Attitudes, Behavior, and Social Context: The Role of Norms and Group Membership

By Deborah J. Terry; Michael A. Hogg | Go to book overview

2
The Role of Moral Norm in the Attitude-Behavior Relation

Antony S. R. Manstead University of Amsterdam

In this chapter, I focus on the construct of moral norm in the context of the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior. Moral norm is argued to be distinct from the standard constructs included in the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior, and its inclusion among predictors of behavioral intentions can lead to significant and, in certain cases, substantial increments in the amount of explained variance in intentions.

I begin with an analysis of the concept of moral norm, distinguishing it from constructs already included in the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior, and relating it to anticipated affective consequences of engaging in a behavior. The chapter proceeds with a review of the empirical evidence relevant to the role of moral norm in attitude-behavior relations. In the penultimate section of the chapter, I consider theoretical models of the development of moral norms, and the chapter closes with a summary of what is known about this construct and what still needs to be accomplished by way of theory and research.


THE CONCEPT OF MORAL NORM

As most readers of this book are well aware, standard models of the attiTude--behavior relation, such as the theory of reasoned action (TRA; Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) regard intention as the most proximal psychological determinant of behavior (assuming that the behavior is largely volitional in nature). Intention, in turn, is jointly determined by atti

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