Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 1–30 | Cite as

Attitudinal and consequential expectancies in behavioral decision making

  • William K. GabrenyaJr.
  • Bruce J. Biddle
Article
  • 58 Downloads

Abstract

Two experiments were conducted to investigate the degree to which persons distinguish between what are termed “attitudinal” and “distant consequence” expectancies, the conditions under which consequential expectancies predict behavior, and the effects of conflicting attitudinal and consequential expectancies. Attitudinal expectancies are beliefs about the immediate hedonic outcomes of behaving; consequential expectancies are beliefs about distant, nonsocially mediated behavioral outcomes. A simulation experiment was conducted in which, in a 3×3 design, subjects either were or were not given attitudinal and consequential information about hypothetical behaviors that either favored or did not favor performing the behaviors. A second experiment extended the first by using a real rather than a hypothetical decision dilemma and by manipulating attitudinal (and social support) versus consequential expectancies in a 2×3 design. The results of the two studies were nearly identical in supporting the attitude-distant consequence distinction and in demonstrating that consequential considerations are an important antecedent of behavioral decisions. The implications of these findings and of the expectancy theory/decision-making approach to the development of a broad theory of action are discussed.

Keywords

Social Support Decision Making Social Psychology Simulation Experiment Behavioral Outcome 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • William K. GabrenyaJr.
    • 1
  • Bruce J. Biddle
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Professional PsychologyFlorida Institute of TechnologyMelbourne
  2. 2.University of Missouri-ColumbiaUSA

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