Personal Responsibility for Tornado Preparedness: Commitment or Choice?1


  • 1

    The development of PE theory as articulated in this and previously published articles represents the joint and collaborative efforts of the first and second authors. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9726575.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to John-Paul Mulilis, Department of Psychology, Penn State University, 100 University Drive, Monaca, PA [506].


A review of the literature reveals that personal responsibility assumed for one's behavior clearly affects behavioral outcomes for a variety of situations, and that personal responsibility is in turn affected by a wide variety of variables. However, limited research has been conducted to determine exactly what personal responsibility fundamentally entails. While duty, moral obligation, choice, and commitment have been suggested as being integral to the concept of responsibility, few investigations have systematically varied more than one of these variables in a single experiment. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of both choice and commitment on personal responsibility assumed for and behavioral intentions to engage in tornado preparedness. Results indicate that both choice and commitment were required to generate personal responsibility for and subsequent intentions to engage in tornado preparedness. Implications of these results are discussed.