Note that this assignment is under 1,600 words so there is room for expansion.
An investigation of the behaviour of smokers and their attitude toward quitting can
deliver valuable information to create effective measurements to work towards a
lower smoking prevalence in the future. Within this study the theory of planned
behaviour (TPB) is applied, with the purpose to investigate the influence of the TPB
antecedents on intention (INT) of smokers to quit smoking. The antecedents are
defined as attitude (ATT), subjective norm (SN) and perceived behavioural control
(PBC). A key focus within this research is to discover similarities and differences
across the two different European countries: Greece and Spain.
The paper will first give a theoretical overview about the theory of planned behaviour.
Secondly the sample profile will be briefly discussed. A descriptive analysis will
discuss differences between the mean scores of the antecedents across the two
countries. Based on the findings a regression analysis will demonstrate the
predictability of the intention to quit smoking by the TPB variables and how this
differs between the nations. Finally a conclusion will give ideas for the usefulness of
the acquired data and discuss research limitations.
Theory of planned behaviour
The TPB is an expectancy value model which states that human behaviour is a
consequence of one’s behavioural intention, which is in turn explained by one’s
attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioural control regarding the behaviour.
The TPB is an extension of the theory of reason action (TRA; Fishbein & Ajzen,
1975) which does not include perceived behavioural control and thus not designed to
explain behaviours out with an individual’s volitional control. In the TPB and TRA
models, behavioural intention is the cognitive representation of the individual’s
motivation to enact the behaviour in question. Attitude toward the behaviour is the
individual’s positive or negative evaluation of performing the behaviour. Subjective
norm is the individual’s perceived social/peer pressure in undertaking the behaviour.
Lastly, perceived behavioural control represents the individual’s perception of the ease
or difficulty in enacting the behaviour. The TPB has been found to explain intention
Comment [E1]: Executive summary needed. This is part of the assignment
requirements. Should also include title and
An executive summary should provide a
summary of all the research process. i.e. what the objectives of the research are, how
the research was conducted, the key results
Comment [E2]: Could be more specific as to why this is important, including some
I would expect research objectives to be clearly stated, with associated research
questions to be answered
Comment [E3]: What about any specific studies in the content of smoking cessation?
These would be very relevant to refer to.
Reference to key journal articles pertinent
to the research topic is needed.
For your report, there is no need to dwell on
theory, but you need to give some brief background on the key variables such as
perceived value in the appendix.
and behaviour in a wide variety of contexts and is considered to be the most used
model in understanding health behaviour (Astrom & Rise, 2001).
Analysis and Results
The study was conducted through an online questionnaire in Greece and Spain.
Overall 248 responses were received with a higher proportion (60% or 150) of
responses from Greece and the remaining 98 responses from Spain. A number of
questions were used to collect information about the sample, these were gender, age
(in years), household income (in €), and social position. All respondents identified
themselves to be smokers. Figure 1a and 1b show the proportion of respondents who
are male and female for each country. There are proportionally more males for the
Greek sample than in the Spanish ample. A Chi-square test showed a significant
difference in proportion of males/females across country (p < .05). Figure 2a and 2b
gives the social position of respondents for each country. The bar charts show that for
both countries around half of the respondents are in full-time employment. For Spain
there are a higher proportion of respondents across each of the remaining categories
than for Greece. For the Greek sample most respondents who are not employed full-
time are in the categories of student or other. The other category may represent
homemakers but this is not clear from the data provided. In terms of age and income
across the countries, Table 1 provided descriptive statistics. The mean values
highlights that the Spanish sample are overall older than the Greek sample. An
independent samples t test confirmed that the mean age of respondents is different (p
< .05) across the two countries. Difference in mean household income was also
statistically significant (p < .05) indicating that the levels of household income differ
across the Spanish and Greek respondents. The Greek respondents have on average a
higher household income than the Spanish respondents.
Comment [E4]: Could also include a descriptive analysis of the variables, e.g.
was intention to quit high/low?
Comment [E5]: Avoid mixing present and past tenses in your reporting. You can
use either present or past tense, but keep
consistently to one choice.
Comment [E6]: A vague term. Try to avoid ambiguous terms. State clearly what
Comment [l7]: There is a higher proportion
Comment [l8]: These two statements contradict each other. The statement for
Spain is wrong and does not reflect the
views shown in Figures 2a and 2b.
Figure 1a. Pie Chart showing Gender for
Figure 1b. Pie Chart showing Gender for
Figure 2a. Bar Chart showing Social Position for Greece Comment [E9]: Should use a clustered bar chart instead of two separate charts.
Figure 2b. Bar Chart showing Social Position for Spain
Table 1. Descriptive statistics for age and income across Country
T-tests across Country
It is important to determine if the two countries are similar in regard to the mean level
of the TPB variables. Before discussing the t-test it is important to establish if the
respondents from each country have a similar variability in their responses to the TPB
questionnaire items. Results from the Levene’s test of equality of variances shows
that for the intention items and the overall average of intention there are significant
Comment [E10]: It is better to include the SPSS output as an appendix and create
your own tables using word. Your own table should contain only the centrally
important statistics (and also decide on
suitable number of decimal places). I suggest 2 dp’s. A table such as Table 1 of
Hassan and Shiu (2006) but giving the
number of items, the range, the mean and standard deviation for each construct would
be useful. It is important that the reader
understands what, for example, a mean of 2.5 represents – does this value perhaps
indicating a very positive attitude or a
moderately positive attitude? It also depends of the measurement i.e. how many
scale points are used and what the end
points of the scale are so this is important information.
