The relation between behavioral intentions and beliefs: A probabilistic model

James Jaccard, G.W. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on mathematical probability theory, a model of the relationship between beliefs and behavioral intention was proposed and tested. In Experiment 1, subjects indicated their beliefs about the consequences of smoking cigarettes as well as their intention to smoke cigarettes. When combined according to the proposed model the average correlation between predicted and obtained behavioral intention was .78 (p<.01). In Experiment 2, implications of the model for changing behavioral intentions were examined. Subjects were presented a hypothetical election campaign between two candidates. Intentions to vote for a given candidate were measured prior to and after presentation of information about some of the candidates' political views. Using the proposed model of intention, the predicted and observed changes in voting intentions were correlated .72 (p<.01). Implications of the model for theories of social behavior and persuasion were discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-334
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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