How To Study People's Behaviour – The theory of rational action (TRA or ToRA) aims to explain the relationship between attitudes and behaviors in human activity. It is mainly used to predict how people will behave based on their past attitudes and behavioral intentions. An individual’s decision to evaluate a particular behavior is based on the consequences that the individual expects will result from performing the behavior. Developed in 1967 by Martin Fishbein and Yitzhak Eise, the theory grew out of earlier research in social psychology, persuasion models and attitude theories. Fishbein’s theories proposed a relationship between attitude and behavior (A-B relationship). However, critics have argued that attitude theories have not proven to be good predictors of human behavior.
TRA was later revived and expanded by both theorists in subsequent decades to overcome a discrepancy in the A-B relationship with the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and the rational action approach (RAA). The theory is also used as a theory of understanding in communication discourse.
- 1 How To Study People's Behaviour
- 2 Pdf) Health Related Behaviors In Older Adults Relationships With Socioeconomic Status
- 3 Solved Question 5: On The Following Page Is An Article From
- 4 Major Psychological Perspectives
- 5 Behaviorism: Definition, History, Concepts, And Impact
- 6 Pdf) What Influences The Selection Of Contextual Cues When Starting A New Routine Behaviour? An Exploratory Study
- 7 Solved For Their Response Bias Project, Students Were
How To Study People's Behaviour
The primary purpose of TRA is to understand an individual’s voluntary behavior by examining the underlying motivation to perform an action.
Pdf) Health Related Behaviors In Older Adults Relationships With Socioeconomic Status
TRA states that a person’s intention to perform a behavior is the main predictor of whether or not they actually perform the behavior.
In addition, the normative component (ie, the social norms surrounding the action) also contributes to whether or not a person actually performs the action. According to the theory, the intention to perform a certain behavior precedes the actual behavior.
This intention is known as behavioral intention and results from the belief that performing the behavior will lead to a specific outcome. Behavioral intentions are important to the theory because these intentions are “determined by behavioral attitudes and subjective norms.”
TRA suggests that stronger intentions lead to an increased effort to perform the behavior, which increases the likelihood of performing the behavior.
Solved Question 5: On The Following Page Is An Article From
A positivist approach to behavioral research, TRA attempts to predict and explain an individual’s intention to perform a particular behavior. The theory requires that behavior be clearly defined in terms of the following four concepts: Action (eg, go, get), Goal (eg, mammography), Context (eg, breast screening) and Time (eg, in 12 months).
According to TRA, behavioral intention is the main motivation for behavior, while the two main determinants of behavior initiation are people’s attitudes and norms.
By examining subjective attitudes and norms, researchers can gain insight into whether or not a person will engage in an action.
According to TRA, attitude is one of the main determinants of behavioral intention and refers to the way people feel about a particular behavior.
Major Psychological Perspectives
These attitudes are influenced by two factors: the strength of the behavior’s beliefs about the consequences of the behavior (ie, whether the outcome will happen or not) and the evaluation of the potential consequences (ie, whether the outcome is positive or not).
The theory states that there is a direct relationship between attitudes and outcomes, so if a person believes that a certain behavior will lead to a desired or favorable outcome, they are more likely to have a positive attitude toward the behavior. Furthermore, if a person believes that a particular behavior will lead to an undesirable or negative outcome, he or she is more likely to hold a negative attitude toward the behavior.
This concept predicts that people associate the performance of a specific behavior with a specific set of outcomes or characteristics.
For example, a person believes that if he studies for his driver’s license for a month, after failing the first time, he will pass the test without studying at all. Here, the behavioral belief is that learning for a month is associated with success, but not learning is associated with failure.
Theory Of Reasoned Action
Consequence appraisal refers to the way a person perceives and evaluates the potential consequences of performing an action.
For example, if the behavioral belief is clear breathing and lungs, the person is more likely to evaluate the outcome of quitting smoking as positive. Conversely, if the behavioral belief is weight gain after smoking cessation, a person may evaluate the outcome of smoking cessation as negative.
