Willpower and perceived behavioral control: Influences on the intention-behavior relationship and postbehavior attributions

Judy L. Fitch1, Elizabeth C. Ravlin2
1Physicians Rehabilitation Group, Columbia, United States
2The University of South Carolina, Columbia, United States
Cite this article:  Fitch, J. L., & Ravlin, E. C. (2005). Willpower and perceived behavioral control: Influences on the intention-behavior relationship and postbehavior attributions. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 33(2), 105-124.

Volume 33 Issue 2 | e1383 | Published: March 2005 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2005.33.2.105

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Individual differences in willpower (a subdimension of conscientiousness) and perceived behavioral control (PBC: cognition regarding extent of control over an action; Ajzen, 1985) in the intention-behavior relationship were explored to better understand when intention will be completed to action. The impact of these constructs in postbehavior attributions also was explored. Participants were traditional and nontraditional students (N = 325) preparing for examinations at two time periods. Rather than confirming main effects proposed by prior research (e.g., Ajzen), moderation effects characterized these data. At Time 1, individuals higher in willpower behaved more consistently with their intentions. At Time 2, individuals higher in PBC showed a similar effect. Lower willpower also led subjects to make less attribution to effort when expectations were exceeded.

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