Comment [E11]: Again see Hassan and Shiu (2006) for a further example of displaying and writing about t-test results.
Comment [E12]: This is vague! Why is it important and to whom is it important?
differences (p < .05) in the variability across the countries with respondents from
Spain being less homogenous in their responses than the respondents from Greece.
The levene’s test results for subjective norm show that there is no difference (p > .05)
in the variability of responses from respondents across the two countries.
In order to establish if there are mean differences an independent t-test was
conducted. The results of this analysis are presented in Tables 2 and 3. The results
show overall that there are many mean differences across the countries in terms of
intention and attitude. But that SN and PBC do not differ significantly across the two
countries. Importantly plan and intend significantly differ across the countries with
respondents from Spain having a higher intention to quit smoking. However
respondents in both countries both exhibit a similar mean regarding wanting to quit.
There are no differences across the countries in terms of the cognitive attitudinal
items, however there are differences across the countries in terms of the affective
attitude items. Respondents in both countries consider smoking to be negative and
bad. However smokers from Greece perceive smoking to be more pleasant and
enjoyable than respondents from Spain. This might represent a barrier to engaging in
quitting. In terms of SN respondents from both countries express some normative
pressure to engage in quitting. However the overall mean value is low. Respondents
from both countries perceive that quitting is within their control and therefore have
high mean values on the measures of self-efficacy.
Table 2. Means for each TPB variable across Country
Comment [E13]: Within the discussion of the t-test results, it is important to demonstrate an understanding of the
Levene’s test. The red text adds a
discussion of Levene’s test for intention and subjective norm only.
Comment [E14]: Would also be good to add in brackets the mean values so that readers can see some detail without having
to look at the table. For example, in terms
of SN, respondents from both countries express low levels of normative pressure to
engage in quitting (mean = 1.4).
Table 3. T-test results for each TPB variable across Country
Comment [E15]: Hard to see, again create tables in word with the key
information and put SPSS output in
Regression Analysis of the TPB model
In order to determine the usefulness of the TPB in this context. Regression analysis
was employed to determine if any of the TPB antecedents explained intention to quit
smoking. The dependent variable is defined as the intention to quit smoking. The
independent variables are attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioural control.
The results (see table 4) show that the TPB antecedents explain approximately 34% of the
variation in intention to quit smoking. However neither Attitude nor SN are significant
factors in explaining intention (ps > .05). Only self-efficacy explains intention to quit (p
< .05) with respondents who have stronger belief in their ability to quit smoking having a
higher intention to do so. Thus the TPB and TRA models have not been shown to be
powerful in explaining intention in this behavioural context. An additional hierarchical
regression analysis including country as an additional predictor variable shows that
country adds to the explanation of intention (p < .05) with an increase in r-squared from
Comment [E16]: Not a complete sentence. When you start with “In order to ….” You should have a second part that
goes something like “… one
Comment [l17]: (neither one) is
Comment [E18]: Where is the output for this?
.34 to .36 (Sig. F change p < .05) This indicates that the TPB should be modelled
separately for each country.
Table 4. Regression results for TPB model
The research results give some helpful insights how to explain the behavior of smokers to
quit. The data acquired can be useful input for organizations which develop anti-smoking
campaigns in the two countries. The fact that perceived behavioral control is the strongest
influencer of a smoker’s intention to quit is useful information that enables marketing
managers to implement suitable strategies, such as promotional programs which support
smokers to know and develop their motivation and will-power regarding quitting. An
important finding for social marketers is that respondents from Greece hold positive
Comment [E19]: In this case, you should conduct and report this additional
Part correlations could be included and
explained, also what about beta values?????
Also demographic factors could be included
in the model.
Comment [E20]: No mention of the predictive ability of the TPB in relation to
other studies in this area or with regards to
meta-analyses on the TPB. Wherever possible, it is useful to relate your
findings to that reported in the literature
you referenced earlier.
Comment [E21]: Should use UK English spelling consistently.
Comment [l22]: Again US spelling.
Comment [E23]: Again US spelling.
attitudes towards smoking, and these positive attitudes might inhibit their intentions to
There are various factors that limit the validity of the research results. Firstly solely the
intention to quit was measured, but not the actual behaviour. This might limit the
effectiveness of non-smoking strategies based on the results, since no evidence for the
translation of intention into the actual action exists. Furthermore other variables that were
identified to influence on the intention to quit, such as habit (Godin et al., 1992) and past
experience (Ajzen, 1985) were not included into the research.
Regarding the validity of the findings there are some limitation within the research
methodology. The very brief questionnaire cannot catch all dimensions of TPB model.
Additionally the subjective norm was only measured on a one item question. There might
have been higher correlation between the subjective norm and the intention to quit, as
identified by previous researchers, if the question would have been asked with a multi-
item scale. The comparability across the countries is limited due to some significant
differences within the sample profile by country in terms of unequal distribution and
structure. Apart from the limitations of the research the TPB model itself has some
restrictions. First of all demographics, personality-related and cultural factors are not
taken into account, although they also shape the behaviour of people. Additionally, the
model assumes rationality of people, unconscious decision making is not considered
Overall the TPB has performed poorly in explaining intentions to quit smoking in Greece
and in Spain.
References should be included
Also useful to include an appendix (say to give a clear definition of the key concepts
such as self-brand connection, perceived value, etc. – reference to extant literature will
be good too.)
Comment [E24]: What does this mean??? When you make a statement, you
need to convey clearly and if necessary provide a justification too to substantiate
Comment [E25]: Watch out making this generalization as the analysis was not
conducted separately for each country.
Also, try to avoid short paragraphs (with
less than four sentences).