Variables that modify the attitude behavior relation: Results of a longitudinal study

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 07/1979; 37(8):1364-1376. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.37.8.1364


Hypothesized several factors that moderate the attitude–behavior relation: (a) the behavioral sequence that must be successfully completed prior to the occurrence of the behavior, (b) the time interval between the measurement of attitudes and behavior, (c) attitude change, (d) the respondent's educational level, and (e) the degree of correspondence between attitudinal and behavioral variables. The behaviors investigated were having a child and using oral contraceptives. A stratified random sample of 244 married women in a midwestern urban area was studied during a 3-wave, 2-yr longitudinal study. Selection of attitudinal and belief measures was guided by the M. Fishbein (1967) model of behavior intentions. Consistent with the hypotheses, the relations between behavior and both intention and the model's attitudinal and normative components were substantially attenuated by (a) events in the behavioral sequence not under the volitional control of the actor, (b) an increase in the time interval between the measurement of attitudes and behavior from 1 to 2 yrs, and (c) changes in the model's attitudinal and normative components during the 1st yr. The respondent's educational level did not affect attitude–behavior consistency. The attitude–behavior correlation increased significantly as the degree of correspondence between the 2 variables increased. (47 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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