Subjective Expected Utility-Based Attitude-Behavior Models: The Utility of Self-Identity
Paul Sparks Institute of Food Research
This chapter focuses on the potential role of self-identity in the structure of the theory of reasoned action (TRA; Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB; Ajzen, 1991), perhaps the best known examples of subjective expected utility-based (SEU) attitude-behavior models. Although there is some evidence for self-identity effects in applications of these models, strong theoretical rationales for such effects have not yet been forthcoming. However, this chapter is intended to identify and address a number of potential lines of investigation that may assist in understanding a potential role for self-identity in attitude-behavior models of this kind. The argument is made that self-identity represents a potentially useful candidate to extend the TPB, with a view to Ajzen ( 1991) frequently noted suggestion that "The theory of planned behavior is, in principle, open to the inclusion of additional predictors if it can be shown that they capture a significant proportion of the variance in intention or behavior after the theory's current variables have been taken into account" (p. 199). Because self-identity and attitudes are central to social psychological theorizing and research, it is appropriate to promote the examination of potential points of contact between these concepts.