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Attitudes versus actions: Lapiere's (1934) classic study revisited

Terry Dockery (Louisiana State University), Arthur G. Bedeian (Louisiana State University)
Cite this article:  Dockery, T., & Bedeian, A. (1989). Attitudes versus actions: Lapiere's (1934) classic study revisited. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 17, 9-16.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1989.17.1.9
Publication date: February 1989

Abstract


LaPiere’s (1934) seminal research into the attitude-behavior relationship has been commonly misinterpreted as pointing to a discrepancy between attitudes and behavior. In fact, the actual discrepancy uncovered was between true attitudes – the tendency to act in a certain way – and that which is measured by an attitude questionnaire. LaPiere’s primary concern was to point out the danger of assuming that questionnaire-assessed “attitudes” lead to actual behavior in specific situations. In the present paper we theoretically and methodologically critique LaPiere’s classic study.



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