Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Intention: the will to commit an act, as opposed to a random occurrence of such an event. See also motives, causation, will.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Psychological Theories on Intentions - Dictionary of Arguments

Haslam I 32
Intentions/Psychological theories: in relation to the problem of divergence between attitude and behavior researchers argued that there was no simple attitude–behaviour relationship and that in order to predict behaviour accurately it is necessary to take other variables into account.
>Attitudes and behavior
, >Attitudes.
The most dominant of these ‘other variables’ approaches are the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975(1)) and the theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1991)(2). According to both these theories, the most immediate determinant of behaviour is a person’s intention to engage in that behaviour.
>Behavior, >Decision-making processes.
Intention, in turn, is determined by attitudes (i.e., the person’s evaluation of the target behaviour), subjective norms (i.e., the person’s perception that others would approve of the behaviour), and, in the theory of planned behaviour,
Haslam I 32
perceived behavioural control (i.e., the person’s perception that the behaviour is under his or her control).
>Social behavior, >Group behavior, >Norms.
See meta-analyses by Albarracin et al., 2001(3); Armitage and Conner, 2001(4); Hagger et al., 2002(5)).
Attitudes correlate well with intentions (the average correlation, r, ranges between .45 and .60). The same is true for correlations between subjective norms and intentions (.34 < r < .42), and between perceived behavioural control and intentions (.35 < r < .46). Indeed, overall, in combination, attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control turn out to be very good predictors of intentions (.63 < r < .71). Furthermore, Sheeran (2002)(6) observes that intentions are themselves good predictors of behaviour (average r = .53).

Attitude/Subjective norm/Perceived behavioral control > Intention > Behavior

(With an additional direct influence of perceived behavioral control on behavior).

1. Fishbein, M. and Ajzen, I. (1975) Belief, Attitude, Intention, and Behaviour: An Introduction to Theory and Research. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
2. Ajzen, I. (1991) ‘The theory of planned behaviour’, Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, 50: 179–211.
3. Albarracin, D., Johnson, B.T., Fishbein, M. and Muellerleile, P.A. (2001) ‘Theories of reasoned action and planned behaviour as models of condom use: A meta-analysis’, Psychological Bulletin, 127: 142–61.
4. Armitage, C.J. and Conner, M. (2001) ‘Efficacy of the theory of planned behaviour: A meta-analytic review’, British Journal of Social Psychology, 40: 471–99.
5. Hagger, M.S., Chatzisarantis, N.L.D. and Biddle, S.J.H. (2002) ‘A meta-analytic review of the theories of reasoned action and planned behaviour in physical activity: Predictive validity and the contribution of additional variables’, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 24: 3–32.
6. Sheeran, P. (2002) ‘Intention–behaviour relations: A conceptual and empirical review’, European Review of Social Psychology, 12: 1–36.

Joanne R. Smith and Deborah J. Terry, “Attitudes and Behavior. Revisiting LaPiere’s hospitality study”, in: Joanne R. Smith and S. Alexander Haslam (eds.) 2017. Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage Publications

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Psychological Theories
Haslam I
S. Alexander Haslam
Joanne R. Smith
Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2017

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