Predicting intentions versus predicting behaviors: Domestic violence prevention rrom a theory of reasoned action perspective
Nabi, R. L., Southwell, B., & Hornik, R. (2001). Predicting intentions versus predicting behaviors: Domestic violence prevention rrom a theory of reasoned action perspective. Health Communication, 14(4), 429-449. DOI: 10.1207/S15327027HC1404_2
A central assumption of many models of human behavior is that intention to perform a behavior is highly predictive of actual behavior. This article presents evidence that belies this notion. Based on a survey of 1250 Philadelphia adults, a clear and consistent pattern emerged suggesting that beliefs related to domestic violence correlate with intentions to act with respect to domestic violence but rarely correlate with reported actions (e.g., talking to the abused woman). Numerous methodological and substantive explanations for this finding are offered with emphasis placed on the complexity of the context in which an action to prevent a domestic violence incident occurs. We conclude by arguing that despite the small, insignificant relationships between beliefs and behaviors found, worthwhile aggregate effects on behavior might still exist, thus reaffirming the role of communication campaign efforts.