Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Perceived Control

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1166



Perceived behavioral control is the extent to which an individual perceives that they are in control of a particular behavior (Ajzen, 2002).


Perceived behavioral control (PBC) was included in the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB; Ajzen, 1991) in order to predict/explain behaviors that are not entirely under the volitional control of the individual. According to the TPB, PBC is determined by beliefs regarding factors that may act to facilitate or inhibit successful behavioral performance (Ajzen, 1991; Conner & Armitage, 1998). For example, a belief that exercising after work is associated with many barriers (i.e., cold weather, icy sidewalks, limited schedule) may lead to low perceived behavioral control over exercise, in turn leading to less frequent exercise during winter months. However, a belief that there are few barriers to exercising (i.e., favorable weather, few other time commitments) may result in greater perceived...

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References and Readings

  1. Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(2), 179–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ajzen, I. (2002). Perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy, locus of control, and the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32(4), 665–683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Armitage, C. J., & Connor, M. (2001). Efficacy of the theory of planned behavior: A meta-analytic review. British Journal of Social Psychology, 40(4), 471–499.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Conner, M., & Armitage, C. J. (1998). Extending the theory of planned behavior: A review and avenues for further research. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28(15), 1429–1464. Special issue: Expectancy-value models of attitude and behavior.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Godin, G., & Kok, G. (1996). The theory of planned behaviour: A review of its application to health-related behaviors. American Journal of Health Promotion, 11(2), 87–98.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Studies and GerontologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Applied Health SciencesUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada