Current Psychology

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 264–280

Implications of goal theories for the theories of reasoned action and planned behaviour


  • Charles Abraham
    • University of Sussex
  • Paschal Sheeran
    • University of Sheffield

DOI: 10.1007/s12144-003-1021-7

Cite this article as:
Abraham, C. & Sheeran, P. Curr Psychol (2003) 22: 264. doi:10.1007/s12144-003-1021-7


This paper argues that the predictive validity of the theories of reasoned action and planned behaviour could be enhanced by considering key ideas from goal theories. In particular, goal theories highlight the importance of: (a) construing action as a process of behavioural selection designed to achieve actors’ goals, (b) assessing the extent to which people have planned how to perform action sequences implied by their goals (c) investigating goal conflict in order to understand intention-behaviour discrepancies (d) examining contextual variations in goal salience to account for the dynamics of choice, (e) using intention stability to index the prioritization of goals, and (f) analyzing the content of the goals underlying attitudes and intentions. Suggestions are made about self-report measures and computations that would permit greater use of these ideas in future research.

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© Springer 2004