Title: On the representation and separation of the personal and normative reasons for behavior
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00102822/00001
 Material Information
Title: On the representation and separation of the personal and normative reasons for behavior
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Miniard, Paul W ( Paul Wayne ), 1952-
Copyright Date: 1981
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Bibliographic ID: UF00102822
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: oclc - 07863762
ltuf - ABS1598

Full Text


Paul W. Miniard




and My Pahcats


I wish to express my sincere appreciation to Professor Joel B.

Cohen, who served as committee chairman for both my doctoral disserta-

tion and masters thesis. I have been very fortunate to have received

his guidance and counsel during the past seven years. I hope that I
will maintain the standards he has passed on to me.

I was also fortunate to have Professors John G. Lynch, Jr.,and

Barry R. Schlenker as committee members. Both of them provided useful

and insightful contributions in the development and execution of this

research. Appreciation is also due Professors Dipunkar Chakravarti

and Alan G. Sawyer for their noteworthy assistance and concern.

I am eternally indebted to my parents for their providing me with

the means and instilling within me the desire to achieve this level of

education. To my wife, Debbie, I express my deepest appreciation for

her support and understanding during the past few years. Without her

and my parents, none of this would have been possible.

Finally, I wish to thank the American Marketing Association and

the Marketing Department of The Ohio State University for providing
financial support for this research.



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.................................. iji
LIST OF TABLES . . .. . . . . . .. .. . vi

ABSTRACT... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. ii


ONE INTRODUCTION................................. 1


The Relationship Between Intentions and
Behavior................................... 7
Examining the Hypothesized Causal Relations.... 12
The Model's Sufficiency........................ 18
Measuring Attitudinal and Normative Influences. 24
Separating Attitudinal and Normative
Influences................................ 26
Accuracy of the Normative Measures..........., 31
Accuracy of the Component Weights.............. 35

THREE A PROPOSED MODEL.........................,,,,,,. 43

FOUR METHOD...................................... 53

Research Goals............................... 53
Overview............................,...... 54
Subjects................................... 55
Procedure and Independent Variables.......... 55
Questionnaires............................. 67

FIVE RESULTS..................................,, 73

Overview................................... 73
Evaluation of the Experimental Deception..... 74
Manipulation Checks.......................... 75
Manipulations' Impact on Brand Choice and
Intentions................................ 83
Measure Validation........................... 88
The Measures' Sensitivity to the Experi-
mental Manipulations..................... 88
Brand Comparisons for Attitudinal Measures. 96
Compliers Versus Noncompliers.............. 106







Model Predictions....................... ,,~~~
Accuracy of the Component Weights............
The Equivalence of Fishbein's Alternative
Normative Operationalizations..............
Relationships Among the Alternative Proposed
Personal and Normative Representations.... ,
Experimenter's Influence on Subjects'

SIX CONCLUSION.................................



B CASE MATERIAL S...................................

C SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT................................

D QUESTIONNAIRES...............................


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.....................................









1 Summary of Studies of Intention-Behavior Relationship...... 8

2 Means for Manipulation Checks.............................. 77

3 ANOVA Results for Attitudinal Manipulation Checks.......... 78

4 ANOVA Results for Normative Manipulation Checks............ 80

5 Brand Choice by Experimental Condition..................... 84

6 Means for Behavioral Intention Measures.................... 85

7 ANOVA Results for Brand A Choice and Behavioral
Intention Measures.................................. 86

8 Means for Fishbein Model Measures by Experimental
Conditions..................................... 8:9

9 Means for Proposed Model Measures by Experimental
Conditions..................................... 90

10 ANOVA Results for Fishbein Model Measures.................. 91

11 ANOVA Results for Proposed Model Measures.................. 92

12 Means and T-Test Results for Personal Belief Measure of a
Brand's Ability to Meet Target Market's Needs......... 98

13 Means and T-Test Results for PE/B Measure.................. 99

14 Means and T-Test Results for Fishbein Belief Measure of a
Brand's Ability to Meet Target Market's Needs......... 10T

15 Means and T-Test Results for Fishbein Cb e Attitudinal
Representation................................. 102

16 Means and T-Test Results for Fishbein AB Measure........... 103

17 Means and T-Test Results for the Best Brand Measures
Contained in the Fishbein Questionnaire............... 104

18 Means and T-Test Results for the Best Brand Measures
Contained in the Proposed Model Questionnaire......... 105


19 Means and T-Test Results Comparing Compliers Versus
Noncompliers on Manipulation Check Measures...... 109

20 Means and T-Test Results Comparing Compliers Versus
Noncompliers on Proposed Normative Measures...... 111

21 Means and T-Test Results Comparing Compliers Versus
Noncompliers on Fishbein Measures................ 112

22 Regression and Correlational Results for Intentions to
Recommend Brand A--Fishbein Model................ 115

23 Regression and Correlational Results for Brand A--
Proposed Model.....,........................,..... 117

24 Regression and Correlational Results for Choice--
Fishbein Model................................... 120

25 Correlations Testing the SN = NB MC. Relationship--
Brand A. . .. . . .. .. . . 124

26 Correlations for Alternative Proposed Personal and
Normative Representations........................ 126

27 Correlations Relevant to the Effect of Including the
Experimenter Specific Measures in CB cI ...... 128
28 Correlations Relevant to the Effect of Including the
Experimenter Specific Measures in cb e........... 129

29 Correlations Relevant to the Effect of Including the
Experimenter as a Referent in xNB MC ....... 130

Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Paul W. Miniard

June 1981

Chairman: Joel B. Cohen
Major Department: Marketing

In marketing, there is often a pragmatic need for understanding the

relative importance of the personal and normative considerations under-

lying purchase behavior. One widely examined approach to representing

the relationship between behavior and attitudinal and normative factors

is the Fishbein behavioral intentions model. Recent evidence and dis-

cussions, however, have revealed that the model is not suited for those

seeking to distinguish between personal and normative reasons for beha-

vioral performance.

The purpose of this research, therefore, is the development and
evaluation of an alternative behavioral intentions model specifically

designed to independently represent the personal and normative conse-

quences underlying behavior. This separation is essentially based

upon the extent to which a given consequence involves how others will
react (i.e., provide rewards or punishments) to the person's perform-

ance of the behavior. Those consequences involving such reactions

would comprise the normative component while the remaining consequences

would be placed into the attitudinal component. Such a partitioning

would provide a model that identifies the extent to which the behavior

was based upon personal versus compliance based reasons.

Model evaluation was undertaken in an experimental setting in

which personal and normative considerations were manipulated. Testing

the sensitivity of the proposed model's operationalizations to these

manipulations allowed determination of the amount of overlap among the

components. The results provided strong support for the adequacy of the

proposed model in representing the personal and normative motivations

underlying behavior. Mixed evidence was obtained with respect to the

proposed measure's separation of these two sources of influence. How-

ever, design features did allow determination as to whether or not a

given component should receive a significant weight. This aspect of the

research setting was particularly desirable since it permitted a test

of the extent to which limitations in the model's ability to separate

the two components would affect its accuracy in identifying salient

sources of influence. This set of analyses clearly supported the model.

These combined results suggest that the proposed model represents a

promising approach to the identification of the personal and normative
motivations underlying behavior.


In today's marketing environment, many products are promoted on

the basis of their potential social implications. Advertisements in

which viewers are told or shown that product usage will lead referent

others to form favorable perceptions of the product user and/or act

favorably toward the user are quite common. Other products are posi-

tioned as a means for preventing others from forming undesirable per-

ceptions about the user. In both cases, the product's ability to sat-

isfy social or normative goals represents a primary selling point.

Alternatively, some basis other than the normative outcomes of product

usage can be employed for promoting a product. Some products are

depicted as being consistent with the consumer's desired self-image

while others are promoted on the basis of the product's performance on

some important attribute. In these situations, the product is positioned

in terms of its ability to satisfy goals more personal in nature (i.e.,

outcomes that are not mediated by others).

One can therefore often distinguish between products that are

positioned as a means to satisfying personal goals versus those that ful-

fill normative goals. Such positioning variations exist both between

and within product categories. The success of any particular strategy

is, however, directly dependent upon the importance consumers place

upon personal versus normative considerations. Advertisements which

stress personal considerations of product purchase and use (e.g.,

getting a good buy for one's money) may be inappropriate when norma-

tive considerations (e.g., being admired by others) dominate consum-

ers' choice behavior. By the same token, focusing on normative rea-

sons for behavioral performance is likely to be ineffective when product

choice is based upon personal considerations. Consequently, the success

of such positioning and promotional strategies in part depends upon

accurately identifying the existence and relative importance of the per-

sonal versus normative reasons underlying purchase behavior.

One frequently employed approach to understanding the determinants

of behavior is the Fishbein behavioral intentions model (Ajzen and

Fishbein 1980, Fishbein and Ajzen 1975) which specifies a personal or

attitudinal component and a social or normative component. Recent dis-

cussions (Fishbein and Ajzen 1981, Miniard and Cohen 1981) have revealed

that distinguishing between the personal and normative reasons for

behavioral performance is neither a goal nor an accomplishment of the

Fishbein model. This lack of concern over such a separation is most

clearly illustrated by the fact that all reasons for behavioral per-

formance are allocated to the "personal" component regardless of their

personal or normative implications. Concerns centering about how

important others will react if the behavior is or is not undertaken

(e.g., my friends will admire me if I do X) are treated as representing

personal rather than normative motivation under the Fishbein system.

Thus, the Fishbein model appears to be inappropriate for those seeking

to distinguish between the personal and normative motivations underlying


The goal of this research is to develop and evaluate a behavioral

intentions model that will independently represent the personal and

normative considerations that determine a given behavior. Before turn-

ing to this alternative formulation, however, attention will first be

given to the Fishbein model and research evaluating the model's useful-

ness as a diagnostic tool.


The Fishbein formulation postulates two determinants of behavioral

intentions: a personal or attitudinal component and a social influence

or normative component (Fishbein and Ajzen 1975). Symbolically, the
model can be stated as:

B a BI = (AB) 1 + (SN)w2' (1)
where B is the behavior, BI is the behavioral intention to perform

behavior B; AB is the attitude toward performing behavior B; SN is the

subjective normi; anrd wl and w2 are emipirically determined weights.
The first component, attitude toward the behavior (AB), is the

person's attitude toward performiing a given behavior under a defined set
of circumstances. In accordance with an expectancy-value formulation, a

person's attitude toward a specific behavior is determined by the per-

ceived consequences of performing the behavior and of the person's

evaluation of these consequences. This can be symbolically expressed as:

Ag C bie., (2)

where b is the belief that performing behavior B leads to consequence or

outcome i; e is the person's evaluation of consequence i; and n is the

number of salient beliefs the person holds about performing behavior B.

The second component, subjective norm (SN), represents the person's

perception of what important others think s/he should do. SN is in
turn proposed to be a function of the person's beliefs that specific

referent individuals or groups who are important to her/him think

s/he should or should not perform the behavior in question, and of

her/his motivation to comply with these referents. These hypothesized

determinants of SN can be symbolized as:

SN = c NB MC (3)

where NB is the normative belief (i.e., the person's belief that refer-

ence group or individual j thinks s/he should or should not perform the

behavior): MC is the person's motivation to comply with referent j;

and n is the number or relevant referents.

The relative importance of these two components in determining

intentions is expected to vary with the behavior, with the situation,

and with individual differences between persons. Some individuals, for

example, may be more "sensitive" to social demands and therefore may

attach more weight to their normative considerations than other indivi-

duals. Similarly, behaviors that carry greater interpersonal signifi-

cance or that are visible to important others may be more susceptible

to normative influences than behaviors that have less interpersonal

implications or that are less observable. The component weights

(wl and w2), which are traditionally estimated by multiple regression
procedures, are presumed to capture the importance of these two deter-

The ability of the Fishbein model to accurately predict inten-

tions has been substantiated for a variety of behavioral objects such as

alcohol (Schlegel, Crawford, and Sanborn 1977), birth control pills

(Davidson and Jaccard 1975), female occupations (Greenstein, Miller,

and Weldon 1979), financial loans (Ryan and Bonfield 1980), marijuana

(Bearden and Woodside 1978), swine flu vaccinations (Oliver and Berger

1979), and toothpaste (Wilson, Mathews, and Harvey 1975). However,
such evidence alone is of limited value in evaluating a model of beha-

vioral intentions. Although examination of a model's predictive power

represents one possible approach to verifying the relationships hypoth-

esized by the model, focusing on a model's predictive accuracy provides

little evidence concerning the model's diagnostic utility. Since the

real promise of any such formulation rests upon its ability to provide a

greater understanding of the determinants that guide intentions and con-

sequently behavior, it would seem most sensible to employ criteria for

model evaluation that directly examine a model's usefulness as a diagnos-

tic tool (i.e., the model's ability to provide insights into the exist-

ence and importance of those attitudinal and normative factors under-

lying behavior).

Therefore, it is argued that before any model that identifies the

determinants of behavioral intentions can be confidently employed for

diagnostic purposes, several important criteria should be met. First,
the usefulness of a model that identifies the determinants of intentions

is dependent upon the relationship between intentions and behavior.

Second, the causal relations hypothesized by the model should be vali-

dated. Third, the model should be fully identified in the sense that

exogeneous variable (i.e., variables other than those postulated as the

immediate antecedents of intention) will affect intentions only indi-

rectly (i.e., the exogeneous variables' influence on intentions is

mediated by one or more of the postulated determinants). Fourth, the

accuracy and independence of the measured used to operationalize the

model's components should be established. Finally, the weights

representing the importance of the hypothesized determinants of inten-
tions should be valid. Each of these criteria is in turn discussed


The Relationship Between Intentions and Behavior
One major assumption of the Fishbein model is that "behavioral

intentions are the immediate determinants of the corresponding overt

behaviors" (Fishbein and Ajzen 1975, p. 372). If behaviors were not

predictable from intentions, then clearly there would be less value in

specifying and validating a model which decomposes intentions. Thus,

establishing the existence of an intentions-behavior relationship as

well as the factors that influence the magnitude of this relationship

is of major importance.

In general, the assumption of an intentions-behavior relationship
has been supported. Table 1 summarizes the results for a number of

studies that have examined this relationship across a range of behaviors,

research settings, and subject populations. While there is a consider-

able degree of variation in the magnitude of the intentions-behavior

relationship, this relationship is significant (p<.05) in all but a

single case (Fishbein 1966, male college students).

