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Introduction to Theories of Communication Effects: The Theory of Reasoned Action A service of the Communication Science & Research Resource Group.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Theories of Communication Effects: The Theory of Reasoned Action A service of the Communication Science & Research Resource Group."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Theories of Communication Effects: The Theory of Reasoned Action A service of the Communication Science & Research Resource Group

2 Recap: Theory map MODELSTAGE (Early --> Late) Message learning Reasoned action Social learning Diffusion Attention…….Comprehension…….Yielding…..Retention……………….. Action Attitudes Subjective norms.….Intention to act……………………………. Action Perceived control Attention...Retention...Reproduction...Motivation…………………..Performance Knowledge……Persuasion...Decision…….Implementation….Confirmation

3 Attention Putting it to work Action Comprehension Yielding Retention Where is your audience? What can you tell them and how? Theory of Reasoned Action emphasizes the Yielding stage --other persuasion factors are worthless if they don’t result in change in Attitudes

4 Source factors Message factors Channel factors Receiver factors Factors in Persuasion

5 Source factors Message factors --> TRA focus Channel factors Receiver factors Factors in Persuasion

6 Beliefs What’s a belief?

7 Beliefs What’s a belief? > information about a person, object, or issue > may be factual or opinion TRA adds: “Subjective probability that the object has a given attribute.”

8 Attitudes What’s an attitude?

9 Attitudes What’s an attitude? > positive or negative feeling about a person, object, or issue TRA adds: “Product of beliefs and evaluation of those beliefs.”

10 Theory of Reasoned Action (Icek Ajzen & Martin Fishbein) Basic assumptions: People are rational and thoughtful, not automatic and mindless People’s behaviors are based on their beliefs about the consequences of the behavior and what they think other people want them to do Behavior is rational & social

11 TRA Model Beliefs that the behavior leads to certain outcomes and evaluation of these outcomes Beliefs that specific individuals or groups think person should or should not perform the behavior and motivation to comply with the specific referents Subjective norm regarding the behavior Attitude toward the behavior Intention to actBehavior

12 TRA Model Beliefs that the behavior leads to certain outcomes and evaluation of these outcomes Beliefs that specific individuals or groups think person should or should not perform the behavior and motivation to comply with the specific referents Subjective norm regarding the behavior Attitude toward the behavior Intention to actBehavior Relative importance of attitudinal and normative considerations

13 TRA Model PERCEIVED CONSEQUENCES: What will happen if I use FP? Is that good or bad? SUBJECTIVE NORMS: What does my husband want me to do? How much do I care what he thinks? SUBJECTIVE NORM: It’s important to do what my husband wants ATTITUDE: Is use of FP desirable or undesirable? INTENTION: Should I use FP or not? BEHAVIOR: Use of FP Relative importance of consequences and of husband’s opinion

14 What predicts Behavior? 1. Intention to act > Intentions are probabilities >How likely are you to do B? >Intention is based on -- How you feel about B (attitudes) -- How you think others feel about B (subjective norm) -- Weights assigned to attitudes and subjective norms

15 What predicts Behavior? 1. Intention to act > Intentions are probabilities >How likely are you to do B? >Intention is based on -- How you feel about B (attitudes) -- How you think others feel about B (subjective norm) -- Weights assigned to attitudes and subjective norms B ~ I = ƒ [ w 1 A B + w 2 SN B )

16 What predicts Intention? 1. Attitude toward the action > Involves your evaluation of the action >What you think will happen if you do B (beliefs) >What you think of the consequences (evaluations)

17 What predicts Intention? 1. Attitude toward the action A B = ƒ [ Σ b i e i ) b i = strength/probability of belief regarding the outcome of B e i = valence of the outcome of B Only salient beliefs matter n i=1

18 Example: Nigeria Music Project Negative statements elicited from focus groups: The practice of family planning will cause a loss of confidence between husband and wife. A couple that practices family planning will have more conflict in their marriage Wives who practice family planning will be abandoned by their husband for another woman

19 Nigeria Music Project Positive statements elicited from focus groups : Family planning helps a couple become responsible parents. A family that practices family planning is a happy family. With family planning, a couple can love one another with peace of mind. Family planning will improve one’s standard of living. The practice of family planning brings a couple closer together.

20 Measuring Attitudes How certain are you that…? Family planning will improve one’s standard of living Not at allExtremely A couple that practices family planning will have more conflict in their marriage Not at allExtremely e.g., Beliefs--respondent chooses 4 and 8, respectively

21 Measuring Attitudes How desirable is it…? To improve one’s standard of living Very undesirableVery desirable For couples to have conflict in their marriage Very undesirableVery desirable e.g., Evaluations--respondent chooses +2 and -3, respectively Attitude toward FP= Standard of living + Conflict = (4 x 2) + (8 x -3) = -16 i.e., attitude will be negative

22 What predicts Intention? 2. Subjective Norm toward the action > Involves your assessment of what people who are important to you think you should do about B >Whether you think your significant others approve or disapprove of your doing B >How strongly you feel compelled to comply with what your significant others desire

23 What predicts Intention? 2. Subjective Norm toward the action SN B = ƒ [ Σ b i m i ) b i = strength/probability of belief that others support/oppose B m i = strength of motivation to comply with significant others Only significant others matter n i=1

24 Identifying significant others If you considered adopting family planning, there might be individuals or groups who would think you should or should not do so. If any come to mind, please list them below: My husband My mother My brother My doctor My church My friends My community

25 Measuring Subjective Norms My church thinks... I should not Should …practice family planning My husband thinks... I should not Should …practice family planning e.g., Beliefs--respondent chooses -3 and +1, respectively

26 Measuring Subjective Norms In general, how much do you want to do what your church thinks you should do... Not at allExtremely In general, how much do you want to do what your husband thinks you should do... Not at allExtremely e.g., Motivation to comply--respondent chooses 2 and 9, respectively Subjective norm= Church + Husband = (-3 x 2) + (1 x 9) = +3 i.e., SN will be supportive

27 Using Reasoned Action Identify motives for action What are the advantages and disadvantages of a behavior? Identify messages that can change attitudes change beliefs about consequences of B change evaluations about consequences of B change subjective norms change motivations to comply with subjective norms To identify target audiences primary (those you want to influence) secondary (significant others of those you want to influence

28 Next Week: Social Learning Theory Learning through observation and practice Looking ahead


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