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Theory of Reasoned Action

  • By: Itzhak Yanovitzky
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

The theory of reasoned action (TRA) is one of the dominant conceptual frameworks for explaining, predicting, and changing human behavior. The theory was developed by social psychologists Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen to explain and predict volitional behaviors and has been used extensively by health communication scholars and professionals to promote a wide range of health-related behaviors and practices for diverse populations. Much of the popularity of TRA as a behavior change framework is attributed to its parsimonious nature, namely, its reliance on a small number of causally related variables to explain human behavior change. Ironically, the theory has been most frequently criticized for omitting additional important variables that can improve the explanation and prediction of human behavior.

The TRA incorporates a number of important insights ...

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