Subjective norms are also one of the main determinants of behavioral intentions and refer to the way in which the perception of the group or individuals involved, such as family members, friends and peers, may influence the performance of the behavior.
According to TRA, people form certain beliefs or normative beliefs about whether certain behaviors are acceptable or not.
Behaviorism: Definition, History, Concepts, And Impact
This belief creates a person’s understanding of the behavior and determines his intention to perform or not perform the behavior.
For example, if one believes that recreational drug use (behavior) is accepted within one’s social group, one is more likely to be willing to engage in the activity. Furthermore, if one’s peer groups perceive the behavior as bad, they will be less likely to engage in recreational drug use. However, subjective norms also consider people’s motivations based on their attitudes and perceptions of their social environment, which vary according to individual circumstances and motivations.
Normative beliefs focus on whether or not reference groups approve of the action. There is a direct relationship between normative beliefs and behavioral performance. In general, the more likely reference groups are to approve of the action, the more likely the individual will perform the action. Conversely, reference groups that are less likely to endorse the action are less likely to take the action.
Conformity motivation refers to the fact that individuals may or may not conform to the social norms of the reference groups surrounding the activity. Depending on the individual’s motivations regarding the implementation of social pressure, the individual will either submit to the social pressure to perform the action that they accept, or otherwise resist the social pressure to not accept the action.
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Behavioral intention is a function of both attitudes and subjective norms toward that behavior (also known as the normative component). Attitude is how strongly one holds an attitude towards the action and subjective norms are the social norms associated with the action. The stronger the attitude and the more positive the subjective norm, the greater the A-B relationship. However, attitudes and subjective norms are unlikely to be equally weighted in predicting behavior. Depending on the individual and the situation, these factors may have different effects on behavioral intention, so a weight is associated with each of these factors.
Several studies have shown that prior direct experience with a particular activity leads to increased weighting of the attitudinal component of the behavioral intention function.
TRA theorists suggest that there are three conditions that can influence the relationship between behavioral intention and behavior. The first condition is that “the perfect measure should be compared according to their characteristic levels.”
This means that in order to predict a specific behavior, the behavioral intention must be equally specific. The second condition is that there must be “stability of intentions between the time of measurement and the performance of the behavior”.
Pdf) What Influences The Selection Of Contextual Cues When Starting A New Routine Behaviour? An Exploratory Study
The address must remain the same between the time it is given and the time the move is made. The third condition is “the degree to which the fulfillment of the purpose is under the control of the individual’s will.”
The individual always has control over whether or not to act. These states are associated with the transition from verbal responses to actual behavior.
While Fishbein and Ajz developed TRA in the health field to understand health behaviors, theorists argued that TRA can be applied in any context to understand and predict any human behavior.
According to Shepard et al., behavioral intention can predict the performance of “any voluntary task, as long as the intention does not change before performance or as long as the measure of intention in terms of action, goal, context, time frame, and as long as the measure of intention be inappropriate according to the standard of behavior / or characteristics’.
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Their statement argues that according to the TRA, a measure of behavioral intention can predict whether a person will perform a certain action or not, as long as the behavioral intention remains the same and the behavior is clearly and precisely defined.
Extending the TRA framework, Shepard conducted a study in which they applied TRA to situations that did not fully match or disagree with Fishbein and Ajz’s framework. Examining 87 previous empirical studies, they applied the theory to contexts where the individual did not have full voluntary control over behavior and/or where individuals did not have all the information to develop their intentions.
To their surprise, they found that TRA can be successfully applied to situations that do not fully meet the three formal conditions outlined in the theory.
Although the scope of TRA is broad, the theory still has its limitations and, like any other theory, needs constant refinement and revision, especially in terms of choice and objectives.
Solved For Their Response Bias Project, Students Were
The difference between goal intention and behavioral intention refers to the ability to achieve one’s intention, where there are many variables that create great uncertainty. Eise admitted that “some behavior
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