A training course “Attitudes and behavior”
A training course "Attitudes and behavior" leading by Isek Ajzen, professor emeritus of psychology of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, took place in ILSCR on 17-19 September. It was a part of the training programs "Advanced social psychology: theory, methodology, practice" of the International Laboratory for Socio-Cultural Research.
Aysek Eisen is well-known as the author of the Theory of Planned behavior, which explains the mechanism of transition attitudes into behavior. Subjective norms and perceived behavioral control play an important role in this process. These three components - attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, being connected, go to the intention, and the intention, in turn, becomes behavior. Nevertheless, an attitude itself is usually weakly correlated with the overt behavior: the correlation coefficient is usually at a level not higher than 0.3. Behavior is linked stronger to stable attitude, running into a habit, and is linked weaker to newly developed attitudes.
The course presented various models of the relationship of attitudes and behavior, considered the reasons why the attitudes are not always associated with the behavior, showed the results of numerous empirical studies of the relationship of attitudes and behavior (attitudes to health, environment, policies, attitudes to abortion, etc.). The methodological aspects were also considered: the lecturer showed different kinds of questions and scales for attitude-behavior research facilities. Ajzen noted that researchers are routinely paying much more attention to the affective component of the attitudes, rather than the cognitive component. A relatively small role of information in shaping the behavior was also highlighted. In conclusion, the author described the possible intervention strategies, the methods of motivation and persuasion in changing behavior.