Fishbein and Ajzen (1975, pp. 368-372, Ajzen and Fishbein 1980,

pp. 42-51) point out that the accuracy of predicting behavior from
intentions will depend upon (1) the time between the measurement of

intentions and the behavior's occurrence, (2) whether the intention

measure corresponds directly to the behavioral criterion, and (3) the

degree to which the person is able to act in accordance with her/his
intention or without the assistance of others. The first factor

Investigators) Behavior Subjects Interval r

Table 1

Sumimary of Studies of Intention-Behavior Relationship

Ajzen (1971)a

Choice in Prison-
er's Dilemma

Choice in Prison-
er's Dilemma

Number of mes-
sages sent to

Number of times
subject complied
with coworkers'

Fruit drink

Voting on nuclear
power ballot pro-

Premarital sex

Premarital sex





< hour .82

Ajzen & Fishbeina

Ajzen & Fishbeina

Ajzen & Fishbeina

Bonfield (1974)b

Bowman & Fishbeinb

Fishbein (1966)b

Fishbein (1966)b

Harrell & Bennettb

Jaccard, Knox, &b
Brinberg (1979)

< hour

< hour



< hour

Not stated

1-2 weeks

1 semester

1 semester








Up to 3


Prescribing a
given brand of

Voting for


1 week

King (1975)b

3 weeks



Investigators) Behavior Subjects Interval r

Note: All correlations except for the correlation reported by
Fishbein (1966) involving males are significant at the
.05 level.

investigation employed an experimental methodology.
investigation employed a survey methodology.

Represents average BI-B correlation.

** Correlations reported are the results for post-test measures of

Table 1 Continued

Oliver & Bergerb

Oliver & Bergerb

Pomazal & Brownb

Pomazal & Jaccardb

Ryan & Bonfieldb

ford, & Sanborn


Wilson, Mathews,a
& Monoky

Wilson, Mathews,a
& Harvey

Swine flu

Swine flu



Financial loan

Alcohol use

Choice in game
of chicken

Choice in
Dilemma game






& staff





Not stated

Not stated

< 1 hour

1 week

Up to 3

1 month

< 1 hour

<1 hour

< 1 hour




recognizes that a person's intentions are not "fixed" and that the

opportunity for changes to occur will increase as the interval between

assessment of intentions and performance of the behavior increases.

Consequently, it is generally expected that the intentions-behavior

relationship will decrease as the time interval increases. Support for

this contention is provided in Table 1. Studies where the behavior's

occurrence is temporally close to measurement of intentions typically

find a stronger relationship than those involving greater time inter-

vals. A direct examination of this issue was undertaken by Fishbein,

Loken, Chung, and Roberts (1978) in which the time between the measure-

ment of college women's intentions to smoke cigarettes and the beha-

vior's assessment was varied. The results indicated that the predic-

tive power of intentions increased as the time interval decreased.

The correspondence concern deals with the extent to which the

intention measure and behavior are equivalent in action, target, con-

text, and time elements. For example, intentions to purchase an auto-

mobile (a general target) should not be expected to accurately predict

purchases of a particular automobile brand (a specific target).

Similarly, a measure of intentions failing to specify a given time

frame may not predict a behavior that is assessed within a finite

amount of time.

The final factor identified by Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) is the

extent to which the behavior is under volitional control. As reported

in Table 1, Fishbein (1966) found females' intentions to engage in pre-

marital sex to be more strongly related to their subsequent behavior

than for males. This result should be expected as females are more

likely to encounter "willing others" than are males. Further evidence

in the realm of blood donations that the intentions-behavior relation-

ship is influenced by the extent to which behavioral performance is

dependent upon other persons and events is presented by Pomazal and
Jaccard (1976).

One issue that has received some attention in the literature is

the sufficiency of relying solely upon intentions for predicting beha-

vior. According to the model, the relationship between some variable

(including the attitudinal and normative determinants of intentions)

and behavior should be completely mediated by intentions. Bentler and

Speckart (1979) question, however, whether a cognitive construct such

as intentions can fully mediate the influence of affect upon behavior.

In examining this issue, the authors found AB exerted a direct (i.e.,
independent of BI) behavioral effect across three different alcoholic

and drug consumption behaviors. Ajzen and Fishbein (1970) also report

that BI was unable to mediate AB's influence upon behavior in one of

two games involving the Prisoner's Dilemma paradigm, although BI did
mediate the relationship between subjective expected utility and beha-

vior. In contrast, others (Fishbein, Bowman, Thomas, Jaccard, and

Ajzen 1980; Oliver and Berger 1979; Ryan and Bonfield 1980) have sup-

ported BI's ability to mediate the relationship between attitudes and

Evidence bearing upon BI's sufficiency with respect to Fishbein's
normative variables has been much more favorable. Most research has

substantiated BI's mediating role (Ajzen and Fishbein 1970; Bentler

and Speckart 1979; Ryan and Bonfield 1980). The single exception is

reported by Oliver and Berger (1979) where intentions were unable to

mediate the influence of CNB.MC. upon behavior in one of two test

Little research is presently available concerning BI's ability to

mediate the behavioral influence of exogeneous variables (i.e., vari-

ables other than those identified by the model). Since marketers have

often relied upon such exogeneous variables (e.g., past purchase beha-

vior, demographics) for predicting purchase behavior, examination of

BI's sufficiency relative to these typical marketing predictors would

,fill an~important void in present knowledge. Those,few studies addres-

sing this concern have produced conflicting results, Fishbein, Ajzen,

and Hinkle (1980) report that supplementing intentions with several

exogeneous variables (e.g., prior voting history, party identification)

failed to produce significant increments in predicting voters' choices

in the 1976 presidential election. In the realm of "helping" behaviors,

Pomazal and Jaccard (1976) found intentions to substantially mediate

the effects of traditional altruistic variables (e.g., dependency,

guilt, social responsibility) on behavior. Bentler and Speckart (1979),

however, found both past behavior and intentions necessary for predict-

ing future behavior in three behavioral domains. Given that past pur-

chase behavior is frequently employed for predicting future purchase

behavior, further investigation of the relative predictive merits of

prior behavior versus intentions seems desirable.

Examining the Hypothesized Causal Relations

Figure 1 contains the hypothesized causal network underlying the

Fishbein model as depicted by Fishbein and Ajzen (1975, p. 16). This

ibe. AB -LBI : B


Figure 1.

Hypothesized Causal Flow Underlying the Fishbein
Behavioral Intentions Model.

causal system postulates that (1) changes in either bi or ei will lead

to changes in AB, (2) changes in either NBj or MCj will produce changes
in SN, (3) changes in AB will create changes in BI when, as expressed
in equation 1, the attitudinal component receives a significant weight,
(4) changes in SN will bring about changes in BI when the normative

component weight is significant, (5) the influence of Cb ei upon BI

is mediated by AB, (6) the influence of CNB MCj upon BI is mediated by

SN, and (7) the influence of Ag and SN upon B is mediated by BI. If
the model is to be employed as a framework for devising behavioral

change strategies, then it is of paramount importance that these causal
relations be established (Lutz 1977). Such evidence also impacts upon

the significance of other criteria for evaluating the model's diagnos-

tic promise. Suppose that attitudes and subjective norms were not
causal antecedents of intention. Efforts to validate the component

weights, which attempt to represent the components' relative importance
in the formation (as opposed to prediction) of intentions within a

given situation, would then be of little diagnostic value.
Research addressing the hypothesized causal relations has employed

a variety of methodological and analytical approaches. One approach has
been to experimentally manipulate the postulated antecedents of a given
criterion variable. If the manipulations significantly vary these ante-
cedents, one might then reasonably expect the criterion variable to
demonstrate a similar sensitivity. Several investigations have provided

support for the causal flow as the effects of experimental manipulations

upon intentions and/or behavior were also reflected in the attitudinal
and normative components (Ajzen 1971, Ajzen and Fishbein 1970, 1972,

1974; Ryan 1977). In contrast, data presented by Miniard (1981) reveals

that significant variations in AB were not accompanied by significant
variations in BI even though intentions were under attitudinal control

(i.e., the attitudinal component received a significant weight).
Some attention has also been directed at the causal relations

between the attitudinal and normative components and their hypothesized

determinants. In an experiment manipulating bi, Lutz (1975) reports

significant Cb ei changes in each test situation but that AB changed in
only three of the four test situations. Unsupportive evidence was pro-
vided in a separate experiment involving manipulation of e. where A
1 B
remained unaffected although Cbje. varied in two of the three test sit-
uations. Ryan (1977) reports that manipulations of NB influenced both

CNB MCj and SN. Finally, Miniard and Cohen (1979) found that manipu-
lations altering MC also varied SN and BI.

Evidence that antecedent and criterion variables display similar

sensitivity to experimental manipulations provides only tentative sup-

port for the postulated causal flow. It is possible for such joint
sensitivity to exist even when the presumed "antecedent" and "criterion"
variables are unrelated. This would occur if these variables were

determined by some other variable which was influenced by the experi-

mental manipulations. In order to eliminate this alternative explana-

tion, it is necessary to demonstrate that the influence of the experi-
mental manipulations on the criterion variable is mediated by the ante-
cedent variable. Suppose, for example, that a manipulation altered both

AB and BI. Support for A 's antecedent role would be attained if the
experimental effects on BI became insignificant (or were at least

attenuated) when those variations in BI attributable to AB are removed.

This could be accompanied via the regression model comparison proced-

ures employed by Lutz (1977) or through the step-down F statistic pre-

sented by Ryan (1978a).

Research examining an antecedent's ability to mediate the influ-

ence of experimental manipulations on its corresponding criterion has

substantially supported the model. Ajzen and Fishbein (1970) and

Songer-Nocks (1976) found experimentally induced variations in behavior

to be strongly though not completely mediated by intentions. Similarly,

the effects of manipulations upon intentions have been largely mediated

by the attitudinal and normative components (Ajzen and Fishbein 1970;

Ryan 1977; Songer-Nocks 1976). While this evidence provides reasonable

support for the hypothesized flow of effects, the fact that experimental

manipulations often exert some independent influence on the criterion

variables indicates that the antecedents are not accounting for all of

the variance in the criterion variables that is induced by the manipula-

tions. Such findings call into question the model's sufficiency (i.e.,

whether the model has fully specified the determinants of intentions)

and raise the possibility that an additional model component may be

necessary to capture the unique influence of these experimental manipu-


Several investigations have employed recent advancements in the

analysis of correlational data for testing causal relationships. Path

analysis techniques (Kerlinger and Pedhazur 1973), for example, are use-

ful for establishing a variable's mediating role. Examination of

whether AB acted as the intervening variable between Ebiei and BI,

for example, would involve testing the significance of the regression

weights for Eb ei and AB in a model with BI as the dependent variable.
If the Cbjie component received a significant weight, this would indi-
cate that Cbeiei had an influence upon BI above and beyond its influence

acting through AB. Support for AB's mediating role would thus require
the Cbjie regression weight to be insignificant.
Evidence relevant to intentions' ability to mediate the influence
of the attitudinal and normative components upon behavior was presented
above. With respect to the attitudinal component, Lutz (1977) and

Ryan (1977) have shown Ag to mediate the relationship between BI and
Cb e although Oliver and Berger (1979) found AB unable to completely
mediate this relationship in one of two situations. In a recent investi-

gation of the postulated causal flow underlying the normative component,

Miniard and Cohen (1981) found SN unable to mediate the ZNB.MC.-BI
relationship. This set of results were predicted by the authors as

they argued that SN, a perceptual construct, should only mediate the
influence of NB, also a perceptual construct, and not MC, which is a
motivational construct. While a significant and frequently substantial

correlation between SN and CNB.MC. has often been reported (Glassman
and Birchmore 1974; Glassman and Fitzhenry 1976; King and Jaccard 1973;
Pomazal and Brown 1977; Pomazal and Jaccard 1976), without knowing the

correlation between CNBj and SN, it is impossible to evaluate the need
for weighting NB by MC in predicting SN. A significant correlation
between SN and CNB.MC.oudocrfSNadNBweehglrltd
J j COl cu fS n NJ e hgl lad
and MC approached a positive constant. Since most behavioral settings
in which others are influential are likely to involve only positive
referents (i.e., one is motivated to comply with the referents), it is

probable that MC will often be positive with little variation across

referents. In testing MC's relationship with SN under experimental con-

ditions in which MC varied, Miniard and Cohen (1981) found that weight-

ing NB by MC significantly decreased the prediction of SN thus indica-

ting that the relationship expressed in equation 3 is misspecified.

Supportive evidence of SN's mediating role between CNB.MC. and BI
is reported by Oliver and Berger (1979). This inconsistency with the

findings of Miniard and Cohen (1981) may be attributable to differences

in MC variability. In the Oliver and Berger (1979) survey setting it

would appear that only positive others served as important referents.

This would lead to small variation in MC which, as noted above, does not

provide an adequate test situation for evaluating MC's relationship with

An alternative analytical technique for examining causal flows

using correlational data was employed by Lutz (1978) in testing the

Fishbein model. By comparing the discrepancies between predicted and

actual correlations for nonadjacent pairs of variables in the postulated

causal flow, one can evaluate the adequacy of a given causal ordering

relative to alternative orderings. Examination of the total discrep-

ancy of various orderings revealed strong support for the configuration

proposed by the Fishbein formulation, although it should be noted that

only the causal chain involving the attitudinal component was examined.

The Model's Sufficiency

One of the diagnostic outcomes derived from the Fishbein model is

the identification of the important determinants (as well as the

determinants' relative importance) of intentions. Identifying which

component is the most influential provides useful information in select-

ing the most appropriate behavioral change strategy. But the validity
of such statements as "attitudes are the dominant determinant in the

present setting" is directly related to the model's sufficiency; that is,

the extent to which the model fully specifies the determinants of inten-

tions. Support for the model's sufficiency requires exogeneous vari-

ables (i.e., those other than the attitudinal and normative variables

specified in the model) to affect intentions only indirectly through

either component of the model. Thus, any variable related to inten-

itions should also be related to one of the model's components. Further,

any relationship between such variables and intentions should be elim-

inated when the attitudinal and normative components are statistically

held constant (e.g., the addition of an external variable into a regres-

sion model containing the model's variables should not produce a signi-

ficant increment in the prediction of intentions).

