Attitudes and the Prediction of Behavior: A Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Literature
The relationship between attitudes and behavior has been the topic of considerable debate. This article reports a meta-analysis of 88 attitude-behavior studies that reveals that attitudes significantly and substantially predict future behavior (mean r = .38; combined p <<. 000000000001). Relatively large and significant moderating effects were found for the attitudinal variables of attitude certainty, stability, accessibility, affective-cognitive consistency, and direct experience (mean q = .39). A smaller but significant moderating effect was found for self-monitoring (mean q = .29). Methodological factors associated with high attitude-behavior correlations included self-report measures of behavior (q =. 22), the use of nonstudents as subjects (q =. 17), and corresponding levels of specificity in the attitude and behavior measures (mean q = .47). The practical magnitude of attitude-behavior correlations is considered, as are the future directions of attitude-behavior research.