Socially constructed subjective norms and subjective norm-behavior consistency

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Stephen G. Sapp
Wendy J. Harrod
Lijun Zhao
Cite this article:  Sapp, S., Harrod, W., & Zhao, L. (1994). Socially constructed subjective norms and subjective norm-behavior consistency. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 22(1), 31-40.


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We found support for the hypothesis that, under conditions of ill-formed intentions, subjective norms measured after group interaction can affect behavior directly. Perceived subjective norms converged within groups for subjects in a discussion condition, and these “normalized” subjective norms affected behavior directly. Based upon previous research, we expected that attitudes and subjective norms can influence behavior directly because ill-formed intentions are inconsistent with behavior. Instead, we found that attitudes and subjective norms affected behavior directly for discussion subjects even when ill-formed intentions were, consistent with behavior. The findings indicate that, under conditions of ill-formed intentions, the manner of attitudes and subjective norm formation may be more crucial for predicting behavior than the strength of the intention-behavior relationship.

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