Predicted Far Play Behavior Using Th Etheory Of Planned Behavior: The Role Of Moral Obligation And Past Behavior

Por: H. Tsorbatzoudis e M. Emmanouilidou.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Fair play represents an Ethical Code not only in sport but also in physical education class. The theory of planned behavior [1] (TPB) has been proved particularly effective in the prediction of various behaviors. A central factor in the TPB is the individual’s intention to perform a given behavior. The theory postulates three conceptually independent determinants of intention: (a) attitude toward the behavior, (b) subjective norm, and (c) perceived behavioral control. The importance of considering additional variables in the application of the TPB is to increase our understanding of the processes determining behaviors [3]. One might expect moral norms to have an important influence on the performance of behavior with an ethical dimension. The variable of moral obligation adds to the TPB and measures the personal feelings of moral obligation or responsibility to perform, or refuse to perform, a certain behavior [2]. Investigators have suggested that past behavior should be included as a predictor of later behavior, equivalent to the other independent variables in the theory [4]. The present research was designed to examine the potential of the TPB to predict fair play behavior in physical education class and also to examine the contribution of moral obligation and past behavior in the model.

The subjects were 232 students, deriving from the 1st and 2nd grade of high school (age: M=11.90, S.D.=.562) from two cities in N. Greece. The three fair play behaviors were: (a) keep to the rules, (b) acceptance of the officials’ decisions, and (c) respect of the opponent. The students completed a questionnaire that assessed the components of the TPB, moral obligation as well as self-reports of behaviors (frequency of past behaviors) with regard to each behavior. A second questionnaire was used to measure the three fair play behaviors, which was completed by physical education teachers. Τhe first questionnaire consisted of three sections assessing the components of the TPB, moral obligation, past behavior. The average of the three sections of each variable was used since the three behaviors, which were measured, compose the fair play behavior [5].

Hierarchical regression analysis was used to predict both intention and behavior. The results from the analysis are shown in table 1.

From the present study show that TPB can be successfully used to predict and explain fair play behaviors. Attitude and perceived behavior control were significant predictors of intention, while intention and perceived behavior control were significant predictors of behavior. Moral obligation and past behavior were found to add predictions of behavior over and above the TPB variables. Similar findings have also been obtained in previous studies [1,2,3,4,5]. Our results provide evidence for the framework of TPB as well as the factors, which influence the behavior with moral dimension.

[1] Ajzen, I., & Madden, T. (1986). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 22, 453-474.
[2] Beck, L., & Ajzen, I. (1991). Journal of Research in Personality, 25, 285-301.
[3] Conner M., & McMillan, B. (1999). British Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 195-222.
[4] Hamid, N., & Cheng, S. (1995). Environment and Behavior, 5, 679-698.
[5] Kaiser, F., & Scheuthle, H. (2003). Personality and Individual Differences, 34, 1-16.

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