Rhodes & Roskos-Ewoldsen (under review)

Rhodes& - Attitude and Norm Accessibility 1 Running Head ATTITUDE AND NORM ACCESSIBILITY DRAFT DO NOT CITE WITHOUT PERMISSION Attitude and

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Attitude and Norm Accessibility 1 Running Head: ATTITUDE AND NORM ACCESSIBILITY DRAFT DO NOT CITE WITHOUT PERMISSION Attitude and Norm Accessibility and Cigarette Smoking Nancy Rhodes and David R. Roskos-Ewoldsen University of Alabama Address correspondence concerning this manuscript to: Nancy Rhodes University of Alabama Institute for Social Science Research Box 870216 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0216 [email protected] Phone: (205) 348-5496 Fax: (205) 348-2849 Word count = 4,859
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Attitude and Norm Accessibility 2 Abstract Focus theory (Cialdini, Kallgren & Reno, 1991) predicts that making a norm more salient will increase the influence of the norm on behavior for as long as the norm remains salient. The present research extends focus theory by examining the role of the chronic accessibility of normative beliefs in predicting behavior, on the assumption that chronically accessible beliefs concerning social rewards and punishments would similarly improve behavioral prediction. Participants’ reaction times to respond to computerized prompts were measured for the attitudinal target (cigarette smoking) and to the subjective norm for cigarette smoking. Attitude and norm accessibility independently accounted for significant variability in smoking behavior beyond that accounted for by traditional measures of attitude and subjective norm. Keywords: focus theory, attitude, subjective norm, cigarette smoking, accessibility
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Attitude and Norm Accessibility 3 Attitude and Norm Accessibility and Cigarette Smoking The study of attitudes and their relation to behavior has a long history within social psychology. In spite of early concerns about the utility of attitudes for predicting behavior (Wicker, 1969), the past three decades have seen an abundance of research demonstrating that attitudes do indeed predict behavior. The focus of recent research has largely shifted from establishing that a relationship exists to better understanding the processes through which Attitude accessibility – the ease with which an attitude is activated in memory – has emerged as an important element in explaining these processes. A number of approaches have examined the role of chronic and temporary attitude accessibility in the attitude-behavior relation (Roskos-Ewoldsen, 1997). Similarly, norms activated in a specific situation have been shown to guide behavior in that situation (Kallgren, Reno, & Cialdini, 2000). However, the role of chronically accessible norms has not been investigated in these contexts. The present research represents an initial investigation into the role of chronically accessible subjective norms in cigarette smoking behavior. Do they explain variability in behavior beyond that explained by attitude and attitude accessibility? A variety of theoretical models have emerged to explore the attitude-behavior relation.
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This note was uploaded on 08/30/2010 for the course PSYC 0001x taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '10 term at Abu Dhabi University.

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Rhodes& - Attitude and Norm Accessibility 1 Running Head ATTITUDE AND NORM ACCESSIBILITY DRAFT DO NOT CITE WITHOUT PERMISSION Attitude and

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