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The Theory of Planned Behaviour and its Attributes

The theory of planned behaviour refers to the cognitive theory that mainly focuses on the proposition of the decision of an individual regarding the engagement in the specific behaviour. The respective theory suggests that the behaviour of an individualis guided with the help of intention, which is further influenced by the attitudes regarding thebehaviour (Menozzi et al., 2017). As per the theory of planned behaviour, there are three attributes namely personal attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control. Personal attitudes refer to the sum of knowledge, and attitudes of an individual to behave in context to certain behaviours. Subjective norms make an individual consider the ideas of the people regarding the specific behaviour. It proves effective in proposing and predicting the behaviour of individuals(Cheng et al., 2019). The third attribute reflects the perceived behaviour influenced by the perception of abilityand resources being made available fora specific task.The theory of planned behaviour also tends to prove effective in motivating the individual to perform the task, for instance, the pregnant lady faces issues considering her medication adherence(Cheng et al., 2019). The assignment will reflect the main concept of planned behaviour and its significance in preventing the health behaviour of the individual. Further, it will also discuss the importance of exercise considering the prevention of the planned behaviours.

Health behaviour is defined as the actions that are taken by individuals against a harmful effect on their health(Phillips & Hine, 2021). Healthbehaviour mainly includes preventive actions such as exercising to enhance the health condition and reduce the risk of health issues.Positive health behaviour makes the individuals efficient in increasing their cognitive performance for better grades. It also proves effective in extending longevity in life by reducing the risk of losing mobility and independence in daily life in general. Some of the effective measures that enhance health behaviour include proper exercising, nutritious foods,  taking medications,  speaking about emotions, practising meditation and so on(Ashton et al., 2017).

The health behaviours of an individual arereflected through various determinants such as genetics, behaviours, environment, and medical care including social factors. It also results in an improvedcondition of the heart and lungs enhancemuscle tone and strength and so on. The assignment will focus on the potential measures to enhance the health behaviour that is with the help of exercising and planned behaviour.Exercising or any form of physical activity proves to be effective in managing the health behaviour within the individual. It also helps in the development of the mental strength as well as physical ability(Hammami et al., 2022).As per the report of the WHO, nearly 81% of the people in the world lack proper exercise. The level of intense participation in exercises reduces the negative influence on health behaviour(WHO, 2022).

Overall, the assignment will shed light on the concept of the theory and outline the significance and application of the theory in the context of health behaviour. Further, prepare will discuss the contribution that is made as per our understanding considering the prevention of the health behaviour. The concept of health behaviours is also reflected in thepaper reflecting the significance of considering the performance of the individual. It will also reflect on the significant measures such as exercising that are likely to prove effective in preventing the negative health behaviour of the individual.

Determinants of Health Behaviour

So, before we unpack the relationship between exercise and the Theory of Planned Behaviour, we’ll discuss what this theory is. There are two other theories that are related to the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). These are the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), and the Theory of Reasoned Action Approach (commonly known as the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA)).The TRA is the first constructed, it is seen as an earlier version of the TPB, it wasoriginally designed in the 1970s by IcekAjzen and Martin Fishbeinin order to try and predict people’s voting patterns or behaviour (which is a single instance behaviour),this theory operates on the assumption that people do indeed behave in a sensible and rational manner, and that they make use of all the information that is available to them.The theory suggests that there are three main factors that influence a person’s behaviour: first is Intention, the greater a person’s intention to perform an action, the stronger the likelihood of them doing it. The second and third factorsthemselves influencethe first (intention), Behavioural Beliefs (attitude toward the behaviour: either positive or negative), and Normative Beliefs (subjective norms) (LearnPsychology, 2020).

theTheory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) wasalso created by Ajzen who describes it as “an extension of the Theory of Reasoned Action” (Ajzen, 1991, p181), Ajzen then elaborated that this (TPB) is a much-needed theory due to the limitations of theTRA regarding behaviourand people’s missing voluntary control(Ajzen, 1991, p181).It was also found that the TPB is better at predicting behaviour than the TRA (Chang, 1998, p.1827).Perhaps the main difference here between the TRA and the TPB is that the latter adds the additional factor of perceived behavioural control (Ajzen, 1991, p199), in other words, how much control a person believes they actually have over any given behaviour or action. The below diagram represents a visual image of the TPB (Ajzen, 1991, p182).

