Journal of Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 39 Issue 10 (October 2009), Pages 2275-2540

Attitude and Norm Accessibility and Cigarette Smoking (pages 2355-2372)

Social norms and attitudes play a critical role in adolescent smoking initiation and maintenance. Focus theory predicts that making a norm more salient—and thereby temporarily increasing its accessibility from memory—will increase the influence of the norm on behavior for as long as the norm remains salient. Likewise, the process model of the attitude–behavior relationship predicts that accessible attitudes are more predictive of behavior. The present research examining the role of the chronic accessibility of smoking related normative beliefs and attitudes in predicting smoking behavior in college students. Attitude and norm accessibility independently accounted for significant variability in smoking behavior beyond that accounted for by traditional measures of attitude and subjective norm.

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