A Comparison of The Theory of Planned Behavior and The Theory of Reasoned Action.


The purpose of this paper is to give a vivid comparison between the theory of planned behavior and the theory of reasoned actions. The predictions resulting from proper predictions of these two sets of theories are assessed across more than ten behavioral practices, representing a range of voluntary control. The voluntary control is over the intended performances of the individual behaviors. The results on these comparisons are intended to show the inclusion of the set of the perceived behavioral control and how it is possible to enhance the predictions of the various individuals’ behavioral intentions. (Ajzen et al. 1992).


The theory of reasoned action has always been used as a model for predicting particular behavioral predictions and intentions. According to the theory on reasoned actions can predict the intentions and behaviors of individuals. It is also quite valuable for identifying where and how to target the strategies for individual behavioral changes. The trial and testing of the theory of reasoned actions were generated through the prediction that the study of the theoretical model was under the control of complete control on volition. The theory on planned vividly incorporates our perception of behavioral control as an intendent to the behavioral practices and control (Ajzen et al. 1992).

The theory on the reasoned actions suggests that the behavioral intention in the process of becoming the individual behaviors are infarct the functions of the salient information about the beliefs on someone. In the belief, there is a myriad possibility of performing ascertain the form of behaviors that lead to inevitable consequences.  According to (Ajzen et al. 1992), he has divided the belief antecedents into two conceptually distinct sets: behavioral and normative. The behavioral aspects are considered the primary influence of the individual instincts and attitude towards performing certain behaviors. The other set, called the normative, is considered to be the one that influences individuals to possess the subjective belief or attitude toward the performance of the behavior (Ajzen et al. 1992).

  Analysis of the differences of the theories and how they apply.

The information that peoples have and the norms and beliefs that individuals possess always subject them to certain behaviors. The theory of planned behavior extends to the voluntary control’s boundary conditions, specified in the theory of reasoned action. In trying to understand all this is about, the theory of reasoned action depends on the action and the attitudes an individual possesses. The attitude and actions form the behavioral intentions that enhance a particular individual’s behavior (Ajzen et al. 1992).

On the other hand, when analyzing the theory of planned actions, how there is a perceived behavioral control, it indulges with an exogenous variable. They include variables such as an individual’s attitude, the subjective norms and attitudes that a person has, and the perceived behavioral control. These variables form the behavioral information that an individual possesses. This information that is constituted through all the mentioned variables results in the typical behavior characteristics of an individual. This is how the planned action theory is different from the theory of reasoned action. When people believe that they do not have control over the actions of their behaviors, it is because of the lack of the requisite resources. This also would mean that their intentions to perform specific actions may be diminished even when they have the actual attitude towards certain behaviors on a particular person because behaviors according to this theory are based on the individual’s attitude within which the comparisons (Ajzen et al. 1992).

The additional variables tested for inclusion or the expansions of the theory of reasoned action in the discussions are the personal norms that an individual possesses. The perceived direct path on the behavioral control to the actual behavior of an individual is also used in the reflection on the behaviors of the same individual. The behavioral aspects are not under the valuation control, and this also means that the perceptions over the behavior control are, in fact, accurate. According to the complete tests of these theories, behavioral control is a predictor of individual intentions after controlling the individual ingrained norms and personal attitudes. However, the control of the perceived behavior does not contribute to the predictions on the targeted individual behaviors after practicing their control on the intentions (Ajzen et al. 1992).


This paper compares the two theories, the planned behavior and the reasoned action theory. The two theories have gone under test and comparison. The result is that the inclusion of the perceived control on the behaviors controls influences a more excellent prediction on the intentions of individuals. The other enhances the predictions of the target individual behaviors would then be related to the perceived behavioral control. The dependent variables on the behavioral intentions of the individuals remain in the instincts and the attitudes. It is indicated in the results that the predictions of the intentions and the targeted behaviors could be achieved when the perceived behavior control among the individuals over their behaviors, and that is the relationship between the intentions and the behavioral control.


Madden, T. J., Ellen, P. S., & Ajzen, I. (1992). A comparison of the theory of planned behavior and the theory of reasoned action. Personality and social psychology bulletin18(1), 3-9. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167292181001


Calculate your order
Pages (275 words)
Standard price: $0.00
Open chat
Hello 👋
Thank you for choosing our assignment help service!
How can I help you?