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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefit of transforming expectancy-based determinants of injunctive and descriptive norms with a value-laden construct across a case series of health behaviors. This case series draws upon three cases (sugar-sweetened beverages, physical activity, and sleep), each evaluating generalized injunctive (ΣIN) and descriptive norms (ΣDN), with corresponding value-expectancy based determinants: injunctive normative belief strength (inbi) and motivation to comply (mtci), and descriptive normative belief strength (dnbi) and identification with referents (iwri). Each belief-based measure (inbi/dnbi) and product between belief-based measure and value-laden measure (inbi x mtci/dnbi x iwri) was correlated to its corresponding generalized scale (ΣIN/ΣDN), and the associations were compared using Steiger’s test for comparing two dependent correlations with one variable in common. Across three case series, generalized injunctive norms (ΣIN) was correlated to 12 referents using a value-expectancy model (inbi x mtci) and expectancy-only model (inbi), and generalized descriptive norms was correlated to 15 referents using the same approach (inbi x iwri vs. dnbi). Using Steiger’s test, it was found that the expectancy-only model was significantly better than the value-expectancy model for injunctive norms, but results were mixed for descriptive norms. Results from this study suggest that value-laden constructs only add error when evaluating determinants of injunctive norms, and researchers should consider re-scaling or finding alternative means of measuring mtci. Results pertaining to descriptive norms were mixed, and a better consensus on best methods for operationalizing the construct is warranted.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License