Moving from rational to irrational modelling: predicting alcohol consumption

Morris, K., and Swinbourne, A. (2011) Moving from rational to irrational modelling: predicting alcohol consumption. In: Combined Abstracts of 2011 Australia Psychology Annual Conference. p. 221. From: 46th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society, 4 - 8 October 2011, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

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Traditional health behaviour models (eg. Theory of Planned Behaviour) rest on the assumption that behaviour is the result of a deliberate, rational decision-making process. These 'rational' models however fail to account for the situational influences of behaviour. Thus, the ability to explain spontaneous, irrational behaviour such as binge drinking is limited. A more appropriate theoretical framework has been outlined by Gibbons and Gerrard. The Prototype Willingness Model (PWM) accepts that behaviour is not always rational and may be influenced by a number of situational factors. Through the inclusion of an 'irrational' pathway to behaviour, the PWM has had success predicting health risk behaviours such as binge drinking, which are more likely to be subject to situational influences. The current study aimed to compare the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and the Prototype Willingness Model's (PWM) ability to predict alcohol consumption within an adult sporting sample (M= 30.15 years, SD= 12.48 years). Participants completed either a paper- or web- based anonymous questionnaire. The total sample (N= 319) included males and females from team and individual oriented sports. Sport type comparisons highlight the contrast between the social nature of team sports and individual sports where social pressures to consume alcohol may not be as prominent. Overall, team sports people's quantity of alcohol consumption was significantly greater than individual sports people's. Multiple Regression Analyses (MRAs) were conducted to examine the TPB and PWMs ability to predict team and individual sports people's quantity of alcohol consumption. As expected, the results suggest that the prototype was more salient for team sports people where hazardous alcohol consumption and prototype perceptions were significantly positively associated. The current study has highlighted the association between prototype perceptions hazardous alcohol consumption. Risk behaviour goes beyond the scope of rational forethought, thus the frameworks we employ must also acknowledge this. The important aspect of the PWM is that it provides a more enriched model upon which interventions can be based. It goes beyond the TPB by including social mechanisms that influence behaviour. Future research should now focus on manipulating prototype perceptions in an attempt to reduce hazardous alcohol consumption.

Item ID: 24862
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISBN: 978-0-909881-43-6
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2013 05:50
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 30%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1702 Cognitive Science > 170202 Decision Making @ 40%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 60%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920414 Substance Abuse @ 40%
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