with their own weight, will lead you to your intention to exercise (or not), which will then lead to your actual behavior.
In? psychology, the? theory of planned behavior? is a theory about the link between beliefs and? behavior. The concept was proposed by? Icek Ajzen? to improve on the predictive power of the? theory of reasoned action? by including perceived behavioural control.? It is one of the most predictive persuasion theories. It has been applied to studies of the relations among? beliefs, attitudes,? behavioral intentions? and behaviors in various fields such as? advertising,? public relations,advertising campaigns? and? healthcare.
The theory states that attitude toward behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control, together shape an individuals behavioral intentions and behaviors.
Extension from the theory of reasoned action
The theory of planned behavior was proposed by Icek Ajzen in 1985 through his article “From intentions to actions: A theory of planned behavior.” The theory was developed from the? theory of reasoned action, which was proposed by? Martin Fishbein? together with Icek Ajzen in 1975. The theory of reasoned action was in turn grounded in various theories of attitude such as? learning theories,? expectancy-value theories, consistency theories,? and? attribution theory.According to the theory of reasoned action, if people evaluate the suggested behavior as positive (attitude), and if they think their significant others want them to perform the behavior (subjective norm), this results in a higher intention (motivation) and they are more likely to do so. A high correlation of attitudes and subjective norms to behavioral intention, and subsequently to behavior, has been confirmed in many studies.
A counter-argument against the high relationship between behavioral intention and actual behavior has also been proposed, as the results of some studies show that, because of circumstantial limitations, behavioral intention does not always lead to actual behavior. Namely, since behavioral intention cannot be the exclusive determinant of behavior where an individuals control over the behavior is incomplete, Ajzen introduced the theory of planned behavior by adding a new component, “perceived behavioral control.” By this, he extended the theory of reasoned action to cover non-volitional behaviors for predicting behavioral intention and actual behavior.
Extension of self-efficacy
In addition to attitudes and subjective norms (which make the theory of reasoned action), the theory of planned behavior adds the concept of? perceived behavioral control, which originates from? self-efficacy? theory (SET). Self-efficacy was proposed by Bandura in 1977, which came from? social cognitive theory. According to Bandura, expectations such as motivation, performance, and feelings of frustration associated with repeated failures determine effect and behavioral reactions. Bandura (1986)[full citation needed]? separated expectations into two distinct types: self-efficacy and outcome expectancy. He defined self-efficacy as the conviction that one can successfully execute the behavior required to produce the outcomes. The? outcome expectancy? refers to a persons estimation that a given behavior will lead to certain outcomes. He states that self-efficacy is the most important precondition for behavioral change, since it determines the initiation of coping behavior.
Previous investigations have shown that peoples behavior is strongly influenced by their confidence in their ability to perform that behavior (Bandura, Adams, Hardy, & Howells, 1980).[full citation needed]? As the self-efficacy theory contributes to explaining various relationships between beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and behavior, the SET has been widely applied to health-related fields such as physical activity and mental health in preadolescents,? and exercise.
Concepts of key variables
Behavioral beliefs and attitude toward behavior
* Behavioral belief: an individuals belief about consequences of particular behavior. The concept is based on the subjective probability that the behavior will produce a given outcome.
* Attitude toward behavior: an individuals positive or negative evaluation of self-performance of the particular behavior. The concept is the degree to which performance of the behavior is positively or negatively valued. It is determined by the total set of accessible behavioral beliefs linking the behavior to various outcomes and other attributes.
Normative beliefs and subjective norms
* Normative belief: an individuals perception about the particular behavior, which is influenced by the judgment of significant others (e.g., parents, spouse, friends, teachers).
* Subjective norm: an individuals perception of social normative pressures, or relevant others beliefs that he or she should or should not perform such behavior.
Control beliefs and perceived behavioral control
* Perceived behavioral control: an individuals perceived ease or difficulty of performing the particular behavior (Ajzen, 1988).[full citation needed]? It is assumed that perceived behavioral control is determined by the total set of accessible control beliefs.
* Control beliefs: an individuals beliefs about the presence of factors that may facilitate or impede performance of the behavior (Ajzen, 2001).[full citation needed]? The concept of perceived behavioral control is conceptually related to self-efficacy.
Behavioral intention and behavior
* Behavioral intention: an indication of an individuals readiness to perform a given behavior. It is assumed to be an immediate antecedent of behavior (Ajzen, 2002b).[full citation needed]? It is based on attitude toward the behavior, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control, with each predictor weighted for its importance in relation to the behavior and population of interest.
