“Persuasive Campaign for Online Education”Design a persuasive campaign aimed at promoting online education. In explaining your campaign, you must identify the following items: The campaign’s central message or slogan The target audience for the campaign The medium used to promote the campaign The intended persuasion outcome for the campaignAfter providing the details of your campaign, you must explain why you believe this campaign will be effective using at least three of the persuasion theories that you learned in this course. You will need to cite at least four (4) outside sources besides the textbook. Material from those sources can be used to support details of your campaign or the persuasion theories that you reference in the paper. Must be 2500 to 3000 words long in double-spaced pages (do not include title and references pages in word count)Format to APA The explanation of the campaign should be no more than 1000 words out of the total word count.The paper must contain:- An introduction with thesis statement – Minimum of five body paragraphs- And a conclusion Must use at least four scholarly or other credible sources in addition to the course text- Chapters 1-5 Attached Magee, R. (2014). Persuasion: A social science approach [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
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The Theory of Planned Behavior
Cultura Limited/Cultura Limited/Superstock
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
Distinguish between the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior.
Explain the three primary components in predicting a person’s behavioral intentions.
Understand how to calculate the components of the TPB.
Discuss ways to alter a person’s behavioral intentions.
Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the TPB.
Know the four criteria of the correspondence principle, and how this principle relates to the TPB.
Apply the TPB to a real-world context.
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The Theory of Planned Behavior
We all know wearing a seatbelt in a moving vehicle saves lives, but some people still fail to
wear one. To encourage drivers to wear a seatbelt, the Embrace Life campaign in the United
Kingdom developed a series of television commercials: www.embracethis.co.uk.
One commercial went viral when it began to air in 2010, with nearly 12 million views online
in its first year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=h-8PBx7isoM.
The ad features a man pretending to drive a car while playing a game with his wife and daughter. As the tone turns somber, his daughter and wife rush to embrace him, like seatbelts, to
save his life.
As you watch the ad, you will see that it addresses two types of beliefs: your beliefs about the
benefit of wearing a seatbelt and the beliefs of your family members. The first type of belief
concerns the outcome of wearing a seatbelt and highlights the clearly negative outcome of
failing to wear a seatbelt, namely severe injury or even death. The second type of belief concerns what your family believes, namely that you should wear a seatbelt because you love
them. By addressing your attitudes toward the action of wearing a seatbelt, and your beliefs
about what important people think you should do, these beliefs can exert a positive influence
on your intention to wear a seatbelt.
The Embrace Life campaign promotes road safety by addressing a number of issues, such as
drunken driving, driver fatigue, and vehicle maintenance. Most successful campaigns target
attitudes toward the behavior, beliefs about social norms, and a person’s sense of control over
the action. All three are part of the theory of planned behavior. You will recall from Chapter 2
that an attitude is a learned tendency to respond favorably or unfavorably to an attitude object
(Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). That is, an attitude must have a valence (good versus bad) and an
object. A belief is a propositional statement about an object, but a belief, unlike an attitude, does
not necessarily have a valence.
The theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985), as well as the theory of reasoned action
(Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975), have been widely used in persuasion, particularly in the area of
health. Scholars Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen developed the theory of reasoned action
(TRA) in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, Ajzen proposed a “new and improved” version,
the theory of planned behavior (TPB), which included an additional component relating to a
person’s beliefs about their control, as we will describe later. The TRA became a subset, or
special case, of the TPB, relating to instances when people’s beliefs about their ability to control their behavior do not matter. This being the case, we will describe the TPB , the broader
theory, and note the distinction with the TRA when we discuss the matter of perceived behavioral control.
The TPB (Ajzen, 1985) does not aim to describe or explain impulsive, or automatic, behavior. As the name implies, it focuses the factors that influence our deliberative, or reasoned,
behavior. For an action to be reasoned means that we needed to put conscious thought into
it; we had to actually think about it and endeavor to act with intent. Consequently, the theory
primarily examines a person’s beliefs and how they influence what that person intends to
do. The main dependent variable, then, is behavior, not an attitude, as in much of persuasion
research. As we noted in Chapter 2, attitudes are predictive of behavior, but this theory looks
beyond attitudes to include beliefs about social norms and beliefs about a person’s control
over his or her behavior. All three of these components—attitudes, norms, and control—exert
an influence on behavior.
