The impact of network structural position on the contributory influence of attitude and subjective norm on behavioral intention: A multilevel test
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractWithin contemporary views of attitude formation and change, two sources of influence are assumed to be available to the decision-maker when faced with making a behavioral decision. The first source represents information about consequences of engaging in the behavior and it is based on an individual's attitude. The second is based on normative information about the opinions held by others. Both attitudinal and normative influence can contribute to decision-outcomes, but there is little known about what factors impact the relative contribution of one over the other. In addition to individual level perceptions of a behavior, the context in which a decision is made also influences how individuals make behavioral decisions. The Structural Theory of Social Influence (SSI) proposes that network position, one of many contextual properties, explains how individuals weigh information from both attitudinal and normative sources (Friedkin, 1998). A multilevel test of this explanation is presented. Micro-level variables were based on individual level perceptions of attitude and subjective norm. A decision context was measured by social network analysis to create the macro-level variable of network position. This study focused on a decision context that was constructed of faculty and their behavioral intentions regarding a set of teaching behaviors. The results from a cross-level test (between the macro- and micro-level variables) suggest that network position does not explain variation attitudinal influence. These results are discussed in terms of the SSI and in how they inform diffusion processes. It is proposed that a theory of the balance between attitudinal and normative influence should include individual, behavioral, as well as structural level predictors of interpersonal influence.
Degree ProgramGraduate College