Several approaches have been adopted for operational izing these

external variables. Survey-based investigations have examined the

model's ability to mediate such exogeneous variables as religion, age,

occupational prestige, and assorted personality and social constructs.

In an early study of the model's sufficiency involving transplant

donations, Schwartz and Tessler (1972) found a subset of these external

variables increased the model's ability to predict intentions. Later

investigations, however, have supported the model's mediational adequacy.

In a study of family planning, Jaccard and Davidson (1975) found that

the addition of external variables did not provide substantive pre-

dictive improvements. Similarly, after examining the predictive improve-

ment provided by 33 external variables, Schlegel, Crawford, and

Sanborn (1977) concluded from their study of adolescent alcohol use

that "present results could hardly be considered to provide a psycho-

logically meaningful basis for any revision of the Fishbein theory"

(p. 428). Additional support for the model's sufficiency is provided

by Pomazal and Brown (1977) and Pomazal and Jaccard (1976).

Attention has also been directed at the model's ability to mediate

the effects of the traditionally employed attitude toward an object

(A ) upon intentions. Some have shown that Ao is mediated by the
model's components (Ajzen 1971; Ajzen and Fishbein 1970, 1974; King

1975; Pomazal and Jaccard 1976) while others have found the model

unable to completely mediate the effect of AO on intentions (Ajzen and
Fishbein 1969; Jaccard and Davidson 1975; Schwartz and Tessler 1972).

Several investigations have demonstrated the impact of situational

influences on consumers' intentions to purchase products (Belk 1974,

1975; Sandell 1968). One important question is whether attitudinal and

normative variables can adequately capture the influence of situational

factors on intentions. Miller and Ginter (1979) have demonstrated that

a situation specific attitude model will provide a superior prediction

relative to a non-situation specific model when behavior is susceptible

to situational influences. The question still remains, however, as to

whether these modifications fully mediated the impact of the situation.

Sandell (1968) attempted to address this issue by assessing subjects'

intentions to consume various products across a number of produce usage

situations as well as their attitudes toward these products. The

amount of variation in intentions explained by the situational design

factors was then compared to the variation explained by the attitudinal

measure. The attitudinal measure was found to explain a substantially

lower proportion of intentions' variation,which led Sandell to conclude

that "methods of greater predictive power than offered by conventional

preference and attitude measurement techniques should be pursued"

(p. 408).

The soundness of such a conclusion depends in part upon the ade-

quacy of the measure employed for representing subjects' attitudes.

The particular operationalization used by Sandell asked subjects to pro-

vide "context-free" judgments of how much they liked a particular pro-

duct. That is, prior to responding to the various situational scenarios,

subjects were asked to "place all alternatives on a one-dimensional

preference scale from 'like extremely' to 'dislike extremely"' (Sandell

1968, p. 406). These global evaluations, which can be viewed as being

reflective of subjects' attitude toward an object (A ), were then used

to predict consumption intentions across a wide range of situational
settings. It has been convincingly argued, however, that reliance

upon such global evaluations for the prediction of a specific intention
or behavior is inappropriate (Ajzen and Fishbein 1977; Fishbein and

Ajzen 1975). Rather than predicting intentions to consume a product

across a number of situations with a measure of subjects' general lik-

ing or disliking of the product, Sandell should have employed a measure
of subjects' attitude toward consuming the product in each situation.

Indeed, if one has reason to believe that the criterion of interest is

susceptible to situational influences, then it would seem unreasonable

not to modify the variables that are expected to predict this criterion

accordingly. Viewed in this light, Sandell's results are perhaps best

viewed as evidence that a strong relationship between criterion and

predictor variables should not be expected when these variables do not

correspond in their levels of specificity.

Another potential limitation of the study involves the degree to

which social influences were operative in the situational scenarios.

If social influences were an important determinant of intentions in

some of the situations, then subjects should have responded to a norma-

tive measure as well as an attitudinal measure. Unfortunately, evidence

concerning whether such influences did play a role in guiding subjects'

intentions was not provided, thus leaving this concern unresolved.

An alternative orientation to examining the model's ability to

mediate situational influences has been to test the incremental pre-

dictive value of supplementing attitudinal measures with situational fac-

tors. Rokeach (1968; Rokeach and Kliejunas 1972), for example, postu-

lates that the prediction of behavior with respect to a given object

within a particular situation is best achieved by the weighted sum of

one's attitude toward the object plus one's attitude toward the situa-

tion. Symbolically, this can be stated as:

8os = A As = (w)Ao + (1-w)As, (4)
when Bos is the behavior with respect to object o within situation s;

Ao is the attitude toward object o; As is the attitude toward situ-
ation s; and w is an individually determined importance weight.

In a recent examination of the Rokeach formulation, Bearden and

Woodside (1978) found, contrary to the model, that Ao alone was superior
to A A in predicting marijuana usage intentions and reported past beha-
vior. Such a result is not altogether surprising as one can easily

imagine settings where the model will produce inaccurate predictions.

For instance, a person could be favorable toward both the object (i.e.,

marijuana) and the situation (i.e., attending the opera) but hold a

negative evaluation of the behavior itself (i.e., using marijuana
while attending the opera). Clearly, as discussed before, a better

estimation of this behavior would be attained by simply asking the per-

son her/his evaluation of engaging in the behavior within the particu-

lar situation (i.e., AB '
In a similar vein, Bearden and Woodside (1976) examined the incre-
mental value of supplementing attitude measures with situational fac-

tors in predicting consumers' intentions to purchase various brands of

soft drinks across seven consumption situations (e.g., while entertain-

ing at home, during a work break, with an evening meal). To do this,
the following model was tested:

BI [A ]wl + [S h1 h2 h 12+ [ S S S ]3 (5)

where BIj is the behavioral intention toward brand j; Ao is the atti-
tude toward the object (i.e, brand j); Sh is the likelihood of situ-
ation h occurring for the consumer; Sh is the likelihood of the con-

sumer using the product in situation h; S3 stelkliodo h
consumer using brand j in situation h; and wl, w2, and w3 are empiri-
cally determined weights. A test of the situational factors incre-

mental value is thus provided by the significance of the w2 and w3

regression weights. The wl, w2, and w3 weights were significant in 96%,
100%, and 71% of the reported model tests, respectively. These find-
ings led the authors to conclude that "situations are influential in
the formation of behavioral intentions and that a better understanding
of choice behavior is possible if more than attitudinal measures are

used to explain behavior" (p. 768).

While the approach of testing the added value attained through the

addition of situational predictors into a model containing an attitud-

inal predictor holds promise, this particular investigation is suspect

on several counts. First, as was the case in the Sandell (1968)

study, the authors measured Ao when AB should have been assessed. The
second and perhaps most serious problem is that the particular oper-

ationalizations used to represent situational influences in the model

(i.e., Sh Sh2 *Sh3) essentially provide a derived measure of behav-

ioral intention. As such, it is not that surprising that the wl and

w2 weights achieved such a high rate of significance.
To summarize, most investigations have supported the model's

ability to mediate exogeneous variables in that very little incremental

variation is explained when other variables are incorporated into the

model. Even in those cases where the model has not completely mediated

the effects of external variables, it has greatly attenuated the

relationship between these variables and intentions. Existing evidence

concerning the extent to which the model captures situational influ-

ences seems inadequate for reasons discussed above. Consequently, fur-

ther research in this area appears necessary.

Measuring Attitudinal and Normative Influences

Analysis of the mean responses to the attitudinal and normative

measures is often undertaken for a variety of diagnostic reasons. Ryan

and Bonfield (1980), for example, tested NB.MC. compounds against zero
in judging the normative influence exerted by various referents.

Responses to the measures are also useful for understanding intentional

and behavioral differences between persons. Comparing the responses

to the various measures of those who do or do not intend to engage in

the behavior allows one to identify the possible reasons for differ-

ences in intentions (see, for example, Bowman and Fishbein 1978; Jac-

card and Davidson 1972; Pomazal and Brown 1977; Pomazal and Jaccard


The soundness of these analyses is directly dependent upon the

validity of the measurements employed. If NB and MC do not accurately

represent normative influence, then analyses such as those employed by

Ryan and Bonfield (1980) would be misleading. Similar problems can

occur for intenders-nonintenders comparisons. Let us assume (and, as

shall be shown shortly, such an assumption seems warranted) that respon-

ses to the motivation to comply measure are influenced by one's atti-

tude toward the behavior (i.e., I want to comply with a referent who

advocates a behavior I am predisposed toward and do not want to comply

with a referent who supports a behavior I oppose). Suppose the true

state of affairs is such that (1) intenders have a favorable attitude

while nonintenders have an unfavorable attitude, (2) both intenders

and nonintenders perceive others to favor their engaging in the beha-

vior, and (3) intenders and nonintenders place equal importance on

others' expectations. Under the third condition, the motivation to

comply measure should reflect equal normative influence between the two

groups. However, if MC is sensitive to attitude, it is quite likely
that intenders and nonintenders will differ in their responses to this

measure. Such a result would lead to an incorrect conclusion about the

reasons for intentional differences.

Therefore, the accuracy and independence of the Fishbein measures

represents a crucial concern. The following discussion will first

address the adequacy of the formulation's conceptual and operational

separation of attitudinal and normative influences. Attention will

then be given to the normative measures' ability to accurately repre-
sent normative influences.

Separating Attitudinal and Normative Influences
As discussed by Miniard and Cohen (1981), many of the shortcomings
in the Fishbein model's ability to isolate attitudinal and normative

influence can be attributed to the manner in which Fishbein distin-

guishes between the two components of his model. Under the Fishbein

system, structural rather than motivational properties represent the
basis for determining whether a given belief is allocated to the atti-

tudinal or normative components. Beliefs that identify a referent's

expectation regarding the behavior in question (e.g., "My parents think
I should attend college") are termed normative beliefs and incorporated

into the normative component of the model. Beliefs that do not contain

explicit referent expectation but which specify some consequence of per-
forming the behavior (e.g., "Attending college will lead to a better

job"), even if this behavior outcome is normative or under the control of

others (e.g., "Attending college will lead to receiving my parents'

approval"), are labelled behavioral beliefs and placed into the atti-

tudinal component. Consequently, normative and personal motivations or

reasons for engaging in a behavior are lumped together in the atti-

tudinal component. In addition, the beliefs "My parents think I should

attend college" and "Attending college will lead to receiving my par-

ents' approval,"' while structurally different, may reflect a similar

underlying concern with the parents' reaction. Thus, a given reason

for performing the behavior may be represented in both model components.

The potential for overlap among the components is further illus-
trated by considering the model's treatment of informational social

influences. Fishbein and Ajzen (1975, p. 306) state that motivation to

comply with a referent should capture all of the bases of social power,
including expertise, discussed by French and Raven (1959). This

implies, for example, that the influence resulting from the rational

and convincing arguments of a trusted other who is valued solely for

her/his knowledge on the particular topic should be reflected in the

normative component. However, as Miniard and Cohen (1981) have argued,

"the potential for confounding and double counting exists since these

are precisely the factors that should have led to a greater likelihood
of information acceptance and hence impact on the attitudinal component."

It is clear from the above discussion that Fishbein has not attemp-

ted to conceptually distinguish between personal versus social motiva-

tions for engaging in a behavior. Indeed, one might argue that the two

components of the Fishbein model represent two alternative measures of

the same underlying construct (i.e., one's overall evaluation, inclu-

ding both personal and social considerations, of the behavior). While

existing evidence demonstrating that both components significantly add

to the prediction of behavioral intentions might be interpreted as con-

tradicting this contention, Birnbaum and Mellers (1979) have recently

argued that this situation can occur when the model's components repre-
sent imperfect measures of the same construct.

The potential for confounding or "double counting" is clearly
reflected in the operationalizations employed for model implementation.

In measuring normative beliefs, the respondent is asked to indicate

whether "Referent X thinks I should/should not perform behavior Y."

In the situation where one has received valued information from an

expert concerning some contemplated action, the person is likely to

believe that the expert thinks s/he should perform the behavior,

although such expert information will probably lead to the creation or

change of beliefs that underlie her/his personal evaluation of the beha-

vior. Subjective norm, operationalized as "Most people who are impor-

tant to me think I should/should not perform behavior Y" (Fishbein and

Ajzen 1975), also fails to distinguish between others who are important

for informational as opposed to normative reasons.

The motivation to comply measure asks the person how much "I want

to do/I want to do the opposite of what referent X thinks I should do"

(Fishbein 1976). Since the measure fails to identify the basis or

motivation for "wanting to do what the referent thinks I should do," it

cannot discriminate between wanting to comply because one believes the

referent to be correct (i.e., informational social influence) versus

wanting to comply to attain some social goal (i.e., normative social

influence). A further problem with the motivation to comply measure

lies in its potential sensitivity to the degree of consistency between

the person's and the referent's desires. For example, a person may

"want" to do what a referent thinks s/he should do when s/he has a

favorable attitude toward the behavior to start with and the referent

thinks s/he should perform the behavior or when s/he has an unfavorable

attitude toward the behavior and the referent does not think s/he

should perform the behavior.

Similar problems also exist in the measurement of the attitudinal

component. Direct measures of AB have typically asked respondents to

simply evaluate "performing behavior X" (see, for example, Ajzen and
Fishbein 1969, 1970, 1972). Since respondents are not asked for their

personal evaluation (i.e., how they feel about the behavior without
taking into account the reactions of others to the behavior), it is

likely that they will, to some extent, include normative considerations

in their responses. The potential for confounding is even more evident

for the Cbiei estimate of attitude which, as discussed above, incor-

porates consequences that are normative in nature even though such con-

sequences should be captured by motivation to comply.

As indicated above, there would seem to be a considerable potential

'for the Fishbein model to represent a given influence in both model

components which would lead to a large amount of overlap among the com-

ponents. Evidence of such confounding is provided by numerous investi-

gations reporting a significant correlation between the two components.
Bonfield (1974), for example, found a correlation of .67 between the

two components. R~yan (1978b) reports correlations of similar magni-

tude between CNB MCj and AB, although the degree of association between

Cbie. and CNB.MC. was substantially lower. Further indication of the
components' overlap was provided by Oliver and Berger (1979) in which

propositions that (1) As is a function of both Zbje. and CNB.MC. and

(2) SN is a function of both ENB.MC. and Lbje. were tested via regres-
sion analysis for the two different samples. Both propositions were

supported for each sample. Most recently, Warshaw (1980) found signi-

ficant relationships between AB and SN ranging from .36 to .58 across
four product categories.

