The Theory of Planned Behavior Without Compatibility? Beyond Method Bias and Past Trivial Associations

Overreliance on one measurement approach can challenge accurate statements about reality, as findings can represent by-products of the compulsory measurement paradigm. Within the theory of planned behavior (TPB), the compatibility principle represents one such strictly imposed paradigm. Using 2 cross-sectional surveys of 1,394 volunteers and involving structural equation models, we demonstrate that the widely employed practice of measuring TPB constructs is confounded with method- implied bias. This means the theory cannot conclusively reveal origins of a behavior. Our results also suggest that on an aggregated level, when method bias is eliminated, its constructs are linked in hypothesized ways. Adopting a more general model— thus, adopting a more trait like conceptualization of attitudes—has interesting implications for social psychology and its current trends. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Kaiser, F., Schultz, P. W., & Scheuthle, H. (2007). The theory of planned behavior without compatibility? Beyond method bias and past trivial associations. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37, 1522-1544., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.