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Encyclopedia of Social Psychology

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Encyclopedia of Social Psychology

Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs

Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Attitude–Behavior Consistency

Geoffrey Haddock & Gregory R. Maio

The study of attitude–behavior consistency concerns the degree to which people's attitudes (opinions) predict their behavior (actions). Attitude–behavior consistency exists when there is a strong relation between opinions and actions. For example, a person with a positive attitude toward protecting the environment who recycles paper and bottles shows high attitude–behavior consistency. The study of attitude–behavior consistency is important because much of the usefulness of the attitude concept is derived from the idea that people's opinions help guide their actions. Common sense would dictate that attitudes should predict behavior. It seems sensible to predict that a student who strongly supports saving endangered animals will make an annual donation to the World Wildlife Fund. However, is the link between attitudes and behavior this simple? To answer this question, it is helpful to consider some early research on this topic. Initial research on attitude–behavior consistency was conducted in the early 1930s. At this ...

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