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The Big Three of TPB
5.1 The Big Three of TPB: Attitude Toward the Behavior,
Subjective Norms, and Perceived Behavioral Control
The immediate predictor of a person’s behavior is that individual’s behavioral intentions. That
is, people do what they intend to do. The term behavioral intentions refers to a person’s
readiness to engage in a particular behavior or range of behaviors. This is the basis of the TPB.
Three components predict a person’s behavioral intentions. The first component is her attitude toward the behavior. The second component is subjective norms, that is, beliefs about
socially accepted guidelines for behavior. The third component is perceived behavioral control. These three components combine to predict a person’s behavioral intentions. The first
two components—attitude toward the action and subjective norms—were part of the original theoretical framework called TRA. Let’s look at these two components first, and then we
will look at the most recent addition—perceived behavioral control—that created what we
know as the TPB today.
Attitude Toward the
The attitude toward the behavior
is restricted to exactly what it claims:
It’s an attitude toward a specific
behavior—meaning, it’s not an attitude toward a particular object or
topic. For example, if an organization
is trying to promote the adoption of
Greyhound dogs, the important attitude is not toward Greyhound dogs
themselves; it is the attitude toward
adopting a Greyhound dog. The attiASSOCIATED PRESS
tude toward taking an action is key
This photo from the Illinois government’s “Get Covhere. Clearly, the attitude toward the
ered” campaign depicts an unpleasant expected out- object (i.e., the Greyhound dog) is
come if a young person does not sign up for health
important, but the theory seeks to
insurance by the national deadline.
explain a particular behavior involving that object. A person may have a
favorable attitude toward dogs, or Greyhound dogs, but feel that a Greyhound dog is too
expensive or involving to maintain. In such an instance, the attitude toward an object proves
unreliable in predicting an attitude toward a behavior, which is why it’s critical to focus on
the attitude toward the action, not just an attitude generally.
The attitude toward the behavior is the product of two factors. The first is the perceived
outcome. The second is the outcome evaluation. The perceived outcome means what we
expect the outcome of that particular behavior to be. The second factor is what we think of
the expected outcome—that is, do we consider the perceived outcome to be a good thing or
a bad thing? Incidentally, the notion that these two factors predict a person’s attitude toward
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The Big Three of TPB
the behavior falls under a family known as expectancy-value theory (Fishbein, 1975). Expectancy-value theory holds that a person’s attitude toward an action is the result of what that
person expects will happen and the value that person places on the outcome. So, all the different beliefs about what would happen and the evaluations of those outcomes would combine
to predict what action a person will take.
Subjective norms form the TPB’s second component. A person’s perceptions of the prevailing norms
in a given context influence that person’s intention
to engage in a specific behavior or range of behaviors. Subjective norms are the product of two factors: perception of the norm and the motivation to
comply with the norm. A perceived norm is what
we believe the norm is in a given situation. The reference point, or referent, for normative beliefs can
be people who have a close relationship to that person, such as parents, a spouse, peers, and so on. In
many cases, the referent can also be an authority
figure, such as a boss, a doctor, a religious leader, or
a nutritionist. Recall from Chapter 2 that norms can
be classified as being either descriptive norms (e.g.,
what people do) or injunctive norms (e.g., what
people ought to do). So, a person’s normative beliefs
can be expectations about what these people do, or
what they expect that person to do. The second factor is a motivation to comply with a norm, or that
person’s motivation to follow what she believes the
norm to be. As you can imagine, a person can be
quite aware of a norm but have little desire to go
along with the norm.
Peers can be an important influence on
how persuasive messages are received.
How might looking at ads with friends
influence the ads’ effectiveness?
An Example Using Attitude Toward the Behavior and Subjective Norms
Let’s illustrate what we’ve covered so far with an example. Suppose it is Wednesday afternoon
and Kendra goes sunbathing with her friends. Kendra must decide whether she will apply a
skin lotion that only offers minimal protection, SPF 4, or use a sunscreen that has a higher
level of protection, SPF 30. Kendra’s decision will depend on her attitude toward the behavior
and her subjective norms. Her attitude toward applying SPF 4 will be the product of what she
expects the outcomes to be and the degree to which those outcomes are either good or bad.
