Can Attitude Predict Behavior: Correspondence Principle in Levels of Specificity

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Can Attitude Predict Behavior?
 
Correspondence Principle—in Levels of Specificity
Stability of the Intention
Qualities of the Person
Qualities of the Situation
 

According to Ajzen and Fishbein’s (1975) approach, there should be a high relation between a person’s intentions to perform a particular behavior and his actual performance of that behavior. Essentially then, the behavior is really not very difficult to predict. If one wants to know whether or not an individual will perform a certain behavior, the simplest way that one can do is to ask the individual whether he/she intends to perform that behavior. Therefore, the best single predictor of an individual’s behavior will be a measure of his intention to perform the behavior. However, this does not mean that the intention will always correlate perfectly with one’s act (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1977). Four major factors can be identified that influence the magnitude of the relationship between attitude and behavior as well as the attitude-behavior consistency.

Correspondence Principle—in Levels of Specificity

In 1977, Ajzen and Fishbein introduced the notions of attitudinal and behavioral entities. Each entity consists of four elements: the action, the target at which the action is directed, the context in which the action is performed, and the time at which it is performed (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1977). The strength in attitude-behavior relationship depends in large part on the degree of correspondence between attitudinal and behavioral entities. Especially, Ajzen and Fishbein (1977) pointed out that, the relations between attitude and behavior will increase largely when attitudinal and behavioral entities come to correspond more closely in terms of their target and action elements. A person’s attitude has a consistently strong relation with his or her behavior when it is directed at the same target and when it involves the same action. For example, today is Tuesday, Feb, 18, 2003 and your are...
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