Subjective Norms: The Theory Of Reasoned Action

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Subjective norms are influenced by our perceptions of the beliefs of those around us: parents, friends, colleagues, partners, etc. According to the TRA, we have a sense or belief about whether or not these individuals and groups would approve or disapprove of the behavior. But we also have to factor in how motivated we are to comply with their views. This can vary from one situation to another. By focusing on attitudes and norms, TRA provides a framework for identifying and measuring the underlying reasons for a person's intent to behave a certain way (or not). It is called the Theory of Reasoned Action because of the emphasis on understanding these reasons — not because the beliefs and attitudes themselves are necessarily reasonable or correct.
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