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The Theory of Reasoned Action

The Theory of Reasoned Action

This theory, proposed by Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) is concerned with the antecedents of volitional behaviour. It is based on the assumption that intention is an immediate determinant of behaviour and that intention, in turn, is predicted from attitude and subjective normative factors. These subjective normative factors are comprised of the beliefs of significant others and the extent that one wishes or is motivated to comply with such beliefs or people.

The relative importance of attitudinal and normative components will depend on the situation under investigation. For example, it may be supposed that the attitudinal component would be more important for a middle-aged client wanting to improve her golf handicap and the normative more important for a teenaged client who wished to play better football.
There are some problems with the TRA model. It is unidirectional and fails to consider environmental issues, it predicts behaviour from the intention at a fixed point in time and does not take previous behaviour (eg habit) into consideration. A revised theory is explained below.

Theory of reasoned action: This theory states that behaviour is determined by intention, and that intention is determined by attitude and subjective norms.
The theory is uni-directional and does not take into account the environment. It predicts behaviour from intention at a fixed point and excludes previous behaviours (eg habits)

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