While findings of significant interrelationships among the mea-

sures are indicative of confounded components, such results fail to

identify which measure is inadequate or the basis of such inadequacies.

To answer such questions, it is necessary to go beyond simple correla-

tions and instead look at a measure's sensitivity to variations of a

particular source of influence. An example of this orientation is

reported by Ajzen and Fishbein (1972) where, in a role playing study,

manipulations of others' expectations were found to significantly alter

both NB and AB'

Additional evidence regarding the overlap among the Fishbein model

components is reported by Miniard and Cohen (1979). Manipulations of

one's attitude toward an object had a significant impact upon subjects'

responses to the AB, SN, and MC measures. Similarly, variations in a
referent's influence potential (operationalized as whether or not infor-

mation describing the referent's manipulative intentions was provided to

subjects) had a significant effect upon subjects' AB, SN, and MC respon-
ses. These findings confirmed the previously discussed suspicions that

AB would incorporate normative considerations and that MC would be sensi-
tive to the favorability of the person's own attitude.

Unfortunately, the generality of the finding that SN was affected

by the attitudinal manipulation was constrained by the fact that

explicit information was presented to subjects on only one referent.

This may have encouraged inference processes, based partially on atti-

tude, regarding what "important others" believed the subject should do.

Evidence bearing on SN's sensitivity to attitudinal influences when

other's expectations are known is provided by a further analysis of the

data reported by Miniard (1981). In a role playing experiment, sub-

jects were provided information about their own evaluation of a

behavior and, in some conditions, others' expectations for their

behavior. In conditions where information regarding others' expecta-

tions was not given, subjects provided significant (p<.05) non-zero

(i.e., not at the scale midpoint) SN responses in a manner consistent

with their own personal evaluation of the product. Interestingly,

this attitudinal contamination also occurred in the conditions where

others' expectations were known. Further demonstration of the overlap

between AB and SN is provided by Ryan (1977) in which attitudinal and

normative manipulations significantly influenced both measures. AB

was also shown to completely mediate the influence of the manipulations

on SN which suggests that the AB served as an antecedent of SN in this

experimental setting.

Accuracy of the Normative Measures
In addition to the apparent overlap among the components, there are

presently some unresolved issues bearing upon the accuracy of the nor-
mative measures in representing normative influences. Lutz (1976) has

pointed out that SN implicitly assumes one is motivated to comply with
others and thus is unable to refect the influence of negative referent

groups or individuals. Evidence of SN's inability to incorporate the

motivational aspects represented by MC has already been discussed. It

would therefore appear that SN will not accurately reflect normative

influences when others are either unimportant or when one is motivated

to do the opposite of what others expect.

Interestingly, Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) have recently suggested

that MC should be assessed on a unipolar scale as opposed to the pre-

viously suggested (Fishbein 1976) bipolar scale since "people are

unlikely to be motivated to do the opposite of what their salient

referents think they should do" (p. 75). While it is certainly true

that important others will usually serve as positive referents, it is

also possible for others to represent negative referents (e.g., rebel-

lion against authority, reactance theory predictions). Assigning a

negative referent a positive motivation to comply score (which would

occur under unipolar coding) thus appears both theoretical and counter-

intuitive. In addition, this alteration in the coding format would

often artificially produce a positive relationship between SN and

ZNB MCj since it would prevent MC from assuming negative values. To
illustrate, suppose SN = +3, NB = +3, and MC = -3 for one individual and

that SN = +2, NB = +2, and MC = -3 for another. In this situation

,(where MC is coded in a bipolar fashion), SN and NBMC would be nega-

tively correlated. However, if MC was treated in a unipolar fashion

(e.g., MC was coded as +1 rather than -3), a positive correlation would
be obtained.

Another concern relevant to the accuracy of the MC measure is the

appropriate level at which the measure should be calibrated. MC has

typically been operationalized at a general level of specificity such

that respondents are asked about their general tendency or willingness

to comply with a referent. Glassman and Fitzhenry (1976) have criti-

cized a general level of specificity on the basis that, while a given

referent may be generally important, "it is very likely that with

respect to a specific behavior, this person's opinions may not be impor-

tant" (p. 479). Operationalizing MC at a general level,which is inde-

pendent of the particular behavior under investigation, seems inconsis-

tent with Fishbein's (Ajzen and Fishbein 1977; Fishbein and Ajzen 1975)

arguments concerning the need for correspondence between predictors and

criteria. This appears analogous to asking one to evaluate some

consumption-related consequence (e.g., sweet taste) with specifying the

product context (coffee versus soda). There appear, however, to be

several potential advantages to using a general level of specificity.

Ahtola (1976) has suggested that a general measure is statistically con-

venient since it allows MC to be independent of NB. Further, a general

level should minimize the measure's sensitivity to the previously dis-

cussed problem of the degree of consistency between the person's and
the referent's desires.

One alternative level for calibrating MC is a situation specific

level. That is, respondents would be asked to indicate how much they
wanted to comply with a referent in the particular situation. While a

situation specific level would meet the need for correspondence between

predictor and criterion variables, it is also likely to be particularly
sensitive to the degree of consistency between what the person wants to

do and the behavior the referent prefers.

Fishbein (1976) has stated that he is "leaning" toward a moderate

level of specificity. MC would thus be measured with respect to a par-

ticular behavioral domain (e.g., how much a person wants to comply with

a referent in regard to shopping behaviors). Such a level, however,

would appear to be susceptible to the same potential shortcomings of

the alternative levels. Not only may a moderate level fail to reflect

a referent's influence in a given situation, it may also tap the atti-
tudinal component. Another problem lies in the subjectiveness involved
in deciding what constitutes a moderate level.

In summary, none of the existing rationales advocating a particular

level of specificity provides sufficient justification for the adoption

of that level. A general level is perhaps better on operational grounds

as it should avoid tapping normative beliefs and the attitudinal com-

ponent, but it appears inconsistent with Fishbein's arguments concern-

ing the need for correspondence between the criterion variable and its

predictors. Conversely, a situation specific level meets the need for

correspondence but may enhance the amount of confounding in the measure.

A moderate level does not appear to be a fairly sensible compromise

since it lacks the desired degree of correspondence and still may

reflect unwanted sensitivity to normative beliefs and attitudes.

Scant evidence bearing on this issue is presently available.

Glassman and Birchmore (1974) tested the effect of MC specificity upon

the SN =CNB MCj across seven contraceptive behaviors. In contrast,

Miniard and Cohen (1981) found that LNB MCj failed to correlate with
intentions only when MC was calibrated at a general level. Thus, a gen-

eral level was predictively inferior to the moderate and situation spe-

cific levels, with the later levels yielding essentially the same predic-

tive power. Miniard and Cohen (1981) also tested the various levels'

sensitivity to manipulations of attitudinal and normative influences.

Expectations that MC's sensitivity to attitudinal influences would be an

increasing function of the measure's situation specificity were not

confirmed as all levels were equally affected by the attitudinal mani-

pulation. This finding may have been due, however, to the particular

procedures of the study since prior to responding to MC subjects were
aware of the particular situation under investigation. Miniard and

Cohen thus suggested that it may be necessary to assess MC prior to dis-

closure of the behavioral context before a general and perhaps moderate

levels' insensitivity to attitudinal influences emerges. While this

should enhance the levels' immunity to such influences, it may occur at

the expense of their predictive power.

In the beginning of this section, several illustrations were pre-

sented of the diagnostic problems created by measures that do not

fully or distinctly represent the influences they presumably capture.
The importance of sound measurements is further demonstrated below.

Accuracy of the Component Weights
One key validity concern is the model's ability via the component

weights to correctly identify both the existence and relative impor-

tance of salient attitudinal and normative influences. If, for example,

both attitudinal and normative influences were equally important in

determining intentions, one would hope that the component weights would

accurately represent this "state of nature." Similarly, a given deter-

minant should receive a significant weight when the determinant is in

fact important in guiding intentions and should not receive a signifi-

cant weight when it does not influence intentions. If this were not the

case, then the diagnostic usefulness of the model would be limited.

Several factors could threaten the accuracy of the component weights
and thus the model's diagnosticity. As noted above in the discussion of

the model's sufficiency, the validity of statements concerning the com-

ponents' relative importance is dependent upon the degree to which the
model fully identifies the determinants of intentions. An additional

factor is the measures' accuracy in representing attitudinal and norma-

tive influences. Recall that Miniard and Cohen (1981) found SN unable

to mediate the influence captured by MC upon intentions. This implies

that the normative component may be less accurate when SN is used for

representing normative influences.

A major threat to the accuracy of the component weights is the

existence of multicollinearity among the components. Regression pro-

cedures are typically employed for estimating the weights (i.e., beta

coefficients) associated with each model component. However, the pre-

sence of multicollinearity makes the estimation and interpretation of

such beta coefficiencies difficult (Green 1978, pp. 227-230; Johnston

1963, pp. 201-207). Tests for estimating the weights' significance are

sensitive to the amount of overlap or multicollinearity among the pre-

dictors such that higher degrees of multicollinearity lower the likeli-

hood of rejecting the null hypothesis that beta equals zero. Multi-

collinearity can thus produce situations where important variables

appear insignificant. Conversely, predictors that are unrelated to the

criterion may appear important as reflected by a significant beta coef-

ficient. Such occurences have been discussed under the label of "sup-

pressor" variables (Cohen and Cohen 1975; Darlington 1968).

Problems attributable to multicollinearity may also occur when the

diagnostic goal is the determination of which component is more impor-

tant in a given situation. In this instance, it is necessary to test

whether the beta coefficients differ in magnitude (Draper and Smith,

1966, pp. 72-77). As before, tests of this nature are sensitive to the

presence of multicollinearity such that greater degrees of multicol-

linearity lower the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis that

the betas are equal,which produces a more conservative test. Conse-

quently, the existence of overlap between the attitudinal and normative

components impairs one's ability to identify their relative importance.

Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) have stated that the weights associated

with the attitudinal and normative components are "proportional to

their relative importance in the prediction of behavioral intentions"

(pp. 302-303). However, such an interpretation is only valid when the

components are independent. When the components are not independent,

the overlap is arbitrarily distributed between the weights. There-

fore, the weights cannot be interpreted as being representative of

the components' relative importance.

As an illustration, consider one possible situation in which the

attitudinal component incorporates much of the influence that should be

reflected under the normative component but where the normative com-

ponent captures only that influence which it is intended to represent.

In this case, the weight associated with the normative component will

understate the true importance of that component while the attitudinal

component weight will overstate the importance of this source of influ-

ence. Consequently, the weights would provide a distorted picture of

the components' relative importance.

In the preceding section, evidence was presented which indicated

that a substantial amount of overlap presently exists among the Fish-

bein model components and that the Fishbein normative measures may pro-

vide inaccurate representations of normative influences. Such evidence

is limited, however, in that it only establishes the potential for

inaccurate weights. It may be that, even in the presence of such prob-

lems, the weights correctly reflect the salient influences. It would

seem reasonable to expect, for example, that some degree of overlap

among the components could exist without substantively harming the

weights' accuracy. What is needed, then, is a direct test of this model


Two possible criteria for evaluating the accuracy of the weights

(1) the weights' ability to accurately represent the absence

or presence of salient attitudinal and normative influ-

ences, and

(2) whether the weights differ in their relative sizes in

expected ways.

Under the first criterion, the normative weight, for instance, should be

significant when normative influences are important determinants of

intentions. Similarly, this weight should not be significant when norm-

'ative influences are unimportant. Failure to confirm these expectations

would cast serious doubt upon the model's diagnostic utility. The

second criterion is less concerned with the accuracy of a particular

weight. Rather, the focus is on the relative magnitude of the weights.

Drawing upon some conceptual framework, one may hypothesize that a given

component should be more important (i.e., have a larger weight) in

situation A, while the remaining component should dominate intentions in

situation B. Note that support for one criterion does not automatically

imply support for the other. For example, one might be led to predict

that both sources of influence are important (Criterion 1), although

the attitudinal component should be more important than the normative

component (Criterion 2). If the results yielded a large significant

attitudinal weight but a small insignificant normative weight, only the

latter prediction would be supported.

Research examining the weights' accuracy has almost exclusively

relied upon the second criterion. Using the Prisoner's Dilemma game,

Ajzen (1971) and Ajzen and Fishbein (1970) told subjects to consider

themselves partners (cooperation condition) or to do better than the

other person (competitive condition). It was hypothesized that norma-

tive considerations would carry greater weight in the cooperation con-

dition while attitudinal considerations would be more important in the

competition condition. The observed patterns of regression weights

supported these predictions. Similar results derived from this experi-

mental paradigm are reported by Songer-Nocks (1976).

Wilson, Mathews, and Monoky (1972) found partial support for expec-

ted differences in the weights' relative magnitudes. As predicted, the

attitudinal component received a larger weight when the other person in

a buyer-seller dyad was described as being dissimilar to the subject.

The attitudinal component was also dominant when the other was described

as being similar, although it was expected that the normative component

would be of greater importance. One might question this latter hypothe-

sis since it is not evident that similarity by itself would provide some

unknown other with the social power necessary for dominating another's


Evidence failing to support hypothesized differences in the compon-

ents' relative weights within a marketing context is reported by Ryan

(1978b) in which social influences were predicted to be more important

for Ultra Brite than Crest since the former's promotional activities

emphasized social interactions (e.g., the Ultra Brite user would receive

favorable reactions from others). The results contradicted this

hypothesis as the normative component weight was larger than the atti-

tudinal weight for Crest while the reverse was true for Ultra Brite.

The dominance of the normative component for intentions to purchase

Crest is not altogether surprising since respondents might report that

important others think they should use Crest and thereby avoid tooth


Evidence addressing the weights' accuracy in representing the pre-

sence or absence of salient normative and attitudinal influences is

virtually non-existent with the single exception of an investigation

reported by Miniard (1981). In the first of two experiments, the model

appropriately reflected the lack of salient normative influences (i.e.,

the normative weight was not significant). However, in the second

experiment where normative influences were salient, the normative com-

ponent weight achieved significance when the CNB.MC. formulation was
'employed and MC was calibrated at either a moderate or situation spe-

cific level, but failed to do so when MC was assessed at a global level

or when SN was used to operationalize the normative component. This lat-

ter finding casts doubt upon the accuracy of the model expressed in

equation 1 in detecting the presence of salient normative influences.
Indirect evidence concerning the accuracy of the component weights

can be attained by a comparison of the correlation and regression

analysis reported in several investigations. Such comparisons indicate

that the weights may not be accurately reflecting the true importance of

a given component as it is often the case that a component correlates

significantly with intentions yet receives an insignificant beta weight.

