Does State Versus Action Orientation Moderate the Intention-Behavior Relationship?


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Paul Norman, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TP United Kingdom. E-mail


According to Kuhl's (1985) theory of action control, action-oriented individuals should be more likely to translate their intentions into action than state-oriented individuals. The present study considered the moderating role of state vs. action orientation on intention-behavior relations across 30 behaviors. Respondents (N = 211) completed questionnaires assessing their intentions to perform each of the 30 behaviors and state vs. action orientation. Two weeks later, respondents completed a second questionnaire to assess performance of the 30 behaviors. Between-subjects and within-subjects analyses both failed to provide support for the moderating role of state vs. action orientation, although a more detailed analysis revealed that state-oriented individuals were more likely to act on their intentions in the case of behaviors that were under normative control. The results are discussed in relation to Kuhl's theory of action control and the need to focus on a range of volitional processes when addressing the intention-behavior gap.