Attitude-behavior consistency : Campbell's paradigm in environmental and health domains

K. Byrka

Onderzoeksoutput: ScriptieDissertatie 1 (Onderzoek TU/e / Promotie TU/e)Academic

Uittreksel

It is a common observation that people say one thing and do another. The lack of correspondence between declarations and actions, termed in psychology as attitudebehavior gap is the focal problem in this thesis. Inconsistencies confuse us, because intuitively attitudes seem to be closely related to behaviors. Nonetheless, decades of research on attitudes have failed to confirm that an attitude is a valid predictor of a behavior. An attitude's poor predictive validity is especially striking when we consider general attitudes and intuitively associated specific behaviors. Nearly fifty years ago, however, Campbell postulated that observed attitudebehavior inconsistencies originate from ignoring behavioral costs. According to Campbell, the attitude-behavior gap does not exist. He held that verbal declarations and other overt behaviors toward an attitude object all arise from one underlying behavioral disposition, that is general attitude, but declarations are generally easier to perform than overt acts. In this thesis, a paradigm on attitude-behavior relation first proposed by Campbell and later developed by Kaiser and colleagues was explored. In opposition to contemporary mainstream research, Campbell's paradigm implies that behaviors and attitudes are axiomatically consistent. The consistency is formally established when for the prediction of a behavior two factors are considered: the level of a person's general attitude and the costs related to the performance of a behavior. In a number of studies, we verified these assumptions of Campbell's paradigm. First, in two cross-sectional studies, we confirmed the consistency between evaluative and behavioral indicators of a general attitudinal disposition. Applying the Rasch model, we showed that evaluative statements fell on one dimension together with corresponding behaviors. Also, evaluations were less demanding than behaviors. Expressing appreciation for a behavior in a questionnaire was relatively easier that declaring the performance of a corresponding behavior. The findings were con- firmed in the two distinct domains of health and of the environment indicating the generality of the model. Second, we experimentally tested the existence of the firm link between a general attitude and specific, relevant behaviors. With a laboratory experiment, we established that the performance of an objectively di??cult behavior (cooperation in a social dilemma task) could be predicted on the basis of the level of people's previously known attitude toward the environment. Subsequently, with a quasiexperimental Internet study, we made a prediction in the opposite direction. We inferred the individual's general environmental attitude on the basis of whether they performed or not a demanding ecological behavior (i.e., refraining from consuming animal-based products). In line with Campbell's model, we found that persons who endorsed a highly demanding behavior also held a higher level of an attitudinal disposition. Finally, with a quasi-experimental field study, we substantiated the existence of a spillover effect. The spillover effct is the phenomenon of multiple behaviors changing as a result of an attitude change. We showed that advancing a general environmental attitude translated into the performance of ecological behaviors from various domains such as recycling, consumerism, or mobility and transportation. The existence of the spillover is necessarily one more piece of evidence in favor of formal and axiomatic consistency between general attitudes and multiple specific behaviors. In conclusion, in the series of studies, we found empirical support for the consistency between general attitudes, evaluations of behaviors and actual behaviors both self-reported and overt. Our results revel the potential of Campbell's paradigm to challenge the notoriously found attitude-behavior gap.
TaalEngels
KwalificatieDoctor in de Filosofie
Toekennende instantie
  • Faculteit Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences
Begeleider(s)/adviseur
  • Midden, Cees, Promotor
  • Kaiser, Florian, Promotor
Datum van toekenning22 jun 2009
Plaats van publicatieEindhoven
Uitgever
Gedrukte ISBN's978-90-386-1836-4
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - 2009

Vingerafdruk

Environmental Health
Costs and Cost Analysis

Citeer dit

Byrka, K. (2009). Attitude-behavior consistency : Campbell's paradigm in environmental and health domains Eindhoven: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven DOI: 10.6100/IR642840
Byrka, K.. / Attitude-behavior consistency : Campbell's paradigm in environmental and health domains. Eindhoven : Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, 2009. 118 blz.
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Byrka, K 2009, 'Attitude-behavior consistency : Campbell's paradigm in environmental and health domains', Doctor in de Filosofie, Faculteit Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven. DOI: 10.6100/IR642840

Attitude-behavior consistency : Campbell's paradigm in environmental and health domains. / Byrka, K.

Eindhoven : Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, 2009. 118 blz.

Onderzoeksoutput: ScriptieDissertatie 1 (Onderzoek TU/e / Promotie TU/e)Academic

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Byrka K. Attitude-behavior consistency : Campbell's paradigm in environmental and health domains. Eindhoven: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, 2009. 118 blz. Beschikbaar vanaf, DOI: 10.6100/IR642840