Fishbein (1966), for example, reported that males' attitude toward pre-

marital sexual intercourse had a significant correlation (r = .52,

p < .01) with their intention but received an insignificant weight in

the regression equation. The same result with respect to ENB.MC. is
reported by Ajzen and Fishbein (1972) where the normative component

weight was insignificant although CNB.MC. was significantly correlated

(r = .59, p < .01) with intentions. An extreme instance of these incon-

sistencies where behavior was the criterion is provided by Ajzen and

Fishbein (1970). As presented in Table 4 of their results, both AB and
NB were significantly (p < .01) related to behavior but neither measure

received a significant weight. The findings of Warshaw (1980) clearly

indicate reason for concern in using the model to analyze consumer's

purchase intentions as the regression and correlational analyses
involving the normative component were inconsistent in each of the four

product categories examined. Further examples of significant correla-

tions and insignificant weights can be found in Bonfield (1974), Green-

stein, Miller, and Weldon (1979), Harrell and Bennett (1974), Jaccard

and Davidson (1975), Pomazal and Brown (1977), Pomazal and Jaccard

(1976), Ryan and Bonfield (1980), and Schwartz and Tessler (1972).

It should be pointed out that evidence of a given component receiv-

ing a significant correlation but an insignificant weight cannot be

unambiguously interpreted as evidence against the weights' accuracy. It

may be the case that the component should not correlate significantly
with intentions. This perhaps counterintuitive situation could occur if

the theoretical system underlying the model produces overlapping con-
structs (i.e., model, components) and the measures used to assess these

constructs reflect this overlap. If, for example, the measure employed

to operationalize the normative component was sensitive to attitudinal
influences (i.e., the normative measure also tapped the attitudinal com-

ponent), the normative component might correlate with intentions even
when intentions are solely under attitudinal control. In such situ-

ations, the lack of a significant normative weight is quite appropriate.

However, the fact that the measure was inappropriately correlated with


intentions raises the issue of the measure's accuracy. Therefore, such

inconsistencies between the regression and correlational analyses

threaten the model's diagnostic usefulness, although one cannot unam-

biguously attribute it to the accuracy of either the measure or the



As previously argued, there is often a pragmatic need for under-

standing the extent a given behavior is based upon personal versus

normative considerations. Evidence generally supportive of an inten-

tions-behavior relationship, the postulated causal flow, and the suf-

ficiency of decomposing intentions into simply attitudinal and norma-

tive components was also presented. What is not offered by the Fish-

bein model is a basis for separating the personal and normative reasons

for behavior. The development of such a model is the goal of this


It is perhaps useful in developing the following conceptualization
to first consider the manner in which referent others influence our

behavior. A fundamental distinction often drawn in the reference group

literature is the informational versus normative role others play in

our lives (see, for example, Deutsch and Gerard 1955, Festinger 1950,

Jones and Gerard 1967, Kelley.1952, an'd Thibaut -and .Str'ickiland .1956).

Throughout our existence, the opinions and actions of others are an

important source of information about our environment as well as about

ourselves. Just as with the information that is presented in a journal,

the information provided by others will, if accepted, become internal-

ized into the individual's belief and value systems. The behavioral

impact produced by informational social influence is not dependent upon
the behavior's visibility to the influencing agent since the information

is valued for its own sake. Further, much of the information gathered


from others will become disassociated from its source so that its influ-

ence upon behavior will continue to persist so long as the person

believes and retains the information even though the source of informa-

tion has been forgotten.

In contrast, others are often influential because of their ability

to mediate rewards and punishments which the person seeks to attain or

avoid. A person may, for example, publicly conform with the opinions

of her/his boss to avoid losing her/his job, even though s/he privately

disagrees with the employer's position. Unlike informational social

influence, the potential for normative social influence to alter beha-

vior is directly dependent upon the visibility of the behavior to the

influencing agent. While the person might suppress her/his own private

beliefs and agree with the boss when the boss is present, we would expect

the person to voice her/his own convictions when such expression would

escape the employer's awareness.

Consideration of others' ability to exert informational and norma-

tive influence is a critical step in the development of a behavioral

intentions model that attempts to separate personal versus normative

considerations. It seems clear that the inclusion of a broadly based

social influence construct (i.e., a construct representing both norma-

tive and informational influences) within a behavioral intentions model

already containing a construct representing the individual's personal or

private evaluation of the behavior will lead to overlapping model com-

ponents. This is because many of an individual's personal consider-

ations originate in the social environment. For example, the belief

"taking the medicine will cure my illness," while a product of the doc-

tor's .informational influence, is one consideration that would underlie

the person's private evaluation of taking the medicine.

Even if the conceptual domain of the normative component is restric-

ted to referent others' normative power, the development of unique atti-

tudinal and normative components also requires a narrower conceptual-

ization of the attitudinal component than is contained under the Fishbein

model. Within the Fishbein system, all behavioral considerations inclu-

ding those reflective of normative influence are incorporated into the

attitudinal component. Any behavioral outcome, even those that are

mediated by others, is viewed as a determinant of the Fishbein attitudi-

nal component. Such a conceptualization of attitude would thus lead

to a component that would tap normative social influence. Furthermore,

as argued by Miniard and Cohen (1981), "the traditional distinction

between complying with others for normative reasons and engaging in a

behavior because it is consistent with one's attitudes and values is

not only lost [in a conceptual framework such as that underlying the

Fishbein model], it is made trivial" (p. 12).

The following formulation therefore attempts to maintain a distinc-

tion between one's personal or private evaluation of a behavior and

one's evaluation of performing a behavior for normative reasons. This

proposed formulation will move beyond the "surface structure" distinc-

tions underlying the Fishbein model (which as previously indicated con-

tributes to the overlap among the components) by focusing on the person's

reasons (i.e., the particular consequences that the person considers)

for behavioral performance. The problem then becomes one of how these

various reasons or consequences are allocated into "attitudinal" and

"normative" components. The basis for distinguishing between these

components under the proposed system is whether a given consequence or

outcome is under the control of another. Consequences classified as

normative would be those mediated by others. Those consequences that

are not controlled by others would be placed into the attitudinal or

personal component. At a symbolic level, the proposed formulation can

be expressed as:

8 2 BI = (PE)w1 + (NE)Wi. (6)
where B is the behavior, BI is the intention to perform behavior B, PE

is the personal evaluation of performing behavior B (i.e., the evalu-

ation based solely on personal considerations), NE is the normative

evaluation of performing behavior B (i.e., the evaluation based only on

normative considerations), and w1 and w2 are empirically derived weights

representing the importance of the personal and normative components in

determining intentions.

In order to more clearly define the conceptual content of the pro-

posed attitudinal and normative components, it is perhaps useful to

relate these components to the processes of social influence discussed

by Kelman (1961). The first influence process, compliance, describes

a condition in which an individual accepts influence in order to

attain certain rewards or avoid certain punishments under the control of

others. Compliance processes would thus underlie those behavioral

consequences that are based upon the reactions or responses of relevant

others to the behavior. Such responses could range from overt actions

(e.g., "my parents will punish me if I do X") to the perceptions others

form about the actor as a result of the behavior (e.g., "others will

admire me if I do X"). Importantly, a consequence reflective of com-

pliance pressures need not explicitly state the role of important

others. For example, one might comply with the wishes of one's

employer in order to "avoid being fired from my job." While this con-

sequence does not explicitly identify the employer's mediating role,

it is clear that the employer's responses are instrumental in its


Identification, Kelman's second process, occurs when an individual

adopts a viewpoint or behavior because it is associated with a self-

defining relationship to another person or group. Such influence is

accepted to maintain the individual's self-image rather than to evoke

some desired response from the referent. The referent simply serves as

a "real world" illustration of the desired self-image. In his discus-

sion on identification, Kelman states that the individual attempts to

meet the expectations of the referent. This has been incorrectly

interpreted as implying that the referent's overt reaction is an impor-

tant element of identification. For example, in an illustration of

identification-based influence, Smith (1976) states that "B behaves in

a manner complimentary to A in the hope that this pleases A" (p. 1089).

Both Kelman (1961) and French and Raven (1959) explicitly state that

the referent's reaction is inconsequential to the satisfaction gained

from such conformity. Smith's example seems more consistent with comp-

pliance-basedd influence since the referent's reaction represents the

desired outcome. Thus, when one conforms with such expectations to

achieve some desired response, we are dealing with influence based on

compliance; but when the person conforms with such expectations solely

because s/he believes them to be consistent with the desired self-

image, we are dealing with identification. Accordingly, consequences

such as "performing the behavior leads to being similar to referent X"

would reflect identification-based influence.

The final process, internalization, refers to the acceptance of

social influence because it is congruent with the individual's value

system and perception of reality (e.g., accepting expert information

from a trustworthy source). The individual changes her/his behavior

because s/he believes the change to have personal utility for herself/

himself and not to incur some response from the referent.

One can more broadly distinguish between the three processes by

which others influence our behavior on the basis of the reactions of

important others. Under compliance, others' responses are intricately

linked to the source of satisfaction from engaging in the behavior.

Such responses may simply play a mediating role in attaining a valued

outcome (e.g., pleasing the boss so as to avoid being fired from one's

job). Alternatively, a referent's reaction itself may be the desired

outcome (e.g, having my spouse perceive me in a favorable manner). In

contrast, identification and internalization represent influence pro-

cesses that are not dependent upon the person considering whether

others will be aware of her/his behavior and whether they would respond

in a desired fashion.

This distinction between the three processes is consistent with the

basis for separating the personal and normative components of the pro-

posed model. Achieving behavioral consequences under others' control

would require eliciting the appropriate overt or psychological response

from others. Thus, compliance-based influences represent the concep-

tual domain of the proposed normative component. The remaining proces-

ses of internalization and identification which are not manifested in

behavioral consequences involving others' reactions would be captured

by the proposed personal component. This component would, of course,
also represent those consequences of non-social origins (e.g., pur-

chasing a reasonably priced brand).

Thus, the impact of identification and internalization processes

would be registered through the personal component. This is because

the proposed formulation disregards, in a Lewinian sense, questions of
initial origin in favor of an emphasis on one's perception of the con-

temporaneous "location" of the forces. Many of the salient consequences
that would be labelled as "personal" may indeed be the result of past

social influences. While acknowledging the possible origins of a per-

sonal consideration, the present conceptualization partitions the

salient consequences that are considered at a particular point in time

on the basis of their relevance to others' reactions. Such a division

should reveal the emphasis individuals place upon personal versus social

goals in their behavioral decisions.

The proposed formulation does not, then, categorize salient con-

sequences as personal or normative simply on the basis of such surface-
level distinctions as whether social others are "involved" in the out-

come. As illustrated above, a consequence reflective of normative

influence need not explicitly identify the mediating role of others.

Further, it is possible for a personal consequence to involve important

others. For example, it may be the case that one of the consequences

underlying a particular act is that the behavior produces a favorable

outcome for others. Thus, a wealthy person may donate money to some

charity because s/he wishes to assist the needy. If this person valued

the consequence "help others" as an end to itself, it would be placed

into the personal category. If this consequence were valued, however,

because it was perceived as a means to eliciting favorable reactions

from others (e.g., others will think I am a kind and generous person),

it would then be classified as a normative consequence. Accordingly,

successful separation of the two components requires identifying

whether a given outcome is valued for its normative implications.

One important difference between compliance and the remaining

influence processes is behavioral visibility. Compliance is directly

dependent upon the extent to which important others will have knowledge

about the behavior. Since others cannot respond to behaviors they are

unaware of, private behaviors (i.e., ones that are not open to surveil-

lance by the relevant referents) should be unaffected by compliance-

based influences. A behavior's visibility is not a necessary condition,

however, for internalization and identification to occur. Therefore,

the value associated with a normative consequence should be sensitive

to the visibility of a given behavior

consequences should be unaffected by

This differential sensitivity to

be extremely useful in understanding

particular consequence. Consider the

discussed above, this outcome would b

helping others was valued for its own

normative if helping others is valued

favorable reactions from others. The

whereas the evaluation of personal

the behavior's visibility.

the behavior's visibility can

the source of value underlying a

consequence "help others." As

e categorized as a personal one if

sake but would be categorized as

because it leads to eliciting

means for identifying which of

these two sources of value underlies the consequence is available by

ascertaining the impact perceived visibility of the behavior would have

upon the person's evaluation of the "helping others" outcome. The value

associated with helping others as a means to an end (such as having

others make desired attributions about me) would directly vary with the

person's belief that others would be aware of her/his actions. Per-

ceived awareness would have no impact, however, on the person's evalu-

ation of the outcomes when helping others is valued for its own sake.

Particular care must be taken in the elicitation procedures

employed for identifying the salient consequences underlying a given
behavior since it is possible for a consequence that is truly normative

in nature to be operationalized in such a manner that totally obscures

its true basis of value. Asking subjects to list those product features

that they consider in choosing an automobile is unlikely to evoke nor-

mative consequences. Consequently, even when purchase behaviors involve

normative considerations, elicitation procedures may guide subjects to

verbalize such consequences in terms of product dimensions. Automobile

attributes such as styling or power may be important to a consumer

partly because of their normative implications (e.g., projecting a mas-
culine image to others), although it is possible for such dimensions to

have value for personal reasons (e.g., the person who needs a powerful

car because of a frequently occurring need to enter fast-moving traffic).

Specification of salient consequences at the attribute level may there-

fore lack the precision necessary for disentangling normative and per-

sonal considerations. Implementation of the proposed formulation would

require identifying the basis for an attribute's importance and thus
provide a clearer picture of consumers' motivations. As Calder and

Burnkrant (1977) point out, the representation of a normative conse-

quence at the attribute level can be misleading since the true source
of value satisfaction stems not from the product itself, but from the

consumer's believe about how others will perceive her/him.

