Our Intentions Give Us Away
Today’s blog is about intention. We all have them daily. We intend to do the weekly shop; we intend to pay the household bills, we intend to tackle the mounting ironing pile (or in my case we don’t intend to tackle the ironing pile and graciously admit defeat!) but did you know just how much information we project through our intentions and how much information you can collect about another person through theirs?
37 years of psychological research has indicated that behaviour is directed by intentions. Fishbein & Ajzen. Our goals, our reasoning, our judgements, our rationale, can all be predicted by our very own attitudes and subjective norms. The human mind is an open book if one just takes the time to read it.
As individuals we are particularly feasible to do things if we develop an intention to do so, and are further motivated to develop an intention to do something if it’s what we would like to do. This would be our positive attitude kicking in.
If our friends, family or relatives would like us to do a particular thing such as stop smoking, lose weight, eat healthier, drink less; we are also more likely to carry out that intention. This would be the subjective norms kicking in; although, we also require the self confidence, resources and opportunity to also carry out that behaviour.
I had always intended to write a book. After I graduated I was found myself to have the self confidence, resources and time which in turn gave me the opportunity to carry out that intention.
Our intentions; which directed by our attitudes and subjective norms, are watched and read by hundreds of marketing companies and sales companies every single day. They appear to predict consumer intentions and behaviour quite well. Just by reading our intentions provides them with a source of information of where and how to look for consumers behavioural changes.
Along with our intentions, our perceived behavioural control releases a whole new truck load of information for others to read. If we look at the area of moral behaviour, Parole boards, Probation, Police, and Courts, all read the behavioural intentions of everybody they deal with in order to make an informed decision, but they also look at people who have little control or feel they have inadequate power over their behaviour as a strong indicator of future actions.
Our intentions and perceived behavioural control’s are thoughtful and deliberately goal-directed. Outcomes that are unanticipated or unforeseen are unintended consequences but it is the outcomes that eventually reveal the likelihood of what we may do next. Think about somebody you know. Their attitudes, values and the way they perceive what people think about them will enable you to determine their behaviour. But just remember it works vice versa!