The reasoned action model: Directions for future research

James Jaccard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The reasoned action model (RAM) of Fishbein and Ajzen has been highly influential in the social and health sciences. This article describes three areas for future research that should expand its explanatory power. One area of research focuses on an idiographic RAM that encourages researchers to pursue the estimation of RAM parameters on a per-individual level rather than through traditional nomothetic modeling. The second area encourages scientists to develop a split-second RAM, that is, a RAM that can provide perspectives on the split-second decisions people make in everyday life. Integration of the RAM with models of working (short-term) memory is stressed. The third area for research encourages scientists to develop a multioption RAM that incorporates and is responsive to the choices that people make when confronted with multiple alternatives. This perspective stresses the need to apply the RAM to the full range of behavioral options that are available to people as they contemplate performing one behavior versus another. Perspectives for theoretical advancement in each area are developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-80
Number of pages23
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • idiographic models
  • multioption models
  • reasoned action theory
  • split-second models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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