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 (A]Zen & Fishbone, 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, Cozen and Fishbone introduced the notions of attitudinal and behavioral entitles. 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 (Cozen & Flushable, 1977).
The strength In attitude-behavior relationship depends In large part on the degree of correspondence between attitudinal and behavioral entities. Especially, A]Zen and Fishbone (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 attending class at UT Austin, which has two theaters. Further, suppose that one of the theaters, the Texas Union Theatre, Is showing “Minority Report” at 6:00 p. M. Suppose that It Is important for you to predict whether or not another student will attend the showing t the Texas Union Theatre. It Is very obvious that the best prediction that you can make will be based on a measure of his Intention to perform that particular behavior.
That Is, the best single predictor will be Like?l Intend to go to the 6:00 showing of “Malory Report” at ten lexes Nylon I neater on ten moonlit Lusaka, Furthermore, it is clear that this item will be better prediction than ” I intend to go to the movies on the night of Feb., 18, 2003. ” Or “l intend to go to the movies at Texas Union Theatre. ” or “l intend to go to the movies. “… Etc. A person’s intention may change over time.
The longer the time interval between measurement of intention and observation of behavior, the greater the probability that the individual may obtain new information or that certain events will occur which will change his intention (Cozen & Fishbone 1975). Also, when someone depends on others’ expectations to perform certain act, it is more likely that the correlation between intention and behavior will not be close. Thus, if one can obtain a measure of the intention immediately before the performance of the behavior, certain additional variables (such as: a. Eng time interval between the measure of intention and the observation of behavior; b. The behavior can occur only following some other sequence of behaviors; and c. The performance of the behavior depends on other people or events) will have been taken into account, the intention will accurately predict the behavior (Cozen & Fishbone 1975). Some kinds of people Just typically display greater attitude-behavior consistency than other kinds of people do. There are important differences existing among the personality traits that have been explored as possible moderators of the attitude- behavior relationship (AFAIK & Rooks-Oldness, 1994).
Volitional Control A person may be unable to carry out his/her intention. If a certain behavior requires a particular ability or resource that the individual does not process, or if it depends on others’ cooperation, he/she may be unable to act. For example, if a person who intends to quit smoking but is unable to do so, he is likely to change his attitude in the end. Therefore, people who have high and internal volitional control may feel that they govern their lives and environment and can display greater consistency (Cozen & Fishnets 1975).