Attitude-Behaviour Consistency: The Role of Group Norms, Attitude Accessibility, and Mode of Behavioural Decision-making

Smith, J., & Terry, D. (2003). Attitude-behaviour consistency: The role of group norms, attitude accessibility, and mode of behavioural decision-making. European Journal of Social Psychology, 33(5), 591-608. doi:10.1002/ejsp.172.

The interplay between two perspectives that have recently been applied in the attitude area--the social identity approach to attitude-behaviour relations (Terry & Hogg, 1996) and the MODE model (Fazio, 1990a)--was examined in the present research. Two experimental studies were conducted to examine the role of group norms, group identification, attitude accessibility, and mode of behavioural decision-making in the attitude-behaviour relationship. In Study 1 (N=211), the effects of norms and identification on attitude-behaviour consistency as a function of attitude accessibility and mood were investigated. Study 2 (N=354) replicated and extended the first experiment by using time pressure to manipulate mode of behavioural decision-making. As expected, the effects of norm congruency varied as a function of identification and mode of behavioural decision-making. Under conditions assumed to promote deliberative processing (neutral mood/low time pressure), high identifiers behaved in a manner consistent with the norm. No effects emerged under positive mood and high time pressure conditions. In Study 2, there was evidence that exposure to an attitude-incongruent norm resulted in attitude change only under low accessibility conditions.

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