Social Psychology

Student Learning Program

Chapter 10: Putting it all together: Multiple guides for behavior (pp. 384389)

Ask Yourself?

In this topic

  1. Both Attitudes and Norms Influence Behavior (pp. 385387)
    1. The direct route
    2. The indirect route
  2. When Attitudes and Norms Conflict: Accessibility Determines Influence (pp. 387389)
Both Attitudes and Norms Influence Behavior
The direct route

Attitudes and norms can color our perceptions and influence our behavior in an immediate and automatic way.

The indirect route

The central idea of the theory of reasoned action is that attitudes and social norms are carefully considered and combined to form intentions to act in a particular way.

According to the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1977, 1980) intentions are a function of three factors: attitudes about the behavior, social norms relevant to the behavior, and perceptions of control over the behavior.

When Attitudes and Norms Conflict: Accessibility Determines Influence

Whether attitudes or norms have more influence on behavior depends on their relative accessibility for a particular behavior, in a particular situation, and for a particular person.

So what does this mean?

Both attitudes and norms influence behavior, but only when they are accessible. Attitudes and norms can trigger behavior directly or indirectly. According to the theory of planned behavior, intentions are a function of three factors: attitudes about the behavior, social norms relevant to the behavior, and perceptions of control over the behavior.

When attitudes and norms disagree, their impact on behavior, whether direct or indirect, depends on their relative accessibility. Individuals can differ in the extent to which they are responsive to social norms versus private attitudes.

Back to chapter 10 introduction

In this chapter

  1. Chapter 10 introduction
  2. Norms: Effective guides for social behavior
  3. The norm of reciprocity: Treating others as they treat you
  4. The norm of commitment: Keeping your promises
  5. The norm of obedience: Submitting to authority
  6. Rebellion and resistance: Fighting back
  7. Putting it all together: Multiple guides for behavior
  8. Chapter overview (PDF)
  9. Fill-in-the-blanks
  10. Multiple-choice questions