Two additional points need to be made. First, the preceding dis-

cussion should not be construed as implying that the separation of

personal and normative influences can be easily achieved. Separating

these two sources of influence is a formidable challenge, even within

the confines of an experimental setting (e.g., Miniard and Cohen 1979).

Second, it is important to acknowledge that there are many ways to

"divide up the world." One basis of support for the proposed parti-

tioning procedure is the pragmatic value in understanding the extent

to which a given behavior is determined by the reactions of important

others versus considerations which are independent of such referent

reactions. Such information provides useful knowledge in deciding

whether a product should be positioned to the buyer as a means for eli-

citing favorable responses from others. The proposed division is also

consistent with the traditional distinction between complying with

others for normative reasons versus performing a behavior because it is

consistent with one's personal beliefs and values. In addition, confin-

ing the social influence component to simply compliance-based influ-

ences may in fact be necessary. The beliefs and values an individual

holds as a result of internalization and identification processes will

often become disassociated from their social sources. This is not the

case under compliance where, as noted by Miniard and Cohen (1979),

"there may be considerable value in the individual keeping his public

opinion or behavior separate from any discrepant private attitudes, in

the absence of surveillance or in an altered social reward structure

the individual's behavior might well change" (p. 104).


Research Goals

The purpose of the following experiment is to examine the adequacy
of the proposed model in representing and separating personal and norma-

tive reasons for engaging in a behavior. Toward this end, factors

thought to affect either the personal or normative components were

manipulated in an experimental setting. By varying an antecedent vari-
able of the normative component, for example, one can examine a norma-

tive measure's convergent validity through its sensitivity to the man-

ipulation. This same manipulation's impact upon a measure of personal

influence would also provide evidence concerning that measure's dis-

criminant validity (i.e., the measure's immunity to unwanted normative

influences). Support for the proposed model would be attained if per-

sonal (normative) measures displayed high degrees of sensitivity to the

manipulation influencing the personal (normative) component and low

degrees of sensitivity to the manipulation influencing the normative

(personal) component.

It is possible, of course, for some overlap among the components to

exist without substantively harming the model's diagnostic usefulness.

A certain level of multicollinearity could be tolerated before the com-

ponent weights become inaccurate in representing the existence of sal-
ient personal and normative influences. Consequently, a direct test

of the model's ability via the component weights to accurately identify

the presence of salient influences will be undertaken.


Subjects were led to believe that they were participating in an

experiment concerning group decision making. After reading case mater-

ials and receiving written communications supposedly from the group

leader and other group members, subjects completed a questionnaire and

recommended one of several alternative brands for market introduction.

Subjects were randomly assigned to the cells of a 2 (Attitude) x 2 (Nor-

mative) x 2 (Model) factorial design. The first manipulation, Attitude,

was intended to vary subjects' personal evaluation of the behavior

(i.e., recommending the same brand as the leader) by altering the suit-

ability of the brand recommended by the leader for market introduction.

For some subjects, the leader suggested a suboptimal brand whereas for

others the leader recommended a brand that was not inferior to the

remaining alternative brands. Subjects' personal evaluation of the

behavior should be more favorable when the leader recommends an optimal

brand than when a suboptimal brand is suggested by the leader.

The second manipulation, Normative, attempted to influence sub-

jects' normative evaluation of the behavior. The group in which the sub-

ject was a member was given the potential to exert normative influence

by means of rewarding those subjects choosing to comply with the group

leader (i.e., compliance was a necessary precondition for reward

eligibility). This reward took the form of a "group member award"

which for some groups was worth $20 whereas in other groups the award

was valued for its own sake. It was expected that subjects' normative

evaluation of the behavior would be more favorable when recommending

the same brand as the leader permitted the subject to receive a $20

reward than when the award was not given a financial value.

The final factor, Model, involved a measurement manipulation which

required varying the questionnaire subjects received during the experi-

ment. Part of the subjects responded to the questionnaire containing

the measures necessary for implementing the proposed model whereas the

remaining subjects completed a questionnaire containing the Fishbein


Ninety-five male and female undergraduate marketing students par-

iticipated in the experiment as partial completion of class requirements.

Each experimental group consisted of five subjects.

Procedure and Independent Variables

Figure 2 contains a flow chart of the major stages of the experi-

ment. At the beginning of the session, subjects were given a handout

(Appendix A) explaining the purported purpose of the experiment and its

attendant procedures which the experimenter read aloud. The handout

began by stating that subjects were participating in a study of the fac-

tors (e.g., the communication patterns among the group, the time

allowed to reach a decision, the effect of group cohesiveness) which

influence group decision making and that they would form a marketing

consulting group that would make recommendations regarding the market

introduction of a new product.

Subjects were then informed that each person would be placed in a

separate room. It was explained that because friends often signed up

for the same session it was necessary to conceal their identities so

Subjects assembled in main room

Handout given to subjects and reviewed

Subjects go to separate rooms
and begin reading case materials

Experimenter enters room and:
(a) informs subject s/he is the last to send message
(b) delivers and explains supplemental material

Experimenter delivers fictitious
message from "leader"

Experimenter sequentially delivers fictitious
message from group members

Subjects write message which is given to
the experimenter for circulation to group

Subjects respond to questionnaire

Subjects record brand recommendation on appropriate form

Subjects reassembled in main room and debrief ed

Figure 2. Flowchart of the Experiment

that "friendship" would not influence the results. This isolation pro-

vided the control necessary, as explained below, for implementing the

various experimental manipulations and procedures. It was then

explained in the handout that the experimenter would randomly select

one of the participants to serve as a group leader. The major respon-

sibility of the leader was described as making an initial recommenda-

tion concerning which brand should be selected for market introduction.

Subjects were informed that, unless the experimenter told them other-

wise, they would be a group member. None of the subjects were in fact

selected as leader. This permitted utilization of all subjects as well

as allowing the control necessary for executing the experimental mani-


The following section of the handout stated that a central factor

under investigation was the type and amount of communication that tran-

spired within the group. Subjects were told that their group would use

a particular communication pattern known as a "Sequential Communication

Network" which required the following restrictions: (1) each member

(including the leader) would be allowed to send one written message to

the rest of the group, (2) the message could not contain a question

requiring a direct response from the remaining members, (3) the

leader would send the first message, and (4) the communication order

for the remaining members would be randomly determined. Concerning this

latter point, subjects were informed that they would be told when it

was their turn to send a message.

Next, the case materials describing the marketing problem were out-

lined. A very general overview of the case materials was provided.

Subjects were told that they would be asked to recommend one of seven

alternative brands of dog food for market introduction. The following

section informed subjects that, upon completion of the case materials,

they would begin sending their communications through the experimenter.

Subjects were again reminded not to write their communication until

they had received the messages from those members who were selected to

go before them. Subjects were also instructed to print their messages

so as to minimize the chances that someone would recognize their hand-


Subjects were then told that, after they had completed studying the
case materials and had exchanged the various messages, the experimenter

would provide them with a questionnaire. Upon completion, they were to

place the completed questionnaire in an unmarked manila envelope

(explained to subjects as one of the procedures employed for maintain-

ing the anonymity of their responses). After responding to the ques-
tionnaire, subjects were to make their brand recommendation on the

appropriate form. The experimenter would collect these recommendations

and circulate them among the group. The leader would then tabulate

the results on a blank piece of paper.

The next section of the handout attempted to provide the group

with a power basis for exerting normative influence. It was decided

that one potentially viable basis would be to endow the group with the

ability to administer rewards. A similar power basis has previously

been employed (Kelman 1974) for investigating compliance processes.

The group's ability to reward the subject was explained to subjects
through the pretext that one factor under investigation was the effect

of group cohesiveness. The handout stated that, because of the

temporary nature of the group, it was unlikely that cohesiveness would

be as prevalent in an experimental group as it would be in more "nat-

ural" groups. Subjects were informed that it would be necessary to

compensate for this limitation by rewarding that member demonstrating

the highest level of "team spirit." This reward was labelled a "group

member award" and was to be given by the group through a voting system.

It was stated in the handout and reemphasized by the experimenter that

a person's vote should be based "solely upon a member's willingness to

work in a harmonious fashion and upon a member's loyalty to the group."

Subjects were instructed that their "selection should not be based upon

whether or not the person recommends, in your opinion the 'best' brand"

since "we have already examined this particular aspect in other groups."

Subjects were therefore told that they could not vote for someone

"unless he or she acts in a cohesive manner which, in this situation,

is defined as recommending the same brand as the leader." The experi-

menter also added that subjects should take notes when receiving the

communications since this might help them in making their voting deci-

sion. The nature of this "award" provided the major basis for imple-

menting the Normative (Norm) manipulation. In the Normative-strong

(Norms) condition where the group was expected to have a strong influ-
ence on subjects' behavior, the award was defined as a $20 cash prize.

The award was not given any monetary value in the Normative-weak

(Norm ) condition where the group's influence should be substantially

Subjects were then informed that after the voting by group mem-

bers had been completed, they were to regroup in the main room and

turn in the various experimental materials. Subjects were told that

this would mark the end of the study and that any questions they might

have would be discussed at this time. The handout ended with a chrono-

logical review of the steps and procedures of the study.

At this point, the experimenter clarified any misperceptions sub-

jects had concerning the task and procedures. Subjects were then led

to separate rooms and began reading the case materials (Appendix B)

describing a producer of dog food who was considering the entry of a

new product into the canned dog food market. These materials contained

a breakdown of the market segments within the dog food market in terms

of the benefits sought by segment members. Three major segments were

'described: a price segment, a convenience segment, and a "multi-factor"

segment in which segment members considered several product dimensions

(i.e., the brand's appeal to dog, nutrition, price, and convenience)

in choosing a brand of dog food. It was stated that the company had

decided for various reasons to develop a brand specifically aimed at

this latter segment. Also included in the case material was a table

that summarized the ratings obtained from a sample of consumers drawn

from the selected target market of seven alternative brands (identified

alphabetically from A to G) under consideration by the company. For

each dimension, a brand received one of five possible ratings: very

high, high, average, low, and very low. The subject's task at this

point was to "think about which one of the brands you as the marketing
consultant personally believe would be most likely to be well received

by the multi-factor segment."

The Attitude (Att) manipulation was partly accomplished through

varying the ratings of the various brands under consideration for mar-

ket introduction. In the Attitude-favorable (Att ) condition where

subjects were expected to have a favorable attitude toward the leader's

brand, the brand (i.e., brand A) which would be recommended by the

leader received ratings of very high, high, low, and very high on the

appeal to dog, nutrition, price, and convenience dimensions, respec-

tively. Brand A's ratings were identical to the ratings assigned to

brand D and superior to the ratings of any of the remaining brands.

In the Attitude-unfavorable (Att ) condition where subjects were

expected to have an unfavorable (or at least a less favorable) atti-

tude toward the leader's brand, brand A received ratings of high, high,

low, and average on appeal, nutrition, price and convenience, respec-

tively. .Again brand A was identical to brand D and superior to all of

the remaining brands except for brand F. While brand A had a lower

price than F (i.e., low versus average), brand F received superior

ratings on nutrition (very high) and convenience (high). The two brands

were equivalent in the appeal to dog dimension. At this point one can-

not unambiguously argue whether A or F is superior since this would

depend on the relative importance of the product dimensions. Subjects

were provided, however, additional information (discussed below) con-

cerning the importance of these dimensions to target consumers which

clearly indicated the superiority of brand F.

While subjects were reading the case material, the experimenter

entered the room and told the subjects that s/he would be the last

member to send a communication. This was done so that subjects would

receive messages from the group prior to sending their message and thus

have a clear indication of the group's expectation for their behavior.

In the Norms condition, subjects were told that they should not per-

ceive that being the last to communicate would be a disadvantage in

terms of winning the award since the last person in the prior groups had

won the award more often than any other member. Subjects in the

Normw condition did not receive any information concerning their

chances at winning the award. This information concerning the likeli-

hood of receiving financial rewards was intended to further magnify the

differential impact of normative considerations between the Norm con-


In addition, subjects were informed that the last member in this

group would receive more information than the rest of the group in the

form of a "supplemental report" which the experimenter then handed to

the subject. The experimenter then briefly described the contents of

the report and instructed subjects that they could not refer to this

report in their communications since to do so would arouse suspicions

on the part of the remaining group members. The information contained

in this supplement report (Appendix C) was varied between the Att con-

ditions and represented the final phase of this manipulation. This

report was intended to either confirm or disconfirm the adequacy of

the leader's brand recommendation. Subjects in the Attf condition
received a report which stated that target consumers attached the great-

est (and equal) importance to the appeal, nutrition, and price dimen-

sions with convenience being somewhat important. This information, in

conjunction with the brand ratings contained in the case materials,

clearly indicated that brands A or D (which were identical) were the

optimum choices. The supplemental report therefore acted to confirm

the optimality of the brand which the leader would recommend for market


Subjects in the Attu condition, however, received a supplemental
report that disconfirmed the adequacy of the leader's brand recom-
mendation. In this version, nutrition was stated to be the most

important determinant of target members' brand selection and that a

brand should be very high in nutrition (recall that only F received

such a rating in this condition). Appeal to dog and price were

reported to be of the next greatest importance. Concerning price, it
was stated that although segment members preferred a low priced brand

(which brand A was), segment members "would pay more for a brand if

they believed they would get more for their money." This statement was

intended to lead subjects to the conclusion that although F was

more expensive than A, target consumers would prefer F since it pro-

vided the desired level of nutrition as well as being more convenient.

With respect to convenience, this factor was described as being of less

importance than the remaining dimensions although it was "still con-
sidered by consumers in making their purchase decisions." Therefore,

because the brand recommended by the leader (i.e., brand A) was an

optimal choice in the Attf condition and superior to the brand recom-
mended in the Attu condition, subjects' personal evaluation of brand A

was expected to be significantly more favorable in the Attf condition.
As noted above, subjects were led to believe that they were the

only person in the entire group to receive the supplemental report.
This deception was intended to "explain" the group's suboptimal brand

selection occurring in the Attu condition. If subjects perceived
that other members had access to the additional information, this would

create a situation in which the subject is confronted with a group

that unanimously supports a brand that is clearly inferior to another

alternative. In addition to the potential problem of enhancing sub-

jects' suspicions, such a situation could also induce normative con-

tamination in the Att manipulation. Since the group would make a

"better" choice in the Attf condition that in the Attu condition, sub-

jects' perceptions of the group's intelligence and abilities and thus

overall attractiveness could differ between the attitudinal conditions.

