The Theory of Reasoned Action was developed in 1980 and has now evolved into the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). This theory aims to predict an individual’s intention to engage in a behavior. Some key components of this theory is self-efficacy, or the feelings of control held by the person changing the behavior and the intent behind the behavior change. This theory states that behavioral intentions are influenced by the persons attitude about how likely the behavior will have an expected outcome and an evaluation of the risks and benefits of that outcome. This week we will take a look at the original works on this theory and examine how it has been used in different contexts.
The Theory of Reasoned Action/Planned Behavior really brings home the point about focusing on a specific behavior for a specific target audience. We’ll get into more specific detail about audience segmentation later in this class, but right now I want you to think about the behavior (this may also be the behavior you investigate in the campaign for the final paper but it does not have to be). Feel free to also mention the target audience in vague terms if you would like – e.g., kids versus adults – but this is not required.
First, discuss a behavior you hypothetically would be interested in changing. This could apply to your job or more vaguely to something you are passionate about, then discuss what you think might influence this behavior. Do you think behavior has to do with underlying attitudes, norms, behavioral control/self-efficacy, or some combination? Why?
Then, do a quick preliminary search for research studies on this topic. Can you find research studies about your behavior that speak to underlying factors that might drive the behavior you are interested in changing (such as attitudes and beliefs, etc.)? This is the type of data you will need to find as support for any recommendations you make. You don’t need to find specific articles now, but I want you to do a quick search so you have a sense of how easy or difficult it will be when the time comes.
Please post your thoughts about your specific target audience and behavior. Tell us why you have selected this specific target audience and behavior. Also comment on how easy or difficult it is for you to find appropriate research studies.
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