Individual action potential: Measurement and predictors

Date of Completion

January 1995


Business Administration, Marketing|Psychology, Behavioral|Health Sciences, Recreation




Two main approaches to modeling behavior change have focused on modeling the cognitive component. Fishbein and Ajzen's Theory of Reasoned Action models the stage immediately prior to performance of a new action and Prochaska and DiClemente (1982, 1983) model five stages of change for addictive, problem behaviors. We propose a model of behavior change that includes both a thought process component and an eagerness component. We take a more macro-view in modeling the process of deciding to perform a new behavior; develop a model which is relevant in the context of non-problem, discretionary behaviors; and draw on several streams of research to identify six predictors (i.e., life status change impact, action-orientation, self-efficacy, self-concept congruity, attitude, and subjective norm). We propose a new construct, Individual Action Potential (IAP), which is defined by "an individual's 'position' in the thought process and by his level of eagerness to take this particular action." This model is tested in the generalized category of aerobic activities with data collected from 715 adults.^ Results indicate that the greater one's self-concept congruity, subjective norm, and self-efficacy and the more favorable one's attitude-cognitive component then the more likely that an individual will be in later stages, as opposed to earlier stages, of engaging in the new behavior. The more favorable one's attitude-affective component and the greater one's self-concept congruity, subjective norm and self-efficacy then the more eager an individual will be to engage in a new behavior. Our modeling approach allows researchers an opportunity to examine what influences help "move" an individual through the process of behavior change en route to actually engaging in a new behavior. ^