Behavioral Beliefs

Behavioral beliefs link the behavior of interest to expected outcomes and experiences. A behavioral belief is the subjective probability that the behavior will produce a given outcome or experience. Although a person may hold many behavioral beliefs with respect to any behavior, only a relatively small number are readily accessible at a given moment. It is assumed that these accessible beliefs — in combination with the subjective values of the expected outcomes and experiences — determine the prevailing attitude toward the behavior. Specifically, the evaluation of each outcome or experience contributes to the attitude in direct proportion to the person's subjective probability that the behavior produces the outcome or experience in question (see attitude toward the behavior).