Acting on one's attitudes: Procedures for linking attitude and behavior

Mark Snyder, Deborah Kendzierski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two investigations examined the determinants of correspondence between attitudes and behaviors. The first investigation examined the relationship between previously measured attitudes toward affirmative action and subsequent behavioral verdicts in a sex discrimination court case. In this basic situation, correspondence between measured attitudes and judicial decision-making behavior was minimal, for both low-self-monitoring individuals and high-self-monitoring individuals. Increasing the availability of attitudes generated substantial correspondence between attitudes and behavior for low-self-monitoring individuals, but not for high-self-monitoring individuals. Increasing the relevance of attitudes generated substantial correspondence between attitudes and behavior for both low-self-monitoring individuals and high-self-monitoring individuals. The second investigation examined the decisions of individuals with favorable attitudes toward psychological research to volunteer to participate in extra sessions of a psychology experiment. Once again, increasing the relevance of attitudes was an effective procedure for inducing individuals to translate existing attitudes into corresponding behaviors. These empirical outcomes are interpreted within a theoretical framework that specifies the interactive contributions of availability, relevance, and self-monitoring to the creation of "action structures" that link attitudes and behavior. Practical implications of this viewpoint are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-183
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1982

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research and the preparation of this manuscript were supported in part by National Science Foundation Grant BNS 77-l 1346 to Mark Snyder, and in part by a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship to Deborah Kendzierski. Portions of this manuscript were written while Mark Snyder was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. For their considerable assistance in the empirical phases of this investigation, we thank Pam Betlach, Steve Gangestad, and Cindy Hjerpe (Investigation I): Diane Eaton, Rose Elliott, and Mary Galaszewski (Investigation 2). For comments on the manuscript, we thank Eugene Borgida. Request for reprints and copies of the experimental materials should be sent to Mark Snyder, Laboratory for Research in Social Relations, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, 75 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

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