For many months, the most popular post and queries in Devcompage has been “Writing the theoretical framework”. Here’s a sample theoretical framework I wrote for a paper published in the International Journal of Pest Management.
Motivating rice farmers in the Mekong Delta to modify pest management and related practices through mass media
Huan, N,H, H.V.Chien, P.V. Quynh, P.S Tan, P.V. Du, M.M. Escalada , and K.L. Heong
Theory of Social Learning
The project applied social learning theory in developing interventions to motivate farmers to reduce seed sowing, nitrogen fertilizer application and insecticide application rates. Social learning theory (Bandura, 1977) stresses the importance of observational learning, imitation, and modelling to explain media effects on human behaviour. Through social modelling, an individual can adapt critical aspects of the behaviour they wish to adopt. Awareness and expectations of future reinforcements or punishments can have a major effect on an individual’s behaviour. As extrinsic factors are important in behaviour change, new behaviour is often learned through observing how others conduct themselves (Severin and Tankard, 2001).
Theory of Planned Behaviour
In developing the campaign approach and media materials, the project drew largely upon the strategic communication campaign framework (Adhikarya, 1994) and adapted the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 1988) and the Theory of Reasoned Action (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980) to understand and promote individual behaviour change.
The Theory of Reasoned Action asserts that intention to perform certain behaviour is determined by the individual’s attitude toward the performing the behaviour and by the subjective norm held by the individual. The theory has been applied to many health and campaigns relating to breastfeeding, AIDS, anti-smoking, safety belt usage, and anti-drugs to determine which factors influence individuals to act in certain ways and to identify better ways of effectively communicating the message.
The Theory of Planned Behaviour, an extension of the Theory of Reasoned Action, can help to explain why some media campaigns have limited success. Increasing knowledge alone does not help to change behaviour but campaigns aimed at attitudes and perceived norms in making adoption decisions produced better results. Studies of behavioural intentions suggest that the likelihood of intended audiences’ adopting a desired behaviour can be predicted. By assessing and understanding the factors we can develop messages to influence their attitudes and perceptions of benefits of the behaviour and how their peers will view their behaviour. Research by Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) supports the idea that individuals’ and society’s (perceived) attitudes are important determinants of action. Therefore, an important step toward influencing behaviour is an assessment of intended audience attitudes. We can subsequently monitor these attitudinal changes.