The study has its flaws, but it brings up a good point. We as people often say one thing but when faced with the situation we act differently. We often say that we would be heroic in the face of danger, but when it comes down to it how would we really react.
Another question arises from this study and that is how can we tell when what we say will match what we will do? There are five categories that help us know if what a person says is really what that person will do.
1. Strength of the attitude. The stronger you feel about the certain situation or person the more likely you will behave how you say you will behave.
2. Stability of the attitude. The more stable the attitude the more likely you will respond according to the attitude.
3. Relevance of attitude to the behavior. The more specific the attitude is toward the behavior the more likely it will occur. Just because a person says they believe in God it does not mean that they will attend church. However, if you asked them how important is church then you would see a higher correlation.
4. Salience of the attitude. If something is on your mind and it reinforces your attitude the more likely you will behave accordingly.
5. Situational pressure. Depending on the situation that you are in your behavior will Allison more closely to your attitude or farther away.
Our characters have attitudes and they have behaviors. It is important to keep in mind how they align and what makes them align.