Reasoned action in the service of goal pursuit

Psychol Rev. 2019 Oct;126(5):774-786. doi: 10.1037/rev0000155. Epub 2019 Jul 25.


The theory of planned behavior (TPB; Ajzen, 1991, 2012), used widely for the prediction and modification of human actions, is behavior centered. According to the TPB, behavioral intentions, the immediate precursors of behavior, are determined by attitude toward the behavior, subjective norm with respect to the behavior, and perceived control over the behavior. In contrast, goal systems theory (GST; Kruglanski et al., 2002) is goal centered. It assumes that behavior typically serves as a means to an individual's goals. To extend the TPB's range of application and augment its explanatory and predictive power, we integrate these two theoretical perspectives in a proposed theory of reasoned goal pursuit. We conclude that the formation of a behavioral intention is determined by motivation to perform a behavior in light of alternative options and in the context of the individual's currently active goals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Behavior*
  • Goals*
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Psychological Theory*