What is the Theory of Planned Behavior?

The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) is a psychological model that helps to explain how individuals form intentions to engage in specific behaviors. It is one of the most widely used theories of behavior change and is based on the idea that an individual’s behavior is determined by their attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control. The Theory of Planned Behavior is used in a variety of fields, including public health, marketing, and organizational behavior.

History of the Theory of Planned Behavior

The Theory of Planned Behavior was first developed in the 1980s by social psychologist Icek Ajzen. Ajzen was interested in understanding why people often fail to act in accordance with their intentions. He proposed that an individual’s behavior is determined by their attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control.

Attitude is an individual’s overall evaluation of a behavior. It is based on their beliefs about the consequences of performing the behavior. Subjective norm refers to an individual’s perception of how important others think they should perform the behavior. Perceived behavioral control is an individual’s perception of how easy or difficult it is to perform the behavior.

How Does the Theory of Planned Behavior Work?

The Theory of Planned Behavior proposes that an individual’s behavior is determined by their attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control. An individual’s attitude is based on their beliefs about the consequences of performing a behavior. For example, if an individual believes that smoking is harmful, then they are likely to have a negative attitude towards smoking.

The subjective norm is based on an individual’s perception of how important others think they should perform a behavior. If an individual believes that their family and friends would disapprove of smoking, then they are likely to have a negative subjective norm towards smoking.

The perceived behavioral control is based on an individual’s perception of how easy or difficult it is to perform a behavior. If an individual believes that it is difficult to quit smoking, then they are likely to have a low perceived behavioral control towards smoking.

The Components of the Theory of Planned Behavior

The Theory of Planned Behavior consists of three components: attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control.

Attitude is an individual’s overall evaluation of a behavior. It is based on their beliefs about the consequences of performing the behavior. For example, if an individual believes that smoking is harmful, then they are likely to have a negative attitude towards smoking.

Subjective norm is an individual’s perception of how important others think they should perform a behavior. If an individual believes that their family and friends would disapprove of smoking, then they are likely to have a negative subjective norm towards smoking.

Perceived behavioral control is an individual’s perception of how easy or difficult it is to perform a behavior. If an individual believes that it is difficult to quit smoking, then they are likely to have a low perceived behavioral control towards smoking.

How Can the Theory of Planned Behavior Be Used?

The Theory of Planned Behavior is widely used in a variety of fields, including public health, marketing, and organizational behavior. It can be used to understand and predict an individual’s behavior in different contexts.

In public health, the Theory of Planned Behavior can be used to understand and predict health behaviors, such as smoking, physical activity, and diet. By understanding an individual’s attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control towards a particular health behavior, public health professionals can design interventions that target these factors in order to promote health behavior change.

In marketing, the Theory of Planned Behavior can be used to understand and predict consumer behavior. By understanding an individual’s attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control towards a particular product or service, marketers can design marketing campaigns that target these factors in order to influence consumer behavior.

In organizational behavior, the Theory of Planned Behavior can be used to understand and predict employee behavior. By understanding an individual’s attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control towards a particular job-related behavior, managers can design interventions that target these factors in order to promote desired employee behavior.

Conclusion

The Theory of Planned Behavior is a psychological model that helps to explain how individuals form intentions to engage in specific behaviors. It is based on the idea that an individual’s behavior is determined by their attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control. The Theory of Planned Behavior is used in a variety of fields, including public health, marketing, and organizational behavior. By understanding an individual’s attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control towards a particular behavior, professionals in these fields can design interventions that target these factors in order to promote behavior change.

FAQs

What is the Theory of Planned Behavior?

The Theory of Planned Behavior is a psychology-based model that explains how people make decisions. It suggests that people’s behavior is determined by their intentions, which in turn are influenced by their attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control.

What are the components of the Theory of Planned Behavior?

The Theory of Planned Behavior consists of three components: Attitude, Subjective Norms, and Perceived Behavioral Control. Attitude refers to a person’s evaluation of a behavior, Subjective Norms refer to the perceived social pressure to perform a behavior, and Perceived Behavioral Control is a person’s perception of how easy or difficult it is to perform the behavior.

How is the Theory of Planned Behavior used?

The Theory of Planned Behavior is used to explain and predict behavior in a variety of contexts. It is particularly useful for understanding how people make decisions about health-related behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, and exercise.

What are the limitations of the Theory of Planned Behavior?

The Theory of Planned Behavior has several limitations. It does not take into account other factors that may influence behavior, such as emotions, past experiences, and situational factors. Additionally, it does not explain why people do not act in accordance with their intentions.

How can the Theory of Planned Behavior be applied?

The Theory of Planned Behavior can be applied to a variety of contexts. It can be used to understand and predict health-related behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, and exercise. It can also be used to understand how people make decisions about career choices, financial decisions, and other types of decisions.

References


1. Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 50(2), 179-211.



2. Sheeran, P., & Abraham, C. (1995). The theory of planned behaviour and health-related behaviours. British journal of health psychology, 1(1), 47-64.



3. Godin, G., & Kok, G. (1996). The theory of planned behavior: A review of its applications to health-related behaviors. American journal of health promotion, 11(2), 87-98.