This research was supported by Grant TH-15/99–1 from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland; and by the Department of Technology Management at Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. We gratefully acknowledge Rainer Guski (Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany) and Volker Linneweber (Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany) for their institutional support of the data collection. We thank Gundula Hübner, Marcel Hunecke, Bernd Six, and two anonymous reviewers for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper; Steven Ralston for his language support; and the volunteers who completed questionnaires.
The Theory of Planned Behavior Without Compatibility? Beyond Method Bias and Past Trivial Associations1
Version of Record online: 26 JUN 2007
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 37, Issue 7, pages 1522–1544, July 2007
How to Cite
Kaiser, F. G., Schultz, P. W. and Scheuthle, H. (2007), The Theory of Planned Behavior Without Compatibility? Beyond Method Bias and Past Trivial Associations. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37: 1522–1544. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2007.00225.x
- Issue online: 26 JUN 2007
- Version of Record online: 26 JUN 2007
Overreliance on one measurement approach can challenge accurate statements about reality, as findings can represent by-products of the compulsory measurement paradigm. Within the theory of planned behavior (TPB), the compatibility principle represents one such strictly imposed paradigm. Using 2 cross-sectional surveys of 1,394 volunteers and involving structural equation models, we demonstrate that the widely employed practice of measuring TPB constructs is confounded with method-implied bias. This means the theory cannot conclusively reveal origins of a behavior. Our results also suggest that on an aggregated level, when method bias is eliminated, its constructs are linked in hypothesized ways. Adopting a more general model—thus, adopting a more traitlike conceptualization of attitudes—has interesting implications for social psychology and its current trends.