A Decision Theoretic and Prototype Conceptualization of Possible Selves: Implications for the Prediction of Risk Behavior
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The present study explores a new framework for conceptualizing possible selves for the prediction of behavior. The framework uses decision theory, attitude theory, and classic expectancy-value models. The focus is on using possible-self constructs that (a) correspond to behavioral alternatives, (b) focus on self dimensions directly tied to the behavioral criterion, and (c) use expectancy-value constructs to assess the core features of a given possible self-dimension. A study of 305 college students was undertaken to predict alcohol use from possible self constructs using the framework. Results affirmed the utility of the approach, showing that possible-self constructs predicted behavior over and above current self-image and constructs in the Theory of Planned Behavior. Possible-self constructs associated with negative attributes of both binge drinkers and nonbinge drinkers were predictive of behavior.
author list (cited authors)
Quinlan, S. L., Jaccard, J., & Blanton, H.