Let’s say she believes that 1) applying SPF 4 will lead her to have more attractive appearance
for a party on Saturday, which she considers good; and 2) applying SPF 4 will increase the
likelihood that she will get skin cancer, which she considers bad. Many other beliefs could
come into play, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll limit them to these two. If the belief about
melanoma is stronger than the belief about being attractive, then Kendra is likely to have low
intentions to apply the SPF 4 lotion and stronger intentions to apply the sunscreen. On the
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The Big Three of TPB
other hand, if she believes the chance of getting skin cancer is remote and the belief about
tanned skin and attractiveness is stronger, then she is more likely to apply the SPF 4 lotion.
However, subjective norms, the other major component, can play a role, too. Let’s say Kendra
believes that 1) the norm among her friends is to use SPF 4 and to be as tanned as possible,
and she enjoys being part of her group of friends; and 2) the norm among her family is use
strong protection against the sun’s harmful rays, and she identifies with her family. If the
motivation to comply with her family’s norm is stronger than her motivation to comply with
her friends’ norm, then she will have stronger intentions to apply sunscreen. On the other
hand, if her motivation to comply with her friends’ norm is stronger, then she is more likely
to apply the SPF 4 lotion.
In fact, researchers have shown that adolescents’ intentions to use sunscreen depend on
both the attitude toward the behavior and subjective norms (Araujo-Soares, Rodrigues, Presseau, & Sniehotta, 2013). These relationships are evident even among children, and, as you
can imagine, family norms are important in predicting whether a child will use sunscreen
at a later time (Martin, Jacobsen, Lucas, Branch, & Ferron, 1999). So, both Kendra’s attitude
toward applying sunscreen and her subjective norms combine to influence her intention to
apply sunscreen when she sunbathes with her friends. If her beliefs about attractiveness and
her motivation to comply with her friends’ norms concerning SPF 4 are stronger, then she
likely will use SPF 4. Of course, when she is on vacation with her family, she might be more
motivated to comply with family norms, and this would be strong enough to override the
influence of beliefs about attractiveness.
As you know from our discussion of norms, in Chapter 2, norms can vary from one context
to the next. For example, it could be that a descriptive norm in your family is to gossip about
the neighbors while eating dinner at home but not when eating dinner with other people.
By itself, knowing the norm is not enough to influence behavioral intentions. You might not
want to be like your parents, and, therefore, you’re not motivated to comply with that norm.
Similarly, what a person chooses to eat at a restaurant might be influenced by social norms,
but only if you’re motivated to comply with them. One norm is that people tend to follow the
lead of their boss and colleagues when they eat at a restaurant. If you go to lunch with your
supervisor and coworkers, and you perceive that the norm is to follow along, you might feel
a need to choose a menu item that is similar to what your supervisor and coworkers choose.
If your supervisor chooses a salad for lunch, you might feel that you should choose a salad,
too, even if you really wanted a steak. Conversely, if everyone is choosing a steak, you might
feel awkward merely choosing a house salad, even to the point of mentioning why you chose
a salad. That is, the norm isn’t to eat a steak or to eat a salad; the norm is to follow along with
the boss and colleagues. This norm would not apply to a different setting, say, eating with
your peers. So, when you go out to lunch with your friends, you would feel less pressure to
conform to the group and so instead choose whatever you really want. Keep in mind, too,
that people vary with their motivation to comply with a norm (the second factor). When the
boss and coworkers choose a salad, some individuals will still choose a steak, saying, “I gotta
be me,” or “I’ve got to be true to myself.” Also, the tendency to comply with norms varies by
culture. People in interdependent cultures, such as those of Japan or China, are more attuned
to the behavior and preferences of other people and are more likely to adjust the choices and
behavior accordingly. They are sensitive to the norms of their in-group, and not necessarily to
group norms in general (Nisbett, 2003).
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The Big Three of TPB
Perceived Behavioral Control
Up to this point, the description of the TPB and the TRA have been identical. The TRA has
been quite successful in predicting behavior that results from deliberative thought. This TRA
works well in cases where people believe they have the ability to control their own behavior.
