Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Ken Robinson

Second Advisor

Dr Cath Ferguson

Abstract

Adherents of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) propose that intention to perform behaviour can be predicted by attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control. Recent studies, however, have indicated that the standard TPB predictor variables account for 28% to 40% of the variance in intention, leaving a considerable percentage of the variance in intentions to be explained. Attitude is traditionally measured by the valence associated with the intention. The present study employed an improved measure of attitude, including both emotional dimensions of valence and arousal (Bradley & Lang, 1999), rather than using valence alone, and tested whether this enhanced measure increased the prediction of career choice in 140 university students. It was hypothesized that using both valence and arousal, to operationalise attitude, should account for more of the variance associated with intended career choice, rather than using valence alone. Consistent with the hypothesis, a logistic regression analysis revealed that the inclusion of arousal accounted for an additional 9% of the variance in intention to become a professional in the discipline studied. It may therefore be possible to increase the amount of explained variance using the TPB by including arousal in operationalising attitude as a predictor of behavioural intention.

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