What do people think about when they answer theory of planned behaviour questionnaires? A 'think aloud' study.

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Two studies aiming to identify the nature and extent of problems that people have when completing theory of planned behaviour (TPB) questionnaires, using a cognitive interviewing approach are reported. Both studies required participants to 'think aloud' as they completed TPB questionnaires about: (a) increasing physical activity (six general public participants); and (b) binge drinking (13 students). Most people had no identifiable problems with the majority of questions. However, there were problems common to both studies, relating to information retrieval and to participants answering different questions from those intended by researchers. Questions about normative influence were particularly problematic. The standard procedure for developing TPB questionnaires may systematically produce problematic questions. Suggestions are made for improving this procedure.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)672-87
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2007


  • theory of planned behaviour, think aloud, physical activity, binge drinking, cognitive interviewing