There are some situations, however, in which the
theory’s components line up in one direction, and
yet behavioral intentions do not follow. Consider
someone’s intent to give up smoking tobacco. The
perceived outcome of smoking tobacco might be
negative. The smoker might think, “Tobacco costs
a lot of money, and it hurts my health, and I might
get cancer.” The evaluation of those outcomes is
also negative. Together, they can lead to a negative attitude toward the behavior. Likewise, subjective norms regarding smoking tobacco might be
negative. The smoker might perceive the norms on
smoking tobacco as negative. That is, the smoker
might recognize that most people do not smoke
(a descriptive norm), and that smoking is frowned
upon (an injunctive norm). The smoker might even
be highly motivated to comply with the norms.
PR NEWSWIRE/Associated Press
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare,
which makes products such as Nicorette® gum, partnered with Hallmark
Cards, Inc., to offer a greeting card
designed to be given to smokers that
comes with $50 gift certificate for products proven to help people stop smoking. Products that contain nicotine can
increase a person’s self-efficacy, which,
coupled with social support, might help
someone quit smoking.
However, even though the perceived outcomes and
the evaluation of the outcomes, along with the perceived norms in the motivation to comply with the
norms, all move in the same direction, the smoker
still might not stop smoking. Sometimes the smoker
might think, “I just can’t quit.” In this case, the
smoker feels that he does not have sufficient control
over his own behavior. To account for this variable,
Ajzen added the element of perceived behavioral
control, and named the new theory the theory of
planned behavior. Like the TRA, the TPB encompasses attitude toward the behavior and subjective
norms, but, unlike the TRA, it also looks at a person’s
beliefs in his ability to carry out a particular action.
Two Elements of Perceived Behavioral Control: Control Beliefs
and Perceived Power
Perceived behavioral control represents people’s beliefs in their ability or freedom to engage
in a specific action. Unlike attitude toward the behavior and subjective norms, which only
predict behavioral intentions, perceived behavioral control is a predictor of both behavioral
intentions and the behavior itself.
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The Big Three of TPB
Persuasion in Focus: Planned Behavior and “Piracy”
Over the last 15 years, music theft, or “piracy,” has become a huge problem for the music
industry. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), since the
popular file sharing website Napster became popular in 1999, music sales in the United
States have seen a 53% drop-off from $14.6 billion to $7 billion (RIAA, 2014). It might be
useful for the industry to approach the issue in terms of planned behavior.
To begin, a person would have to form an attitude about stealing music that would make
it acceptable. They must “feel” they want the music and also not want to pay. Additionally,
they must believe that it is “acceptable” amongst their peers and society at large. We’ve
already stated that the theory of planned behavior looks at both the attitudes and beliefs
one has about accepted social norms. These norms influence our ideas about what is right
and wrong and, by extension, the choices we make. So how do attitudes and assumed
social norms influence one’s intention to download music illegally?
Cronan and Al-Rafee (2008) investigated how attitude, social norms, perceived behavioral
control, and past piracy behavior influence the intention to illegally download music. They
hypothesized that if you have a favorable attitude toward piracy, thought it was a social
norm, considered it to be an easy choice, and have pirated in the past, you’ll be more likely
to do so in the future.
Additionally, Cronan and Al-Rafee were interested in the role that moral obligation, primarily measured through levels of guilt and obligation, played in pirating. The researchers
asked people to score on a seven-point scale the extent to which they strongly agreed or
strongly disagreed with a variety of statements about attitudes, norms, choices, etc. They
found a relationship between favorable attitudes, ease of ability, and past experience and
a greater intention to steal music (Cronan & Al-Rafee, 2008). They also found that those
who had a stronger sense of moral obligation were less likely to intend to pirate music.
They did not find a significant relationship between social norms and intention.
Critical Thinking Questions
—Cheri Ketchum, Ph.D.
Armed with this information, how might you structure a campaign to address
Would it be effective to create a campaign highlighting the harm of piracy or
potential punishment if caught?
Cronan, T., & Al-Rafee, S. (2008). Factors that influence the intention to pirate software and media.
Journal of Business Ethics, 78, 527–545.
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