Social Psychology and Social Change

Week 11: Social Psychology and Social Change

One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.

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—Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Throughout this course, you have explored social cognitive processing. Hopefully, the information you have gained in this course provides you with the foundation of how people think, which ultimately impacts how they behave, particularly within a social context. It is now time to consider how to harness this information about social cognition to promote behavior and social change.

This week, you explore ways to promote behavior and social change by examining the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior, as well as the conditions that are necessary for change to occur.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • Analyze conditions necessary for behavior change according to the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior
  • Analyze ways to promote behavior change according to the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior
  • Analyze ways to promote social change
  • Analyze ways to incorporate social cognition in future practice or research
  • Apply social cognition in daily interactions

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Bamberg, S., Ajzen, I., & Schmidt, P. (2003). Choice of travel model in the theory of planned behavior: The roles of past behavior, habit, and reasoned action. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 25(3), 175–187. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Business Source Complete database.

Hrubes, D., Ajzen, I., & Daigle, J. (2001). Predicting hunting intentions and behavior: An application of the Theory of Planned Behavior. Leisure Sciences, 23(3), 165–178. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Business Source Complete database.

Maeder, E. M., & Wiener, R. L. (2008). Likelihood of using drug courts: Predictions using procedural justice and the theory of planned behavior. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 26(5), 543–553. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.

Muñoz-Silva, A., Sanchez-Garcia, M., Nunes, C., & Martins, A. (2007). Gender differences in condom use prediction with theory of reasoned action and planned Behaviour: The role of self-efficacy and control. AIDS Care, 19(9), 1177–1181. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the CINAHL Plus with Full Text database.

Natan, M. B., Beyil, V., & Meta, O. (2009). Nurses’ perception of the quality of care they provide to hospitalized drug addicts: Testing the theory of reasoned action. InternationalJournal of Nursing Practice, 15(6), 566–573. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the CINAHL Plus with Full Text database.

Social Psychology Network. (2011). Retrieved from


Optional Resources

Anderson, A. G., & Lavallee, D. (2008). Applying the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior to athlete training adherence behavior. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 57(2), 304–312.

Johnson, B. T., Scott-Sheldon, L. A. J., & Carey, M. P. (2010). Meta-synthesis of health behavior change meta-analyses. American Journal of Public Health, 100(11), 2193–2198.

Rosen, C. S. (2000). Integrating stage and continuum models to explain processing of exercise messages and exercise initiation among sedentary college students. Health Psychology, 19(2), 172–180.

Yun, D., & Park, H. S. (2010). Culture and the theory of planned behaviour: Organ donation intentions in Americans and Koreans. Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, 4(2), 130-137.


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