What do intention scales measure?

Fred D. Davis, Paul R. Warshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The present study presents evidence that standard 7-point behavioral intention (61) scales, including those recommended by Fishbein and Ajzen (e.g., Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980), actually measure behavioral expectation (BE) much of the time. Three experiments, in which a total of 203 American students were used as subjects, spanned two distinct methodologies for assessing what subjects meant by their BI scale responses, two different 7-point intention scale formats, and 16 different target behaviors. For the behaviors studied, the subjects gave their BEs in response to BI questions 43.6% of the time overall, ranging from 12.8% (smoking cigarettes) to 72.7% (spill food or drink).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-407
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of General Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1992


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