Integrating the Theory of Planned Behavior With Norm Activation in a Pro-Environmental Context

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The theory of planned behavior (TPB) is one of the famous theories used to predict a person’s intentions in various contexts, using the subjective normative component. This article, therefore, focused on proposing a conceptual model to fill the existing gaps related to the pro-environmental context, based on the TPB, with the normative aspects supplemented by incorporating the norm activation theory (NAT). Focus of the Article: The interaction between subjective and personal norms needs to be considered in order to acquire empirical data support from social marketing scholars. The awareness of consequences is used to form personal norms that function as an “instrumental attitude” in predicting intention. The existence of attitude needs to be distinguished between the experiential and instrumental, reflected in the awareness of consequences. Program Design/Approach: Pro-environmental behavior (PEB) in the context of waste sorting is a shared function of intentions, personal norm, and perceived control. It plays an important role in mediating the influence of motivational factors of TPB and personal norm of NAT, on waste sorting. Communication strategies in promoting waste sorting activity have to integrate social pressure with a feeling of moral obligation. Importance to the Social Marketing Field: The conceptual model shows that the integration of TPB and NAT contributes a more comprehensive perspective for social marketers to promote the waste sorting behavior of the targeted society. Methods: Five essential stages are systematically arranged to integrate TPB and NAT. The first stage explains the basic equation of TPB and NAT. The second proposes three essential propositions. The third provides logical thinking of the integrated equation model, while the fourth stage creates the visual form and explains it in detail. The fifth stage provides a clear and concise managerial implication and limitation of the model, accompanied by the possibility to expand it in future studies. Recommendations for Research or Practice: The social marketing practitioners and academicians interested in the issue of PEB context from the community, need to consider the integration of TPB and NAT in their activities. Social pressure within the community is strengthened by the formation of a sense of moral obligation with the simultaneous strengthening of the experiential and instrumental attitude. Limitations: The proposed conceptual model is limited to the utilization of a cultural approach as the central premise. It is also limited to the use of the fundamental theory in predicting humans’ behavior in a waste sorting context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-258
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Marketing Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • norm activation theory
  • pro-environmental behavior
  • social marketing
  • theory of planned behavior
  • waste sorting behavior


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