According to Wikipedia, the theory of planned behavior is a theory in psychology that links one’s beliefs and behavior.
The theory asserts that intention toward behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control, contribute in shaping an individual’s behavioral intentions and behaviors.
It started as the Theory of Reasoned Action in 1980 and it was aimed at explaining all behaviors over which people have the capacity to exercise self-control.
The theory also asserts that the two determinants of behavioral achievement are motivation and ability.
It comprises of six parts that represent a person’s real management over the behavior;
This is explained as the extent to which a person has an acceptable or unacceptable experiment of the behavior of interest. It involves a reflection of the consequences of the performed behavior.
● Behavioral intention
This has to do with the motivational aspects that affect a specific behavior where the stronger the motive to perform the behavior, the more probability of the performance of the behavior.
● Subjective Norms
This applies to the belief about whether the majority agree or disagree with the behavior. This has to do with the approval or disapproval of peers and people of importance to the individual.
● Social Norms
This deals with customary beliefs and behavior of a group, people or a larger cultural phase.
They are seen as ideal in a group of people.
● Perceived Power
This refers to the observed existence of characteristics that might stimulate or hinder the performance of a behavior. It partakes in a person’s perceived behavioral control over each of those factors.
● Perceived Behavioral Control
This refers to a person’s understanding of the comfort or complication of performing the behavior of interest. Perceived behavioral control differs in circumstances and activities, which results in a person having differing understandings of behavioral control depending on the circumstance.
Limitations of the Theory of Planned Behavior
1. It concludes that the person has obtained the chances and aids to be triumphant in performing the desired behavior, not minding the motive.
2. It does not take responsibility for other things that factor into behavioral motive such as anxiety, danger, attitude, or past ordeal.
3. It considers normative impacts but does not take into account environmental or economic characteristics that may affect a person’s motive to perform a behavior.
4. It speculates that behavior is the result of a straight decision-making procedure, and does not assume that it can change over time.
5. It does not say anything about the real control over behavior.
6. The interval between “intent” and “behavioral action” is not dealt with by the theory.
Theory of Reasoned Action
It was developed and introduced mainly as an enhancement of Anderson’s Information
Integration Theory by Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen in 1980.
A person’s behavior will be influenced by objectives or predicted effects the behavior will probably provide and not only by attitude or understandings. It is aimed at explaining the relationship between attitudes and behaviors within human action. It is mainly used to predict how individuals will behave based on their pre-existing attitudes and behavioral intentions.
The theory shows that behavioral intention is shaped by three elements or factors which is;
1. The person’s opinion on whether or not a specific behavior is good. The attitude must be particular, since this particularity will allow the prediction in the occurring behavior.
2. The social tension arising from other people’s prospect as observed from the individual’s point of view. This has two components:
● The individual’s normative beliefs. I.e. what he perceives to be what other people expect and
● The individual’s need to accept what other people expect.
3. The anticipated behavioral control of the individual.
Behavioral intention is seen as the antecedent directly leading up to the actual behavior. This means a person will only react depending on the behavioral intention developed.
This relationship between the intention and the actual behavior is impacted by three conditions.
● Specific : The behavioral expectation must be specific, in order to anticipate a specific behavior.
● Stability; The intention must stay stable from the time it is given until actual performance of the behavior.
● Control; The individual has full control on whether or not to carry out the behavior so that behavior is 100% willing.
Information Integrity Theory
This theory cannot be left unexplained as it is linked to the theory of reasoned action which birthed the theory of planned behavior.
Here, an individual’s actions are affected by his behaviors and understandings. This theory recognizes the fact that, even if his attitudes imply a specific behavior, his suspected social norms may oppose it which will be suggesting a different response. This mixture, which could mean support or rejection as the case may be, will be used to indicate his behavioral motive.
Difference Between Theory of Reasoned Action and the Theory of Planned Behavior
The theory of reasoned action is a unique case of the theory of planned behavior.
The only distinction between these two theories is that the Theory of Planned Behavior includes behavioral control as an additional determinant of motives and behavior.
In the development of the Theory of Reasoned Action it was speculated that people have voluntary control over the behavior of interest. Under these conditions, behavioral control becomes insignificant and the theory of planned behavior lessens to the theory of reasoned action.
Attitude And Behavior
Attitude is a preference to positively either positively or negatively to a specific notion, challenge, person, or circumstance. Attitude has the capacity to influence the choice and responses of an individual.
