Theory of Planned Behaviour

What is it?

The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) is a theoretical model used to predict intentions that are then used to predict actual behaviour. The theory posits that if one has an understanding of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control then one can create a highly predictive estimate of an agent’s intentions to behave in a certain way.

Attitudes—how one feels about a behaviour

Subjective norms—the perceptions we hold about how important others will feel about what we do

Perceived Behavioural Control—one’s perception of efficacy regarding behaviour.

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How could you apply this theory? (suggested strategies)

  • While designing strategies maintain an awareness that attitudes, norms, and efficacy will all eventuate to behavioural change.

  • While investigating the context that surrounds a behaviour these three determinants should serve as a baseline to ascertain what drives an actor to perform a specific behaviour (i.e. do they feel capable of performing the action).

How could you apply this theory? (story)

There was once a time my grandmother asked me to take her to the bank to transfer money between her cheque and savings accounts. I asked her why she didn’t want to just do it online. She responded that she didn’t know how to do it online; that she felt uneasy about all these new technological changes and that she didn’t trust the Internet; and finally, all of her friends—who were reminiscent of a simpler time—still went to the bank.

Why is it important for behaviour change?

Understanding the underlying determinants to behaviour is an important prerequisite to changing behaviour.

Citations

Ajzen, I. (1985). From Intentions to Actions: A Theory of Planned Behavior. In: Kuhl J., Beckmann J. (eds) Action Control. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. Retrieved from https://link-springer-com.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-642-69746-3_2.pdf

Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(2), 179–211. http://doi.org/10.1016/0749-5978(91)90020-T

Armitage, C. J., & Conner, M. (2001). Efficacy of the Theory of Planned Behaviour: A meta-analytic review. British Journal of Social Psychology, 40(4), 471–499. http://doi.org/10.1348/014466601164939

Hardeman, W., Johnston, M., Johnston, D., Bonetti, D., Wareham, N., & Kinmonth, A. L. (2002). Application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour in Behaviour Change Interventions: A Systematic Review. Psychology & Health, 17(2), 123–158. http://doi.org/10.1080/08870440290013644a

Related Concepts

Lewin’s Force Field Analysis

Norms

Theory of Reasoned Action