To the extent the group's basis for exerting normative influence

exceeds simply its financial power (i.e., the group's attractiveness is

a component of its normative power basis), it is possible that this

intended manipulation of attitude could alter the group's ability to

exert normative influence. This would severely threaten the soundness

of employing this manipulation for testing the attitudinal sensitivity

of a measure designed to capture the group's normative influence.

Therefore, by telling each subject that only s/he received the extra

information, the subject would hopefully "understand" the group's sub-

optimal selection in the Attu condition which in turn should minimize
the likelihood of normative contamination in the Att manipulation.

Measures aimed at determining whether this .manipulation did in fact

impact upon the group's normative influence potential are discussed in

the next section.

One possible danger in the implementation of this precautionary

procedure is that it may heighten the importance subjects attach to

attitudinal considerations, particularly in the Attu condition. Sub-

jects receiving this treatment might possibly infer that the experi-

menter expects them to go against the group and recommend the

best brand simply because the experimenter has provided them with

additional information that reveals the inadequacy of the group's


selection. Because of this and other concerns involving the potential

effect of the experimenter upon subjects' behavior, measures discussed

in the next section that will provide some indication of the experi-

menter's influence were included in the questionnaire.

After subjects had completed the case materials, the experimenter

reentered the room and delivered the leader's message recommending

Brand A. In the Attf condition, the message was:

I have decided to recommend brand A for the following reasons.

With today's economy, I think price will be a very important

factor in consumers' decisions. On this dimension, A, C, and

D are the best. C can be thrown out because it is inferior to

A on appeal and convenience. D is the same as A so my choice

between these two brands was arbitrary. Since none of the

remaining brands is ever superior to A on the other dimen-

sions, brand A seems to be the obvious choice.

Subjects in the Attu condition received the following communication from
the leader:

I have decided to recommend brand A for the following reasons.

With today's economy, I think price will be a very important

factor in consumers' decisions. On this dimension, brands A,

C, and D are the best. Brand C can be thrown out because it

is inferior to A on nutrition and convenience. Brand D is

the same as A so my choice between these two brands was arbi-

trary. Brand A is at least equal to any other brand in appeal

to dog. The only time A is inferior to another brand is to F.

While F is better in nutrition and convenience, it is also

more expensive. Since I think price will be the most

important decision factor, I would recommend brand A

over F.

Because this condition involved the recommendation of a suboptimal

brand, it was necessary to provide some sort of rationale for the lea-

der's selection.

During the next fifteen to twenty minutes, subjects received three

more messages presumably from the remaining group members. In the

Attf condition, the following communications were received in the same

order as presented:

I agree with the leader. Brand A gives the most for the

lowest cost. Therefore, I suggest that we recommend

brand A.

Since team spirit and togetherness are so important I

guess we should go along with the leader. I'll recommend

brand A.

I agree with the leader's reasoning and will support the

leader's recommendation.

Subjects in the Attu condition received the following set of communi-

I agree with the leader. If price is the key, then

brand A should do better than brand F. Therefore, I

suggest that we recommend brand A.

This was not an easy decision to make, but since team

spirit and togetherness are so important, I guess we

should go along with the leader. I'll recommend brand A.

I agree with the leader's reasoning and will support the

leader's recommendation.

Thus, all subjects were confronted with a group that unanimously sup-

ported the leader's recommendation.

After receiving the messages and sending their own communication,

subjects responded to a questionnaire delivered by the experimenter con-

taining the measures necessary for operational izing either the Fishbein

or proposed model. The specific content of these questionnaires is dis-

cussed in the following section. Upon completion, subjects placed the

questionnaire in the unmarked envelope.

Subjects then recorded their brand recommendation on the appropriate

form. The experimenter then instructed subjects to reassemble in the

main room. After the various experimental materials were collected,

the experimenter probed for any suspicions subjects might have had,

followed by a description of the true purpose and procedures of the

experiment. Subjects were then paid $4 each, thanked for their parti-

cipation, and asked not to tell others who had yet to participate about

the experiment.


Subjects received one of two questionnaires (Appendix D) that dif-

fered in whether they contained the measures necessary for operation-

alizing either the Fishbein or Miniard model and in the type of

instructions that preceded these measures. The measures unique to the

Fishbein questionnaire will first be presented, followed by a discus-

sion of the proposed model measures. The remainder of this section

will then address those measures common to both questionnaires.

The first two pages of the Fishbein questionnaire provided the sub-

ject with instructions concerning how to respond to a 7-point scale

(all scales consisted of seven response categories), that is, the

meaning of the various scale categories was defined with accompanying

example responses. Subjects were then asked to evaluate four beha-

vioral consequences (ei) of their brand recommendation on a scale

ranging from "good" (+3) to "bad" (-3). These four consequences were:

(1) meeting the needs of the target market, (2) winning the group mem-

ber award, (3) having the group acting favorably toward you (i.e., the

subject) and/or thinking favorably of you, and (4) having the experi-

menter acting favorably toward you and/or thinking favorably of you.

Subjects' evaluations of these consequences were measured at a behavior

specific level (e.g., Recommending a brand that would lead to conse-

quence X would be:). Next, subjects indicated for each consequence

the likelihood that recommending each of the alternatives would lead to

a particular outcome (bi) on scales with the endpoints "likely" (+3)
and "unlikely" (-3). Subjects then responded to the statement of

"My recommending Brand X would be:" for each brand on four evaluative

semantic differential scales (i.e., good-bad, foolish-wise, rewarding-

punishing, and harmful-beneficial) whose sum provided the estimate of

subjects' attitude toward the behavior (AB '
The following two measures assessed subjects' situation-specific

motivation to comply (MC) with the group and experimenter, respectively.

These measures were prefaced by "In this experiment" and ranged from

"I want to do" (+3) to "I want to do the opposite of" (-3). Normative

beliefs (NB) were then assessed for each brand on scales ranging from

"I should (+3) to "I should not" (-3). Finally, subjective norm (SN)

> belief scale.

The questionnaire for the proposed model began with slightly more

than one page of discussion concerning the distinction between "per-

sonal versus interpersonal considerations." Each of these consider-

ation types was defined and illustrated with an example. The next sec-

tion ("Questionnaire Content") of the instructions explained that the

questionnaire contained questions relevant to both personal and norma-
tive consequences and reemiphasized that subjects should try to keep

the two types separate in making their responses. The final section

presented the samie scale instructions contained in the Fishbein

questionnaire. These three sections required two and a half pages.
Two alternative assessment procedures were employed for operation-

al izing the proposed personal and normative components. The first

approach attempted to measure specific personal and normative conse-

quences associated with recommending the same brand as the leader. One

personal consequence meetingg the needs of the target market) and
three normative consequences (winning the group member award, having

the group acting favorably toward the subject and/or thinking favorably
of the subject, and having the experimenter acting favorably toward

the subject and/or thinking favorably of the subject) were assessed.

Subjects indicated the extent to which recommending each brand would

lead to a particular consequence on a scale with endpoints "leads to"

(+3) and "prevents" (-3). Subjects also reported the importance they

placed on these various personal and normative considerations in making

their brand recommendation decision on scales ranging from "absolutely

no importance" (0) to "the greatest importance" (+6).

The second measurement approach attempted to assess subjects' per-

sonal and normative evaluations at a global level. Rather than mea-

suring specific consequences, this approach essentially required sub-

jects to make some overall evaluation of the behavior taking into

account only personal or normative consequences. Two measures were

/employed for estimating each component. The first measure asked sub-

jects: "Suppose that you were to recommend brand A on the sole basis

of your own personal considerations. Given this, how favorable or

unfavorable would you then feel toward recommending brand A." Respon-

ses to this question were recorded on a scale ranging from "extremely

favorable" (+c3) to "extremely unfavorable" (-3). This measure thus

represented subjects' evaluation of the behavior gjveyl that only per-
sonal considerations were important in their decision. This measure

by itself is not sufficient, however, since one may personally feel

very favorable toward a given action and yet not perform the behavior

if other considerations (e.g., normative) that are more important

point in the opposite direction. Consequently, subjects were asked to

indicate how much importance they placed on their "own personal con-

siderations" in making their decision concerning which brand to recom-

ment on the same importance scale described above. Subjects' responses

to these two measures were multiplied to provide an overall estimate

of their personal evaluation toward recommending a given brand. A

similar set of two measures assessed subjects' normative evaluation

by replacing "personal" with "interpersonal."

The remainder of this section discusses measures common to both

types of questionnaires which followed the subjective norm measure of

the Fishbein questionnaire and the importance measures of the proposed

model questionnaire. First, subjects reported their intention (BI) to

recommend each of the brands on scales ranging from "likely" (+3) to

"unlikely" (-3). The following question asked subjects to enter the

letter of the brand they would recommend to the group. Subjects then

indicated the likelihood that they would win the group member award

if they were to recommend the same brand as the leader on a scale with

the endpoints "very likely" (+3) and "very unlikely" (-3). This mea-

sure provided a means for judging the effectiveness of providing sub-

jects in the Norms condition with information that the last member
received the award more often than any other member. Subjects were

then asked to evaluate "winning the group member award" on a scale

ranging from "very good" (+3) to "very bad" (-3). This would indicate

the extent to which the value of the award was successfully manipulated.

The next two measures were aimed at assessing subjects' attitude toward

or evaluation of the group. The first measure asked subjects to rate

their "feelings toward the group" on a scale ranging from "very favor-

able" (+3) to "very unfavorable" (-3). The second attitude measure

asked subjects to rate the group on five semantic differential scales

(healthy-sick, bad-good, wise-foolish, harmful-beneficial, clean-dirty)

that have previously been employed (Ajzen and Fishbein 1970) for a

similar purpose. The next question asked subjects to report how

favorable it would be for the group to have a favorable impression of

them on a scale with the endpoints "very good" (+3) and "very bad"

(3.These measures were intended to reveal whether any of the pre-

viously discussed normative contamination existed in the Att manipu-

lation. The next set of measures asked subjects whether they person-

ally thought a given brand was the best brand for market introduction.

Subjects recorded how strongly they agreed with the statement "I per-

sonally think that Brand A is the best brand for market introduction" on

a scale ranging from "strongly agree" (7) to "strongly disagree" (1).

This question was repeated for each brand. These measures permit a

test of the extent to which the Att manipulation was successfully

accomplished. The final measure asked subjects to compare brands A and

D (which received identical ratings in the case) on the basis of the

criteria provided in the case. Subjects recorded their response on a

scale ranging from "A better than D" (+3) to "D better than A" (-3) with

the scale midpoint labelled "A = D."



This chapter will begin with an examination of the evidence bearing

upon the appropriateness of using the experimental data for examining

the proposed model. This involves determining the extent to which the

true experimental procedures were successfully concealed and whether the

experimental manipulations did in fact vary personal and normative con-

siderations independently of one another. The effects of the experi-

mental factors on subjects' brand choice behavior and intentions will

also be presented.

The validity of the proposed measures in representing and separat-

ing personal and normative considerations will then be examined. As

elaborated below, features of the experimental design permitted three

different approaches to measure validation. The first approach tests

the measures' sensitivity to the experimental manipulations. Next, a

within-subjects analysis bearing on the validity of the personal com-

ponent measures is presented. The final approach examines the norma-

tive component measures' abilities to discriminate between subjects

differing in their acceptance of normative influence. Because of a

desire to see how the Fishbein model will perform in the present experi-

mental situation and to provide a useful benchmark for evaluating the

proposed model, the Fishbein model will also be examined. Note, how-

ever, that the experiment was designed for testing the adequacy of the

proposed model's separation and representation of the personal and nor-

mative reasons for behavioral performance. Since such a separation is

not a goal of the Fishbein model, the following results cannot be viewed

as addressing the Fishbein model's ability to distinguish between

beliefs about behavioral consequences and beliefs about the expecta-

tions of others.

The next section addresses the Fishbein and proposed models' pre-

dictive power. Examination of the component weights' accuracy in

identifying the presence of salient personal and normative consider-

ations is also undertaken. The following sections examine the relation-

ships between the alternative operationalizations of a given component

for both models. The final section focuses on the correlational evi-

dence relevant to the experimenter's potential influence on subjects'


Evaluation of the Experimental Deception

With the exception of two persons, subjects did not give any indi-

cation that the deception was unsuccessful during the probing by the

experimenter or in their responses to questions relevant to this concern

that were contained in the questionnaire. Indeed, the verbal and facial

expressions made by many subjects when the true nature of the experiment

was revealed indicated a minimal level of subject suspicion.

Two subjects expressed doubt as to whether the messages received

during the communication stage of the experiment were actually from the

other members. One subject, knowledgeable in handwriting analysis,

identified the experimenter's handwriting in one of the messages

despite attempts to substantially alter the writing style. The second

subject had placed his communication in the envelope in a particular

manner. While subjects' messages were removed and reinserted prior to

returning the message in most cases, in this instance these procedures

were not followed. The subject detected that the message had not been

removed from the envelope and thus questioned the validity of the

experiment. Consequently, these two subjects were not included in the

analyses. Three other subjects were also dropped from the analyses.

One subject was removed since the subject responded to only a small por-

tion of the measures contained in the questionnaire. Two subjects

recommended brands that could not be justified on either a personal or

normative basis (i.e., the brands chosen were not the optimal selec-

tion for the target market and were in conflict with the leader's rec-

ommendation). These subjects were apparently either confused about the

meaning of the brand ratings or failed to adequately comprehend the case


Manipulation Checks

This stage of the analysis was concerned with establishing that the

Attitude (Att) and Normative (Norm) manipulations influenced subjects'

personal and normative evaluations toward recommending the same brand

as the leader. The former manipulation was expected to alter subjects'

personal evaluation by varying the suitability of the leader's brand

for the target market. Subjects should perceive a lower likelihood

that the behavior would lead to meeting the target market's needs when

the leader recommends a suboptimal brand. Subjects' personal evalua-

tion toward the behavior should therefore become less favorable as the

optimality of the leader's choice decreases.

