Why individuals choose to behave one way and not another has been a source of interest to scholars for decades. What role does a person's attitude play? Is social pressure a determining factor? Is past experience important? For obvious reasons, many science, health, and environmental communicators are interested in influencing behavior, whether this involves exercising more, saving energy, getting a mammogram, or planting a tree. If communicators knew what factors were most associated with a particular behavior, it might be possible to influence the outcome.

One of the most influential and well-supported social-psychological theories for predicting human behavior is called the theory of planned behavior (TPB). In hundreds of studies around the world, the theory has been successful in predicting behavior in a variety of contexts ...

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