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Abstract

Although much research has been performed on the role of attitudes in consumer behavior, very little effort has been devoted to the processes intervening between attitudes and action. This article briefly discusses the limitations with research on intentions and then introduces a model for representing volitional processes. Volitional processes are shown to be initiated by a general intention to pursue a goal or perform a target behavior. The initial stages in volitional decision making encompass a choice among means to accomplish a goal or perform a target act, which, in turn, is hypothesized to be a function of three appraisal processes: specific self-efficacies, instrumental beliefs, and affect toward possible means. A choice among means stimulates further processes consisting of plans and efforts aimed at the initiation, monitoring, and guidance of goal pursuit. We term these processes trying, and discuss subcomponents concerning scripted intentions, instrumental acts, psychological commitment, and mental and physical exertion characteristic of goal striving. The article closes with a summary of emerging research by various authors that addresses parts of the integrative framework proposed herein. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.