Subjects' responses to the questions regarding whether they

believed brands A (ABEST) and F (FBEST) to be the "best brand for

market introduction" indicated that the Att manipulation was success-

fully accomplished. Subjects should give brand A (the leader's brand)

a higher rating in the Attf condition where brand A and its equiva-
lent, brand D, received the highest performance ratings from target

consumers than in the Attu condition where the performance ratings of
brand A were now inferior to brand F and to those obtained in the

Attf condition (as shown in the tables contained in Appendix B). Con-

versely, brand F should receive higher ratings in the Attu condition
than in the Attf condition. The pattern of the mean responses to the
measures (Table 2) supports these expectations. The results (Table 3)
of a 2 (Att) x 2 (Norm) x 2 (Model) ANOVA for each measure reveal that

these ratings did significantly (p <.001) vary between the Att condi-

tions. Interestingly, this manipulation had a stronger effect on sub-

jects' perceptions of brand F. This greater impact on brand F is to be

expected since the brand's ratings varied to a substantially greater

degree between conditions than did the ratings for brand A.
While the preceding analyses demonstrate that subjects' brand

evaluations varied in the intended manner between Att conditions, it is

also informative to determine whether brand A was perceived as inferior

to brand F in the Attu condition but was not perceived as inferior to

any brand in the Attf condition. The results generated by a series of
paired t-tests on subjects' responses to the ABEST measure and the
remaining "best brand" measures confirmed these expectations. In the

Attf condition, brand A was perceived to be significantly (p< .008)

higher than the remaining brands except for brand F which was perceived
to be significantly (p< .001) superior to brand A.

Norms Normw

Measure Model Attf Attu Attf Attu

ABESTa F 6.78 5.00 6.90 4.80
P 7.00 5.17 6.88 4.78

F8ESTa F 2.78 6.63 3.60 6.80
P 3.80 6.72 2.50 7.00

LIKWINAWARDb F 1.33 1 .33 0.50 0.80
P 1.20 0.94 0.50 1.44

WINAWARDb F 2.33 1.69 1.10 0.40
P 2.10 2.11 0.50 0.67

ATTGRPC F 8.00 9.30 6.56 2.70
P 10.10 5.50 11.00 6.22

EVALGRPb F 1.78 1.31 2.00 0.10
P 1.80 1.06 1.63 0.67

FAVIMPb F 1.67 0.94 1.20 1.10
P 1.40 1.11 1.38 0.33

Table 2

Means for Manipulation Checks

aScale ranges from 7 to 1.
bcl agsfo 3t 3
CScale ranges from +35 to -35.


Effect p (,32 P (12

Att (A) .001 .34 .001 .72

Norm (B) .569 .875*

Model (C) .728 .715*

A x B .617 .331*

A x C .958 .943*

B x C .713 .058*

A x B x C .960 .015 .02

(n) (90) (90)

*Effect explained less than 2 percent of the measure's variability.

Table 3

ANOVA Results for Attitudinal Manipulation Checks

The potential for the Norm manipulation to influence subjects'
normative evaluation was based upon two factors. First, subjects in

the Norms condition were told that they had a very good chance at

winning the award if they supported the leader's choice while subjects

in the Normw condition were not given any information about their

chances at receiving the award. If was therefore expected that sub-

jects in the former condition would perceive a greater likelihood of

attaining this normative outcome (i.e., the award) given that they

recommended brand A. The second factor employed was whether or not the

financial award carried a monetary value. Subjects were expected to

attach greater importance to the normative outcome of receiving the

group member award when it was worth $20 than when it was not given any

financial value. Support for this manipulation's impact on the norma-

tive component would be attained if either or both of these factors

significantly differed between the Norm conditions.

The results involving subjects' estimates as to the likelihood of

winning the award if they supported the leader (LIKWINAWARD) indicate

that this perceptual factor did not vary between the Norm conditions.

Subjects' perceptions of the likelihood of receiving the award did not

differ between the Norm conditions (Tables 2 and 4). Overall, subjects

believed that it was more likely than unlikely (X = 1.02) that they

would receive the award if they recommended the same brand as the


Support for the Norm manipulation's ability to impact upon the
normative component was provided by subjects' responses to the measure

asking them how much they valued winning the group member award

(WINAWARD). While the award was favorably evaluated under both Norm


Effect p W2 2 p 2 2 p 2

Att (A) .005 .08 .001 .13 .030 .04 .202 .579*

Norm (8) .881 .086 .02 .232 .001 .27 .301*

Model (C) .668 ,835 .605 .835 .920 *

AxB 8 .072 .02 108 .02 .923 .920 .268*

A x C .743 .632 .742 .117 .839*

8B x C .105 .02 .561 .461 .602 .332*

A x 8 x C .688 .241 .147 .826 .501*

(n) (89) (90) (90) (90) (89)

*Effect explained less than 2% of the measure's variability.

Table 4

ANOVA Results for Normative Manipulation Checks

conditions (Table 2), subjects in the Norms cells attached greater

value to the award than those in the Normw cells (Table 4). Accord-
ingly, this manipulation should alter subjects' normative evaluation

of recommending brand A via the importance subjects attach to norma-
tive considerations.

The evidence presented thus far has only addressed the appro-

priateness of employing the experimental manipulations for examining
the convergent validity of the proposed personal and normative measures.

It is also desirable to use these manipulations for testing the mea-

sures' discriminant validity. Support for a normative measure's

immunity to personal influences would be attained, for example, if the

Att manipulation did not affect subjects' responses to the measure.

But before the results of such a test can be unambiguously interpreted,

it is necessary to establish that the manipulation varied only personal

considerations and is free of any normative contamination (i~e., that

the manipulation did not also vary some antecedent variable underlying

the normative component). As previously discussed, there is the poten-

tial for normative contamination in the Att manipulation since the

group supports an optimal choice in the Attf condition but a suboptimal
choice in the Attu condition. These differences in the group's "wis-
dom" may impact upon the group's overall attractiveness and desir-

ability. Consequently, subjects may place greater value on the group's
reactions when the group is more attractive which would in turn influ-

ence subjects' normative evaluation of the behavior supported. If

such normative contamination did not occur and a normative measure was

affected by the Att manipulation, then one could confidently infer

that the measure is unable to separate personal and normative

motivations. However, in the presence of such contamination, one cannot

unambiguously determine if a measure's sensitivity to the manipulation

indicates a lack of discriminant validity.

Evidence relevant to this concern was provided by subjects' respon-

ses to (1) the semantic differential measure of their attitude toward

the group (ATTGRP), (2) the measure asking them to rate the favorability

of their feelings toward the group (EVALGRP), and (3) the measure

assessing subject's evaluation of the group having a favorable impres-

sion of themselves (FAVIMP). Support for the existence of normative

contamination in the Att manipulation would be attained if subjects'

responses to these measures were affected by this manipulation. Unfor-

tunately, the manipulation did impact on each measure (Table 4) such

that subjects were more favorable toward the group and placed a greater

value on the group's impression in the Attf condition (i.e., when the

group supports the optimal brand). Thus, despite the efforts to prevent

such contamination (i.e., the use of the supplemental report), these

results suggest that the group's potential for exerting normative influ-

ence on the basis of its attractiveness differed between the Att con-

ditions. Accordingly, this manipulation cannot be unambiguously

employed for testing the discriminant validity of a measure which incor-

porates the importance associated with normative consequences. Despite

this limitation, the Att manipulation can be used to judge the dis-

criminant validity of "perceptual" normative measures since such mea-

sures (e.g., the extent to which the behavior leads to attaining some

normative outcome) only reflect the direction of normative influence

and not the importance of such influences as a motivating factor.

Because the Norm manipulation did not influence subjects' perceptions

of the brands' suitability (Table 3), its use for examining the dis-

criminant validity of attitudinal measures appears appropriate.

Mani ulations' Im act on Brand Choice and Intentions

Due to the nature of the experimental conditions, it was hypothe-

sized that the Att and Norm manipulations would have an interactive

effect upon subjects' brand choice and their intentions to recommend

brands A and F. Because brands A and D (which received identical rat-

ings) were the best suited for the target market in the Attf condition

and that normative influences always pointed toward brand A, subjects

in this condition should unanimously support brand A, regardless of the

magnitude of normative influences. Under Attu conditions (where F is
superior to A), however, support for brands A and F should be dependent

upon the level of the normative manipulation. When normative influ-

ences are relatively weak (i.e., the Normw condition), then brand F

should be more heavily supported than brand A. But when normative

influences are stronger (i.e., the Norms condition),a greater number of

persons should recommend brand A than in the Normw condition.

Table 5 contains the frequency in which brands A and F were cho-

sen (i.e., recommended) by subjects, while subjects' intentions to

recommend these brands are presented in Table 6. To test the impact

of the experimental manipulations on subjects' recommendations, choice

was represented by a dummy variable where a value of one was assigned

to those who recommended brand A and a zero was given to those who

supported brand F. Table 7 summarizes the ANOVA results for subjects'

brand choice and intentions. The hypothesized interaction was sup-

ported (p < .008) for choice as subjects in the Attf condition always
recommended brand A, almost unanimously (with the exception of a single

Norms Nlorm

Attf Attu Attf Attu
f u f u
Model A F A F A F A F

Fishbein 9 0 8 8 10 0 1 9

Proposed 10 0 7 11 8 0 0 9

Table 5

Brand Choice by Experimental Condition

Note: Cell entries represent the number
either brand A or brand F.

of subjects recommending

Norms Norms
Measure Model Attf Attu Attf Attu

BI-Brand A F 2.89 1.63 3.00 0.60
P 3.00 1.06 3.00 1.00

BI-Brand F F -1.67 2.13 -1.30 2.90
P -1.60 2.44 -2.00 3.00

;Table 6

Means for Behavioral Intention Measures

Note: Scale ranges from +3 to -3.

.Choice BI-Brand A BI-Brand F

Effect p w2 P w2 P w2

Att (A) .001 .51 .001 .25 .001 .68
Norm (B) .003 .04 .410 .221*

Model (c) .356 .745 .945*

A x B .008 .03 .389 .283*

A x C .465 .757 .433*

B x C .965 .471 .465*

A x B x C .970 .445 .663*

(n) (90) (90) (90)

*Effect explained less than 2 percent of the measure's variability.

Table 7

ANOVA Results for Brand A Choice

and Behavioral Intention Measures

subject) supported brand F in the Att /Normw cell, and were fairly

evenly divided between the two brands in the Attu/Norms cell. Fur-

ther, significant main effects due to the Att aInd Norl~l factors were

detected. None of the remaining effects approached significance.

Surprisingly, the results for the intention measures failed to

replicate the choice findings. While subjects' intentions to recom-

mend brands A and F were significantly (p < .001) affected by the Att

factor, none of the remaining effects attained significance. This

inconsistency between choice and its hypothesized determinant is even

more mystifying since intentions and choice were highly related

(r = .73, p < .001). One possible explanation is that the scale did not

provide a sufficient range for subjects' responses. While the scale

consisted of seven categories, subjects' intentions to recommend brand

A were consistently on the positive end of the scale. Perhaps a scale

with a larger range would have displayed the expected sensitivity to

the experimental manipulations.

Additional evidence relevant to this issue was attained through a

comparison of subjects' brand intentions. Recall that in the case

materials, two pairs of brands received identical performance ratings.

Brands A and D were equivalent as were brands 8 and G. Although brands

A and D were identical in their potential for satisfying the needs of

the target market, they differed in their potential for evoking favor-

able normative consequences (i.e., only by recommending brand A could

the subject receive the group member award). If normative influences

were unimportant, subjects' intentions to recommend these two brands

should not differ. If, however, intentions for brands A and D did

significantly differ, then support for the impact of normative influ-

ences would be obtained. A paired t-test indicated that subjects

responding to the Fishbein questionnaire were significantly (p < .001)

more likely to recommend brand A (ji=1.96) than brand D (R=0.82).

Similarly, subjects receiving the proposed model questionnaire indi-

cated a significantly (p < .001) greater likelihood of recommending

brand A (X=1.82) than brand D (X=0.56). To further validate the mean-

ingfulness of these results, this analysis was also repeated for sub-

jects' intentions to recommend brands B and G. Since these two brands

were identical on both a personal (i.e., the two brands received the

same ratings) and normative (i.e., neither brand led to the group mem-

ber award) basis, subjects' intentions should have been the same for

both brands. As expected, subjects' intentions to recommend these

two brands did not significantly differ for either the Fishbein

(p > .471) or proposed model (p > .183) questionnaires.
Measure Validation

The Measures' Sensitivity to the
Experimental Manipulations_
The first approach employed for examining the proposed measures'

validity was to test the impact of the Att and Norm manipulations

upon subjects' responses to the measures. The means for the Fishbein

and proposed measures are presented in Tables 8 and 9, respectively.

Each measure was separately submitted to a 2 (Att) x 2 (Norm) fac-

torial ANOVA, the results of which are summarized in Tables 10 and 11.

Recall that the Att manipulation was shown to significantly alter

subjects' beliefs that brand A was the optimal choice. This indicated

that the perceived likelihood that recommending brand A would lead to

















Table 8

Means for Fishbein Model Measures by Experimental Conditions


u Attf Attu


Attf Att




















b.-meet needs



e.-meet needs





























Table 9

Means for Proposed Model Measures by Experimental Conditions

Norms Normw
Sca le -
Measure Range Attf Attu Attf Att,

B -meet needs +3/-3 3.00 1.50 3.00 1.67
I -meet needs 6/0 5.80 5.56 5.88 5.89
PE/B +3/-3 2.90 1.61 2.88 1.44

IPC 6/0 5.70 5.28 4.63 5.67

13nc-award +3/-3 2.80 2.89 2.63 3.00
B c-reactions +3/-3 3.00 2.83 2.63 3.00
I -award 6/0 4.30 2.94 1.50 1.11
I -reactions 6/0 3.90 3.33 2.13 2.22
NE/B +3/-3 2.90 2.50 3.00 2.67

INC 6/0 4.30 3.11 3.13 1.22

ANOVA Effects

Att Norm Interaction

Measure p U2 u2 P 2

bi-meet needs .001 .26 .029 .06 .026 .06
b.-award .544 .329 .322*

b.-reactions .858 .322 .867*

e -meet needs .371 .175 .02 .833*

ei-award .077 .05 .010 .12 .838*
ei-reactions .198 .002 .18 .401*

Cb ei .001 .17 .001 .20 .226*

As .001 .32 .245 .293*
NB .243 .238 .277*

MC .022 .10 .078 .05 .388*

SN .021 .09 .857 .078 .04

*Effect explained less than 2 percent of the measure's variability.

Table 10

ANOVA Results for Fishbein Model Measures

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