Communications Essays on Planned Behavior: Foot-On-The-Door


“Theory of planned behavior and teachers’ decision regarding use of educational technology” is a journal that explains foot- on -the -door technique in relation to how teachers make decisions on issues of educational technology (Lee, et al., 2010). This technique involves getting someone to comply to a large request by presenting him with a smaller request. The journal highlights a research carried out to find how the teachers’ behavior of using only computers to create the class work and deliver their lessons affect their decision to use other technologies available for the same purposes. The theory of planned behavior links peoples beliefs on something and their behavior regarding the same thing. In this journal, beliefs of teachers regarding technology in education are investigated on how it influences their behavior in adopting technological tools and resources to use in class.

The authors acknowledge that the government expects all teachers to be able to use technology properly in delivering content to their learners. The authors have however argued that the people responsible for designing the education technology tools have failed to take the competence of the teachers into account during the designing period (Lee, et al., 2010). They point out that the value that teachers have towards a technology, their competence, and the opinion of their supervisors may be the reasons teachers adopt technology.

The authors agree with Icek Ajzen on his theory of planned behavior which states that desirable human behavior is instantaneously preceded by intent in this behavior (Ajzen, 1991). They have identified have identified three main determinants in prediction of behavioral intention. How people view behavior has been considered as the attitude, what their significant persons think about the behavior is described as subjective norm while their belief that they can execute the behavior is referred to as perceived behavioral control.

In the case of the teachers’ decision to use technology, the authors have discussed all the three determinants and found out that all the three affect the decisions taken by the teachers to use education technology (Lee, et al., 2010).

Mass Media Example

Fools-Speed Campaign

This is an example of planned behavior in mass media. The Scotland roads wanted to modify the undesirable and unsafe driver behaviors that were leading to the increasing cases of accidents caused by over speeding. They decided to use driver behavior strategy whereby they identified drug driving, drink driving and speeding as the main behaviors involved. The campaign was aimed to reach all the drivers in Scotland but the most targeted group were males of professional class aged 25-44 (Stead & Eadie, 2007). The brand identity development involved well established design companies and the result was evaluated by a respectable market research company. The final identity was effective and challenged the drivers evaluate their over-speeding behavior. The accompanied message was brief to match speeding.

The campaign had utilized a variety of media but used television mostly. The campaigned aimed to change the attitude of the drivers, hence addressing the attitude part. It aimed to challenge the belief that over-speeding means being in control and saving time. It discouraged the notion that speeding means that you are the best driver than others driving slowly. The second part aimed to address the subjective norm and used “family and friends”. The campaign showed that what the driver though as being smart and better was not seen in the same way by friends and family (Stead & Eadie, 2007). They young man of about 30 years behind the wheel speeding and feeling could about it, was made aware that the child passenger was not impressed by the speeding. When drivers see that their significant others are not impressed with speeding, they have to reduce the speed.

The third part considered the perceived behavior control. It aimed at making the drivers know that they have the power to control their speeding, they are made to know that they can do it if they want to (Stead & Eadie, 2007). It also reminds them that they are responsible for the way they drive.

Personal Example

I have a member of my family who was addicted to smoking and I believe all these determinants played part in his effort to stop smoking. His assessment about quitting the habit was good and believed that the result would be positive (Ajzen, 1991). He knew that quitting would make him healthy and would start enjoying a healthy life. His assessment of quitting and the outcome were positive and this makes a positive attitude.

The subjective norm was also evidenced in playing a role in the cessation process (Ajzen, 1991). He knew that everybody in the family disapproved his smoking habit. The doctors also advised him to stop smoking and these could have contributed towards the motivation to stop smoking. This aspect could also have made it easier for him to approve quitting smoking so that to avoid upsetting people who are important to him.

There was also an aspect of perceived behavioral control (Ajzen, 1991). He was confident that he could quit and just need to remain determined. He knew that there would be withdrawal syndrome but the support from health professionals, friends and family members assured him that it would not be so bad. The conviction that he could do it was too strong than the fear of withdrawal syndrome.



Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 50(2), 179-211.

Lee, J., Cerreto, F. A., & Lee, J. (2010). Theory of Planned Behavior and Teachers’ Decisions Regarding Use of Educational Technology. Educational Technology & Society, 13(1), 152-164.

Stead, M., & Eadie, D. (2007). Evaluation of Foolsspeed Campaign: Final phase: Report. Scottish Executive Social Research.