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Psychology & Health
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The theory of planned behaviour:
Reactions and reflections
Icek Ajzen

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Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts,
Amherst, MA 01003-9271, USA
Version of record first published: 20 Sep 2011.

To cite this article: Icek Ajzen (2011): The theory of planned behaviour: Reactions and reflections, Psychology & Health, 26:9, 1113-1127
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2011.613995

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Psychology and Health
Vol. 26, No. 9, September 2011, 1113–1127

EDITORIAL
The theory of planned behaviour: Reactions and reflections
Icek Ajzen*
Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9271, USA

Downloaded by [Chiang Mai University] at 01:42 20 December 2012

(Received 9 August 2011; final version received 9 August 2011) The seven articles in this issue, and the accompanying meta-analysis in Health Psychology Review [McEachan, R.R.C., Conner, M., Taylor, N., & Lawton, R.J. (2011). Prospective prediction of health-related behaviors with the theory of planned behavior: A meta-analysis. Health Psychology Review, 5, 97–144], illustrate the wide application of the theory of planned behaviour [Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179–211] in the health domain. In this editorial, Ajzen reflects on some of the issues raised by the different authors. Among the topics addressed are the nature of intentions and the limits of predictive validity; rationality, affect and emotions; past behaviour and habit; the prototype/willingness model; and the role of such background factors as the big five personality traits and social comparison tendency.

Keywords: theory of planned behaviour; review; future directions

Introduction
Since its introduction 26 years ago (Ajzen, 1985), the theory of planned behaviour (TPB; Ajzen, 1991, in press) has, by any objective measure, become one of the most frequently cited and influential models for the prediction of human social behaviour. Its popularity is revealed by conducting a Google Scholar search for the keyword ‘theory of planned behavior OR theory of planned behaviour.’ From 22 citations in 1985, the number of citations per year has grown steadily to a total of 4550 in 2010 (Figure 1). Relying on a variety of indices, Nosek et al. (2010) found that my programme of research ranks as having the highest scientific impact score among US and Canadian social psychologists.

Yet, for all its popularity, or perhaps because of it, the TPB has also been the target of much criticism and debate. Some researchers reject it outright as an adequate explanation of human social behaviour. These investigators tend to...
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