Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) Ajzen (1988)

Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) Ajzen (1988)

Azzah Al Maskari (Ibra College of Technology, Oman)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5201-7.ch004


The Theory of Planned Behavior is widely used to predict human behaviors in many disciplines. According to the Theory of Planned Behavior, Attitude towards the target behavior, Subjective Norms about engaging in the behavior and Perceived Behavior Control influence intention. In addition, an individual's display of a certain behavior is determined by his or her intent to perform that behavior. This chapter describes the origin and history of the Theory of Planned Behavior, its purpose, its limitations and its applications in order to examine acceptance, adoption, use, and continuance of use of Information Systems and services.
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Human behaviors and actions are determined by their intentions, interests and motivations; thus, studying human behavior helps identifying the intentions behind people’s actions. However, it is difficult to clearly identify the reasons why people act in a certain way because there are many hidden variables that influence human behaviors and these variables also vary according to situations and contexts. In addition, there could be other intervening variables, crossover effects and other theoretical explanations for the behaviors.

There are also biological, cultural, and situational determinants which impact people’ attitudes, beliefs, plans, values, goals, and interests. Ajzen (1988) explained that personal attitudes and personality traits, social norms and values, and the environmental conditions surrounding a person are factors that can be used predict human behaviors.

Information systems are becoming an integral part of people’s personal and professional lives. Moreover, the use of information systems is a concern for organizations seeking to improve its efficiency and productivity (Legris et al, 2003). Thus, examining factors that influence technology acceptance, adaptation and used is very essential for its success. A number of theories have been applied to understand user acceptance for technology over the last two decades such as Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) used to explain role of technology in affecting users’ intentions toward their behavior (Davis et al. 1989), the Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT) used explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975), the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) used to predict behavioral intention (Azjen and Fishbein, 1980), and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991; Taylor and Todd 1995).

The TPB is one of the best supported social psychological theories with respect to predicting human behavior (Sommer, 2011). It provides rich information, in terms of human social aspects as compared to other models, to predict human behaviors. For this reason, TPB is powerful in predicting and explaining human behavior (Mathieson, 1991; Taylor and Tod, 1995a, b; Al-Lozi, 2012). This chapter introduces the theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) which has been extensively used within the information systems (IS) field to predict and explain human behavior.

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