* Behavior: an individuals observable response in a given situation with respect to a given target. Ajzen said a behavior is a function of compatible intentions and perceptions of behavioral control in that perceived behavioral control is expected to moderate the effect of intention on behavior, such that a favorable intention produces the behavior only when perceived behavioral control is strong.
Conceptual / operational comparison
Perceived behavioral control vs. self-efficacy
As Ajzen (1991) stated in the theory of planned behavior, knowledge of the role of perceived behavioral control came from Banduras concept of self-efficacy. Recently, Fishbein and Cappella (2006)[full citation needed]? stated that self-efficacy is the same as perceived behavioral control in his integrative model, which is also measured by items of self-efficacy in a previous study (Ajzen, 2002a).[full citation needed]
In previous studies, the construction and the number of item inventory of perceived behavioral control have depended on each particular health topic. For example, for smoking topics, it is usually measured by items such as “I dont think I am addicted because I can really just not smoke and not crave for it,” and “It would be really easy for me to quit.”
The concept of self-efficacy is rooted in Banduras social cognitive theory.? It refers to the conviction that one can successfully execute the behavior required to produce the outcome. The concept of self-efficacy is used as perceived behavioral control, which means the perception of the ease or difficulty of the particular behavior. It is linked to control beliefs, which refers to beliefs about the presence of factors that may facilitate or impede performance of the behavior.
It is usually measured with items which begins with the stem, “I am sure I can … (e.g., exercise, quit smoking, etc.)” through a self-report instrument in their questionnaires. Namely, it tries to measure the confidence toward the probability, feasibility, or likelihood of executing given behavior.
Attitude toward behavior vs. outcome expectancy
The theory of planned behavior specifies the nature of relationships between beliefs and attitudes. According to these models, peoples evaluations of, or attitudes toward behavior are determined by their accessible beliefs about the behavior, where a belief is defined as the subjective probability that the behavior will produce a certain outcome. Specifically, the evaluation of each outcome contributes to the attitude in direct proportion to the persons subjective possibility that the behavior produces the outcome in question (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975).[full citation needed]
Outcome expectancy was originated from the expectancy-value model. It is a variable-linking belief, attitude and expectation. The theory of planned behaviors positive evaluation of self-performance of the particular behavior is similar to the concept to perceived benefits, which refers to beliefs regarding the effectiveness of the proposed preventive behavior in reducing the vulnerability to the negative outcomes, whereas their negative evaluation of self-performance is similar to perceived barriers, which refers to evaluation of potential negative consequences that might result from the enactment of the espoused health behavior.
The concept of social influence has been assessed by social norm and normative belief in both the theory of reasoned action and theory of planned behavior. Individuals elaborative thoughts on subjective norms are perceptions on whether they are expected by their friends, family and the society to perform the recommended behavior. Social influence is measured by evaluation of various social groups. For example, for smoking issue, (1) subjective norms from peer group include thoughts such as, “Most of my friends smoke,” or “I feel ashamed of smoking in front of a group of friends who dont smoke”; (2) subjective norms from family include thoughts such as, “All my family smoke, and it seems natural to start smoking,” or “My parents were really mad at me when I started smoking”; and (3) subjective norms from society or culture include thoughts such as, “Everyone is against smoking,” and “We just assume everyone is a nonsmoker.”
While most models are conceptualized within individual cognitive space, the theory of planned behavior considers social influence such as social norm and normative belief, based on collectivistic culture-related variables. Given that an individuals behavior (e.g., health-related decision-making such as diet, condom use, quitting smoking and drinking, etc.) might very well be located in and dependent on the social networks and organization (e.g., peer group, family, school and workplace), social influence has been a welcomed addition.
Human behavior is guided by three kinds of consideration, “behavioral beliefs,” “normative beliefs,” and “control beliefs.” In their respective aggregates, “behavioral beliefs” produce a favorable or unfavorable “attitude toward the behavior”; “normative beliefs” result in “subjective norm”; and “control beliefs” gives rise to “perceived behavioral control.”
In combination, “attitude toward the behavior,” “subjective norm,” and “perceived behavioral control” lead to the formation of a “behavioral intention” (Ajzen, 2002b).[full citation needed]? In particular, “perceived behavioral control” is presumed to not only affect actual behavior directly, but also affect it indirectly through behavioral intention (Zimmerman et al., 2005).[full citation needed]
As a general rule, the more favorable the attitude toward behavior and subjective norm, and the greater the perceived behavioral control, the stronger the persons intention to perform the behavior in question should be. Finally, given a sufficient degree of actual control over the behavior, people are expected to carry out their intentions when the opportunity arises (Ajzen, 2002b)