The Theory of Planned Behavior has been successfully used to predict and explain health behaviors such as substance abuse, breastfeeding, and others. The theory professes that behavioral achievement relies on intention and behavioral control. It classifies three different beliefs; behavioral, normative and control, and six constructs that altogether represent the control a person has over their behavior.
- Attitudes – This describes the person’s feelings towards the behavior. The degree to which a person evaluates the behavior of interest favorably or unfavorably. This involves the person considering the outcomes that performing the behavior will have. For example, an avid drinker is likely to have an adverse reaction to the “Stay Alive, Don’t Drink and Drive” billboard, and they may be less likely to stop drinking.
- Behavioral intention – This is a means of ascertaining if the person will follow through with the behavior. It shows their motivation, as the stronger the intention, the more likely they will perform the behavior.
- Subjective norms – This describes the effect of societal pressures on the person’s ability to engage in the behavior.
- Social norms – This refers to standards of behavior or customary codes of behavior in a group of people
- Perceived power – This describes the person’s perceived presence of factors that may benefit or prohibit them from behavior.
- Perceived behavioral control – This refers to the ability of the person to perform the behavior. This involves their perception of ease of difficulty when following through with the behavior.
A campaign utilizing the Theory of Planned Behavior can greatly influence change in a brand’s target audience. Initially, the Theory of Planned Behavior started as the Theory of Reasoned Action, which was used to predict an individual’s intention to engage in a behavior at a specific time and place. The purpose of this theory was to explain behaviors in which people can exert self-control. This theory’s key component is behavioral intent, which is influenced by attitude about the likeliness of the behavior to achieve the expected outcome and evaluate the risks and potential benefits of that outcome.