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Social Proof and Theories of behavioral Intention

Week 5- Social Proof and Theories of behavioral Intention

After covering this material, you will be able to;

1. Explain the components of the theory of reasoned action

2. Give examples of social norms and social norms marketing

3. Understand how attitudes and behaviors are related through subjective norms and behavioral intent

4. Describe the perceived behavioral control added to the theory of planned behavior

Traditional model of persuasion, at its most basic:

Attitude ->Behavior

Attitudes & Behaviors

· Last week: Inconsistencies

· This week: More on links btwn attitudes and behaviors

· Incorporating behavioral intent, norms and subjective social proof

Preview of this Unit

· Theory of Reasoned Action

· Theory of Planned Behavior

· Next week : Social Proof

Theory of Reasoned Action TRA

· People have attitudes toward behaviors

· And subjective norms. (person’s perspective on whats appropriate or not)

· These predict their behavioral intent

· Which in turn predicts the behavior


· Do I intend to? (behavioral intention) it id good or bad to do so ? (attitude towards the behavior) does does my family think about i t? (subjective norm)

it’s not just whether we believe something is right or wrong good or bad it’s also these subjective Norms that come from our social world that are going to influence whether we actually plan on doing something so these two things predict behavioral intent depending on your attitude towards something you’ll be more or less inclined to perform the behavior that your

Social Norms Marketing

Social Norms – the perceived standards of acceptable attitudes and behaviors prevalent among the members of a community. (people’s beliefs on the attitudes and behavioral that are considered normal, or that are expected in a particular social context.)

(reaching people in a persuasive way )


· the community, the church, your nationality, the school you go, your work place, all have it’s own norms

· My incorrect perception are still very likely to influence my behaviors and so social norms whether they’re real whether it’s true or false have powerful influence on our Behavior can you think of examples of behaviors

EX of other issues that have been target in social norms campaign : Binge Drinking, Drug Use, Classroom and Social Media Bullying Sexual Assault Prevention, Racism, Homophobia, Health and Nutrition

Social norms will greatly influence their behavior therefore when people misperception the Norms of their group, that is they inaccurately think an attitude or a behavior is more or less common than it is actually the case they may choose to engage in behaviors in sync with those false norms.

high school and college students overestimate how much their peers are drinking alcoholic beverages so prevention experts have argued that if this perception of the norm that drives greater alcohol consumption in younger people specifically research has found that high school students overestimate actual drinking behavior and attitudes supportive of alcohol use and way underestimate healthy behaviors like avoiding drinking or drinking in moderation

Basically, the findings suggest that alcohol prevention efforts should include a component designed to correct these misperceptions to let these young people know hey you think everybody’s out there drinking way more than they actually are way more often than they actually do and you think nobody is abstaining or partaking moderately



· so if the theory of Reason action built on consistency by adding subjective Norms the theory of plan Behavior Builds on the theory of reasoned action by introducing another new component to consider, perceived behavioral control

· It take into consideration if we think about it as individuals or attitude or what important others think about it, but also if we think we can actually do it, if we get it, if we feel that we have that kind of control, if we feel that we are entitled to make that kind of choice and that is all perceived behavioral control

· Behavioral attitude ( i support it ); subjective norms (my family support it ); perceived behavioral control ( we feel we have what we need to actualy do it )

Theory of Planned Behavior (how can u actually implemented, the info u need t give u confidence to too the behave)

TPB has another component: perceived behavioral control.

= the extent to which people believe that they could perform the behavior

(aka self-efficacy )


TRA: the link between attitudes & behaviors must be understood in context of subjective norms/social norms

TPB: another important piece = perceived behavioral control


(Everybody’s doing it)

After covering this material, you will be able to;

1. Understand the principle of social proof

2. Explain how uncertainty and similarity influence social proof

3. Describe pluralistic ignorance

4. Provide an example of the bystander effect

Attitudes & Behaviors

· Last week: Inconsistencies

· This week: More on links btwn attitudes and behaviors

· Incorporating behavioral intent, subjective norms and social proof

Everybody’s doing it- Social Proof

How does this happen??

Yet another Fixed Action Pattern- One of the ways that we “know” what is “correct” is by finding out & observing what others think & do.

Ex: when u go to fancy restaurant you don’t know how to act u observe your peers, see what utensils their using, etc

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