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The attitude-behavior relationship: A test of three models of the moderating role of behavioral difficulty


Kaiser, F G; Schultz, P W (2009). The attitude-behavior relationship: A test of three models of the moderating role of behavioral difficulty. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39(1):186-207.

Abstract

The moderating role of behavioral difficulty in the attitude-behavior relationship remains a controversial topic in social psychology. Previous research has been unclear in establishing the direction of this moderation, and 3 theoretical models have been proposed: positive and linear; negative and monotonic; and quadratic. The current paper reports analyses of survey data from 5 different studies that afford measures of environmental attitude, behavior, and behavioral difficulty. Across these studies, we found a substantial and unmoderated average attitude-behavior relationship (r = .54). The data also show that the attitude-behavior relationship is weaker for extremely easy and extremely difficult behaviors. Additional analyses suggest, however, that these reductions in the attitude-behavior relationship are probably because of methodological reasons.

Abstract

The moderating role of behavioral difficulty in the attitude-behavior relationship remains a controversial topic in social psychology. Previous research has been unclear in establishing the direction of this moderation, and 3 theoretical models have been proposed: positive and linear; negative and monotonic; and quadratic. The current paper reports analyses of survey data from 5 different studies that afford measures of environmental attitude, behavior, and behavioral difficulty. Across these studies, we found a substantial and unmoderated average attitude-behavior relationship (r = .54). The data also show that the attitude-behavior relationship is weaker for extremely easy and extremely difficult behaviors. Additional analyses suggest, however, that these reductions in the attitude-behavior relationship are probably because of methodological reasons.

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32 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:14 January 2009
Deposited On:20 Jan 2010 13:23
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 22:58
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0021-9029
Additional Information:© 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2008.00435.x

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