Changing intention and behavior : a field study [thesis]

Susan Carol Lehtinen
This study examined the utility of applying a cognitivelyoriented model to a population of mental health workers in an attempt to understand and predict intention and behavior. The model suggests that a behavioral act is a function of an individual's behavioral intention, which is a function of the weighted sum of two factors, a personal or attitudinal factor, and a social or normative factor. In addition to examining the functioning of this model within a field setting, the present study
more » ... ed the effects of three experimental manipulations upon the components of the model. Subjects were 65 direct care staff members at a state mental hospital. Eighteen control subjects completed assessment instruments derived from the model, at times one and three, and did not receive any manipulations. Forty-seven experimental subjects completed the assessment instrument at times one, two, and three, with the assessment at times iv two and three being immediately consequent to the administration of experimental manipulations. (A role playing manipulation and a persuasive communication manipulation were administered immediately prior to the assessment at time two. A social reinforcement manipulation was administered immediately piror to the assessment at time three.) The criterion behavior was number of progress notes written per day per subject. Behavioral data were gathered from records at the hospital. The results evidenced the applicability of the model to a field setting. The components of the model were significantly related to intention, and intention was significantly related to actual behavior. The three experimental manipulations did not have any consistent effects upon the components of the model, intention, or behavior. Several possible explanations for the lack of consistent effects are presented. The effects of the conditions of group and sex upon the components of the model, intention, and behavior were consistent, but did not reach statistical significance (.09 ^p <.13). Practical and theoretical implications of this study are discussed.
doi:10.7275/1934-9w60 fatcat:bqtuiinpardkrn3hcd3eddw4pm