Attitudes, Personality, and Behavior

Attitudes, Personality, and Behavior

Attitudes, Personality, and Behavior

Attitudes, Personality, and Behavior


  • Why do people say one thing and do another?
  • Why do people behave inconsistently from one situation to another?
  • How do people translate their beliefs and feelings into actions?
This thoroughly revised and updated edition describes why and how beliefs, attitudes and personality traits influence human behaviour. Building on the strengths of the previous edition, it covers recent developments in existing theories and details new theoretical approaches to the attitude-behaviour relationships. These novel developments provide insight into the predictability - and unpredictability - of human behaviour.

The book examines:

  • Recent innovations in the assessment of attitudes and personality
  • The implications for prediction of behaviour of these innovations
  • Differences between spontaneous and reasoned processes
  • The most recent research on the relations between intentions and behaviour
While the book is written primarily for students and researchers in social, personality, and organizational psychology, it also has wide-reaching appeal to students, researchers and professionals in the fields of health and social welfare, marketing and consumer behaviour.


The first edition of this book was written in a period of consolidation when rapid advances in personality and social psychology allayed concerns that had arisen over the utility of the field's central constructs, traits and attitudes. In it, I tried to highlight the similarities in the ways traits and attitudes are defined and measured, and in the implications of these definitions and measurement procedures for dispositional prediction of behavior. I tried to show how, in light of poor empirical evidence for consistency, enthusiastic acceptance of the trait and attitude concepts gave way, in both domains, to rather pessimistic assessments of the validity and practical utility of the dispositional approach. I traced parallel developments in the two domains that resulted in the adoption of very similar solutions to the consistency dilemma, and in the re-establishment of traits and attitudes as central constructs in personality and social psychology.

Much work in the intervening years has served to confirm these early efforts, to fill in the conceptual gaps, and to apply our newly gained knowledge in a variety of domains. We now have a much more mature understanding of the ways in which attitudes and personality traits affect behavior. In this new edition, I retain much of the original material but also review major new developments in the field. Among other things, I discuss recent innovations in the implicit assessment of attitudes and personality, and the implications of these techniques for the prediction of behavior; the distinction between spontaneous and reasoned processes; accessibility and schematicity; as well as recent work on the relation between intentions and behavior. Whenever appropriate, I discuss the contributions of my own work on the attitudinal prediction of behavior. As I noted in the Preface to the first edition, I have given these contributions undoubtedly more weight than they deserve, and I know that my own biases are felt throughout. In the interest of balance, therefore, I direct the reader to additional sources of relevant information at the end of each chapter.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the series editor, Tony . . .

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