Theory of Planned BehaviourTheory of Planned Behaviour[Diagram], by M. K. Chang, 1998, Journal of Business Ethics.Shortened Link

The third theory is the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA)The main difference between the TPB and the RAA is that in order to better anticipate behaviour and intentions: the RAA introduces different elements of attitude these being: experimental/instrumental, perceived norm: injunctive/descriptive and PBC: capacity/autonomy (McEachan, et al, 2016, p592).The main difference here is that the RAA is more complex or with a broader view of more additional factors that may affect intentions and behaviour.

As an understanding of the TPB has now been established let’s look to how this theory relates to preventative health behaviours, in particular: Exercise. There’s no denying that there are many great health benefits to regular exercise, for example: the World Health Organisation (WHO) emphasises the importance of physical activity as it has significant health benefits to a person’s heart, body and mind (*WHO, 2022) however, (as mentioned in the introduction) the reality is that one out of four adults and eighty percent of kids and young adults do not engage in sufficient levels of exercise (WHO, 2022).There may be any number of various reasons for so many people not engaging in exercise, keep in mind that this is only showing external behaviour or results, it says nothing for desire or intentions.The relationship between planning to do something and then actually doing it is often quite weak, and usually results in people not following through on their plans to commence a behaviour, in this case being exercise. So perhaps the best way to address this is to look at what is actually affecting and/or weakening the desire or intentionto exercise for so many people.As per the TPB: attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control all play a part in affecting someone’s intentions.

Importance of Exercise in Enhancing Health Behaviour

Attitudes. Exercise can be something that triggersnegative emotions, feelings or attitudes for some people, even at the very thought of it, this may be caused by several factors such as past negative experiences, the fear of potential pain, balancing work life, etc. So, although someone may know in their mind that they are wanting to or desiring to engage in exercise, the reality is that they have additional barriers to overcome before they can even engage in the activity.

Subjective Norms. Some good examples of subjective norms (SN) in relation to exercise would be factors like the opinions of other people, particularly someone like a relative, partner or close friend whom we are more likely to listen to or care about their opinion. An example Another factor could be our immediate environment: for example, if someone grows up in a household of people who never or very rarely exercise and maintain consistently unhealthy diets or eating habits, it would no doubt require a greater effort on that person’s part as opposed to someone who grew up in a more “health-conscious” environment.

Perceived Behavioural Control (PBC). PBC plays a very significant role in the influence of someone’s intention to perform an exercise. PBC is basically someone’s self-evaluation of their situation or how much power they believe they have in order to make a change for the better. This can be tricky, specifically when dealing with bad habits or counter-productive behaviours/actions that have been cemented in someone’s lifestyle over time. Someone who is aware of bad habits regarding health and exercise may feel that they have a much lower level of PBC and thus be less likely to engage in exercise.When it comes to judging PBC,it goes both ways:Therewill definitely be people who are over-confident in their own ability to perform regular exercise and perhaps do not have an accurate perception of their own level of PBC, and there will be those who are seemingly lacking self-confidence or have a lower self-esteem and will tend to view their own level of PBC as lower.

When it comes to planning to exercise it may actually depend on the way it is planned as to whether it will be followed through or not, asevidence has shown thatwhen people make “if-then” types of plans, they will be more likely to follow through with exercising (Norman& Connor, 2005, p490). This does make sense though, as when a big task is broken up into smaller steps, it is more “do-able” or is seemingly easier to accomplish. Norman & Connor, (2005)also noted that in one study, where participantscombined the strong intention to exercise withimplementing a structured plan and protecting their motivation,resulted in more than 90% of participants engaging in weekly exercise (Norman & Connor, 2005, p490).

Conclusion

Planned behavior theory is the cognitive decision making ability of an individual regarding the engagement in a particular behavior. This theory underlines the concept of behavior change. According to the theory, a planned behavior is influenced by three attributes. They are personal attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control (PBC). Personal attitudes refer to the cognitive schema which includes the categorical knowledge and attitude of the individual regarding a specific behavior. The subjective norms refer to the consideration of other people’s perspective of the behavior and PBC refers to the perception of the individual regarding the availability of resources for the particular task. This assignment aimed at outlining the significance and application of the theory in the context of adopting healthy health behaviors like exercising and preventing health behaviors that produce negative outcomes.

