Population psychology: A new look at an old problem

Andrew R. Davidson, James J. Jaccard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on a theoretical model developed by M. Fishbein (see record), it was predicted that an individual's intention to engage in a specific family planning behavior is a function of 2 components: (a) one's belief about the consequences of performing that behavior multiplied by the evaluation of those consequences (SBiai) and (b) one's normative beliefs multiplied by one's motivation to comply with those perceived norms (SNB(Mc)). A questionnaire assessing the model's components for 3 family planning behaviors (having a 2-child family, having a child during the next 2 yrs, and using birth control pills) was administered to a random sample of 270 midwestern married females, stratified by religion and socioeconomic status. Consistent with the model, SBiai and SNB(Mc) explained an average of 60% of the variance in intentions. It was also found that as the measure of attitude deviates in specificity from the measure of intention, the attitude-intention correlation decreased. Accordingly, the more specific attitude-toward-the-act measure was a better predictor of family planning intentions than the traditional attitude-toward-the-object measure. (26 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1073-1082
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1975


  • beliefs about consequences &
  • evaluation of consequences, intention to engage in specific family planning behavior, midwestern married females
  • linear combination of attitude toward performing behavior &
  • normative beliefs weighted by motivation to comply with norms &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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