A special thanks to Harry C. Triandis. Thanks also to the following for their comments on earlier versions of reasons theory: Robert A. Aberin, David Budescu, James Davis, Fritz Drasgow, Don Dulany, Donald Kleinmuntz, Patrick Laughlin, and Robert S. Wyer. Additional thanks to James L. Farr, SOID graduates and undergraduate assistants at the University of Illinois, and two anonymous reviewers.
Factors Underlying Behavioral Choice: Testing a New Reasons Theory Approach1
Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 26, Issue 15, pages 1307–1323, August 1996
How to Cite
Westaby, J. D. and Fishbein, M. (1996), Factors Underlying Behavioral Choice: Testing a New Reasons Theory Approach. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26: 1307–1323. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1996.tb00072.x
- Issue online: 31 JUL 2006
- Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Many applied studies ask people to rate reasons why they perform a behavior. The assumption is that strongly endorsed reasons are motives underlying behavior. However, this assumption rarely is examined empirically. Moreover, the self-reported reasons literature has lacked theoretical attention. In this study, we presented a formal model of self-reported reasons, entitled reasons theory (RT). RT formally conditions reason type (i.e., reasons for and reasons against) on behavioral frequency/intention. RT was compared to a standard reasons approach that does not present formal reason postulates. Results showed that RT explained variance in behavior over and above that explained by standard reasons, and that correlational coefficients from RT better matched mean reason results than did standard reasons. RT results were also more substantively interpretable than were standard reasons. Lastly, several boundary conditions were discussed, including the relationship between reasons and emotions.