The Relationship between Theory of Planned Behaviour and Preventative Health Behaviours

Ajzen developed the theory of planned behavior (TPB) which was an extension of the Theory of Reasoned Action. The theory highlights three factors that influence a person’s behavior. They are intention, behavioral beliefs and normative beliefs. Factors like the behavioral attitudes (both positive and negative) and the subjective norms impact the willingness to perform the particular behavior. TPB can be implemented in the context of adopting healthy behaviors like exercising. According to world health organization, physical activities have significant health benefits for the mind and body of an individual. In this context, the presentation explored how the three factors of the TPB are interrelated in predicting and maintaining healthy behaviors.

Attitude related to physical exercise encompass lack of feelings of determination, fear of potential pain, disturbed work-life balance due to exercise, etc. which might interfere with the ability of the individual to engage in physical activities. Alongside these factors, subjective norms like opinions of peers and significant others, immediate environment, and diet inconsistencies also influence the possibility of engaging in a healthy behavior. However, PBC is the most vital factor in influencing a person’s intention to take part in the behavior. An individual who is aware of his counter-productive behavior might have a much lower PBC and hence be less likely to engage in physical activities. Additionally, there are people who lack in self-confidence and have low self-esteem who might have lower level of PBC. Therefore, a two lower PBC and too higher PBC can significantly hamper the ability to plan and adhere to healthy behaviors like physical exercise.

When a person’s PBC is accurate, the person is able to recognize practicable resources in the environment that can enhance planning and execution of the healthy behavior. It is essential to understand that developing an exercise is linked with diverse factors. If an individual makes “if-then” type of plans, they have higher possibility of following through the physical activity. Breaking up the desirable task into smaller steps can make it easier to accomplish. Evidence suggests that strong intention to exercise with the implementation of a structured plan can be essential in preserving the motivation. Therefore, the Theory of Planned behavior states that a behavior can be achieved if an individual has a high PBC, supportive attitudes, positive subjective attitude, positive intention, and a structured plan.

References 

Ajzen, I. (1991). The Theory of Planned Behaviour. Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes. 50(2), 179-211. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272790646_The_Theory_of_Planned_Behavior 

Chang, M. K. (1998). Predicting Unethical Behaviour: A Comparison of the Theory of Reasoned Action and the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Journal of Business Ethics. 17(16), 1825-1834. https://web.p.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=0&sid=626ec118-b3cd-44ac-bee2-e35e2b8b6e66%40redis

LearnPsychology (2020, June 17) Theory of Reasoned Action and Planned Behaviour [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJhKheZNGpM

McEachan, R., Taylor, N., Harrison, R., Lawton, R., Gardner, P., Connor, M. (2016). Meta-Analysis of the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) to Understand Health Behaviours. Annals of Behavioural Medicine. 50(1), 592-612. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12160-016-9798-4 

Norman, P., & Conner, M. (2005). The Theory of Planned Behaviour and Exercise: Evidence for the Mediating and Moderating Roles of Planning on Intention-Behaviour Relationships. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology. 27(4), 488-504. https://journals-humankinetics-com.eu1.proxy.openathens.net/view/journals/jsep/27/4/article-p488.xml 

*World Health Organisation (WHO), (2022). Physical activity factsheet. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity

World Health Organisation (WHO), (2022). Physical activity. https://www.who.int/health-topics/physical-activity#tab=tab_1 

Reference list

Ashton, L. M., Hutchesson, M. J., Rollo, M. E., Morgan, P. J., & Collins, C. E. (2017). Motivators and barriers to engaging in healthy eating and physical activity: A cross-sectional survey in young adult men. American journal of men's health, 11(2), 330-343.

Cheng, O. Y., Yam, C. L. Y., Cheung, N. S., Lee, P. L. P., Ngai, M. C., & Lin, C. Y. (2019). Extended theory of planned behavior on eating and physical activity. American journal of health behavior, 43(3), 569-581.

Hammami, A., Harrabi, B., Mohr, M., & Krustrup, P. (2022). Physical activity and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): specific recommendations for home-based physical training. Managing Sport and Leisure, 27(1-2), 20-25.

Menozzi, D., Sogari, G., Veneziani, M., Simoni, E. & Mora, C.(2017). Eating novel foods: An application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour to predict the consumption of an insect-based product. Food quality and preference, 59, pp.27-34.

Phillips, W. J., & Hine, D. W. (2021). Self-compassion, physical health, and health behaviour: A meta-analysis. Health Psychology Review, 15(1), 113-139. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17437199.2019.1705872

WHO, (2022). Physical activity,https://www.who.int/health-topics/physical-activity#tab=tab_1

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