Theory of Planned Behavior

Knowledge Center

Changing the behavior of people. Explanation of Theory of Planned Behavior by Icek Ajzen. ('85)

The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) of Icek Ajzen (1985, 1991) helps to understand how we can change the behavior of people. The TPB is a theory which predicts deliberate behavior, because behavior can be planned.

TPB is the successor of the similar Theory of Reasoned Action of Ajzen and Fishbein (1975, 1980). The succession was the result of the discovery that behavior appeared to be not 100% voluntary and under control. This resulted in the addition of perceived behavioral control. With this addition the theory was called the Theory of Planned Behavior.

The three considerations of the Theory of Planned Behavior

In short, according to TPB, human action is guided by three kinds of considerations:

  1. Behavioral Beliefs. These are beliefs about the likely consequences of the behavior.

  2. Normative Beliefs. These are beliefs about the normative expectations of others.

  3. Control Beliefs. These are beliefs about the presence of factors that may facilitate, or may impede, the performance of the behavior.

Ajzen Theory of Planned Behavior TPBThe three considerations of Ajzen are crucial in circumstances / projects / programs when the behavior of people needs to be changed.

In their respective aggregates, behavioral beliefs produce a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward the behavior, normative beliefs result in perceived social pressure or subjective norm, and control beliefs give rise to perceived behavioral control. In combination, the attitude toward the behavior, subjective norm, and perception of behavioral control, lead to the formation of a behavioral intention. As a general rule, if the attitude and subjective norm are more favorable, the perceived control will be greater, and the person's intention to perform the behavior in question should be stronger.

Residual Effects of Past on Later Behavior

Recently (2002), Ajzen investigated residual effects of past on later behavior. He came to the conclusion that this factor indeed exists, but cannot be described to habituation, such as many people are thinking. A review of existing evidence suggests that the residual impact of past behavior is attenuated, when measures of intention and behavior are compatible. And the impact vanishes when intentions are strong and well formed, expectations are realistic, and specific plans for intention implementation have been developed.

A research project in the travel industry resulted in the conclusion that past travel choice only contributes to the prediction of later behavior if circumstances remain relatively stable.

Example: The Theory of Planned Behavior of Ajzen can help to explain why advertising campaigns merely providing information do not work. To only increase the knowledge does not help to change the behavior very much. Campaigns that aim at attitudes, perceived norms, and control in making the change or buying certain goods, have better results.

Similarly in management, (change) programs that focus only on explanation of the importance of something (knowledge transfer) will likely not succeed. Rather one should convince people to change their intention to change, by giving a lot of attention to attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavior control.

Book: Icek Ajzen, Martin Fishbein - Understanding Attitudes and Predicting Social Behavior -

Special Interest Group - Human Behavior

Special Interest Group (1245 members)

Forum - Human Behavior  

In this forum you will find recent interesting discussions.

  Theory of Planned Behavior and Maslow (2 reactions)
I have read some of the remarks here and am now wondering ho...
  How to Apply TPB Theory in Marketing? (2 reactions)
I'm not familiar with the theory here, but am wondering how ...
  'Behaviourist' Management Theory? (1 reactions)
What is meant by: 'Behaviourist Management Theory'? I will a...
  How to Apply the Theory of Planned Behavior in Work Safety (5 reactions)
Safety in mining is of utmost importance and statistics show...
  Exceptions to Theory of Planned Behavior
Is there any known research about the exceptions of the Theo...
  Employee Maturity and Theory of Planned Behavior
If an employee is not mature enough to analyze his/her envir...
  Are Beliefs and Attitudes a proxy for Behavior? (6 reactions)
I am studying nurses' attitudes and beliefs regarding open v...
  Three Components of an Attitude
Stephen P. Robbins and Timothy A. Judge, in their book 'Orga...
  Three Levels in Theory of Planned Behaviour
The theory provides a framework for implementing change wher...
  Sometimes we are Acting like Monkeys and we are Unwilling to Change (1 reactions)
Sometimes we find ourselves acting very similar to a monk...
  How Attitudes Influence Consumer Behavior
According to the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), behaviora...
Hot Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior to Perception
I would like to know if Ajzen's TPB can be applied to measur...
  Decomposed Theory of Planned Behavior (1 reactions)
I heard that there exist an extended version of the Theor...
  Theory of Planned Behavior and Dealing with Obstacles to Change
Some of the biggest obstacles to change initiatives are fear...
  Initital HR Presentation (4 reactions)
I need to make a presentation on how I will start my work in...
  Your Success is Primarily Dependent on the Rationality of your Beliefs (1 reactions)
Your response or reaction to any situation is governed by yo...
  The Role of Irrationality (Affect and Emotions) in Planned Behavior
A frequently mentioned argument against the TPB is that the ...
  Are you Planning your Behavior? (4 reactions)
How many of us are having the opportunity to plan our behavi...
  Planned Behaviour is based on REACT Method (3 reactions)
Planned Behaviour is a pattern based on the REACT method whi...
  Planned Group Behaviour? (2 reactions)
I wonder how dealing with group behaviour is different from ...
  Is Planned Behavior Theory Still Valid? (3 reactions)
I´m not sure about how much are important different behavior...
  Theory of Planned Behavior and Unsportsmanlike Conduct (2 reactions)
I am making a study regarding predicting unsportsmanlike con...

Best Practices - Human Behavior

Here you will find the most valuable discussions from the past.

  POSITIVE Change Motivators (32 reactions)
Attempting to change behavior based solely on information...

Expert Tips - Human Behavior

Here you will find high-quality advice from experts.


Changing Habits / Attitudes of People

Reframing Behavior...

Katz Functionalist Theory of Attitudes

Consumer Attitudes, Customer Attitudes, Buying Behavior, Advertising...

Ineffective Behavior

Analyzing Manager, Employee or Self Behavior...

The Influence of the Perceived Justice Climate on Employee Behavior

Employee Behavior, Theory of Planned Behavior, Behavioral Beliefs, Normative Beliefs...

4 Patterns of Behavior

Behavior is not only based on Reasoning and Beliefs...

Resources - Human Behavior

Here you will find powerpoint presentations, micro-learning videos and further information sources.

Attitudes: Definition, Functions, Models and Application to Business and Marketing


Attitude, Motivation and Persuasion

Persuasion Theory, Managing Behavior...

Introduction to the Theory of Planned Behaviour

Understanding the Roles our Beliefs are Playing in our Behavior...

The Importance of Adapting to Change

Change Management, Need to Change, Change Management...

Theory of Planned Behavior Diagram

Human Behavior...

News about Human Behavior


News about Ajzen Behavior


Videos about Human Behavior


Videos about Ajzen Behavior


Presentations about Human Behavior


Presentations about Ajzen Behavior


Books about Human Behavior


Books about Ajzen Behavior


More about Human Behavior


More about Ajzen Behavior


Compare with: Change Phases  |  Six Change Approaches  |  Appreciative Inquiry  |  Positive Deviance  |  Change Model Beckhard  |  Force Field Analysis  |  Bases of Social Power  |  Core Group Theory  |  Business Process Reengineering  |  Kaizen  |  Change Management  |  Managing for Value  |  Levels of Culture  |  Changing Organization Cultures  |  Framing  |  Attribution Theory  |  Culture Types

Return to Management Hub: Communication & Skills  |  Ethics & Responsibility  |  Human Resources  |  Knowledge & Intangibles  |  Marketing

More Management Methods, Models and Theory

Special Interest Group Leader

You here? Sign up for free


About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
© 2019 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V15.2 - Last updated: 18-11-2019. All names ™ of their owners.