The major components of attitude are ;
Affective: emotions or feelings.
(1) Cognitive: belief or opinions held consciously. (2) Conative: inclination for action.
(3) Evaluative: positive or negative response to stimuli.
Attitude can also be defined or seen as a belief, feeling, or viewpoint if disapproval lr authorization towards a particular thing while behaviour is a reaction that happens in response to a thought, incident, or event.
People seem to believe that there is a relationship between behavior and attitude, others think it’s the same thing. These relationships are mixed up by the social factors which influence both behaviour and attitude.
Usually, behaviors are a reflection of attitudes and beliefs which have already been established.
For example, a woman who strongly believes in celibacy before marriage will definitely choose to stay a virgin until her wedding night. But this same woman might get involved in premarital sex because of the influence of social messages that sexual activity makes her a woman.
Normally, positive attitudes bring about good behaviours but it is important to know that positive
attitudes might result in behaviour which could be dangerous to the person in some cases.
For instance, someone may remain in a failed marriage just because they have negative attitude with anything concerning divorce.
Behavior can be influenced by a number of factors beyond attitude, including preconceptions about self and others, monetary factors, social influences (what peers and community members are saying and doing), and convenience. Someone may have strong convictions about improving the public school system in their town, but if it means a hefty increase to their property taxes, they may vote against any improvements due to the potential for monetary loss. Or, they may simply not vote at all because their polling place is too far from their home, or the weather is bad on election day.
Studies have demonstrated that, in some cases, pointing out inconsistencies between attitudes and behavior can redirect the behavior. In the case of the school supporter, showing that their actions (i.e., not voting, not attending parent-teacher organization meetings) are harming rather than helping efforts to improve education in their town may influence them to reevaluate their behavior so that it reflects their attitudes.
For those in need of psychological treatment, there are several treatment approaches that focus on changing attitudes in order to change behavior. Cognitive therapy and cognitive-behavior therapy are two of those techniques. Cognitive therapy attempts to change irrational ways of thinking. Cognitive-behavioral therapy tries to correct the resulting inappropriate behavior.
Changing attitudes to change behavior
Attitude and behavior are woven into the fabric of daily life. Research has shown that individuals register an immediate and automatic reaction of “good” or “bad” towards everything they encounter in less than a second, even before they are aware of having formed an attitude.
Advertising, political campaigns, and other persuasive media messages are all built on the premise that behavior follows attitude, and attitude can be influenced with the right message delivered in the right way.
The fields of social and behavioral psychology have researched the relationship between attitude and behavior extensively. The more psychologists can understand the relationship between attitude and behavior and the factors that influence both, the more effectively they can treat mental disorders, and contribute to the dialogue on important social problems such as racism , gender bias , and age discrimination.
The concept of “social marketing” combines cognitive-behavioral components of psychology with social science and commercial marketing techniques to encourage or discourage behaviors by changing the attitudes that cause them. It is also a key part of public health education initiatives, particularly in the case of preventive medicine. Campaigns promoting positive attitudes towards prenatal care, abstinence from drug use, smoking cessation, sunscreen use, organ donations, safe sex, cancer screening, and other healthcare initiatives are all examples of social marketing in action. In effect, social marketing is “selling” attitudes and beliefs and ideally influencing associated behavior.
Changing behavior to influence attitudes
In 1955, clinical psychologist and educator George Kelly introduced his psychology of personal constructs. Kelly’s constructs were based on the idea that each individual looks at the world through his or her own unique set of preconceived notions about it (i.e., constructs). These constructs change and adapt as the individual is exposed to new and different situations. At the heart of Kelly’s theory is the idea that individuals can seek new experiences and practice and adapt new behaviors in order to change their attitudes (or constructs) towards the world. He recommended that therapists encourage their patients to try out new behaviors and coping strategies; he and others that followed frequently found that patients would adapt these useful new behavior patterns and subsequently change their attitudes.
When behavior is inconsistent with attitude, it is sometimes a result of social or peer pressure .
While adult behavior generally follows from held attitudes, for children, attitudes are often shaped by observed behavior. From a very young age, children copy the actions of others and, to a degree, build their attitudes and beliefs from this learned behavior. As children grow into adolescence , the behavior of their peers can have a significant impact. Sometimes this peer pressure factor can be used to an advantage. One research study found that antismoking campaigns targeted at teenagers can have a higher success rate when adolescent peers are used as instructors.