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chapter 7: attitudes


ABCs of Attitudes
:evaluations of people, objects, or ideas (attitude objectsthe thing we have an
attitude about)
Affecctive: emotions toward attitude object (ex: chocolate makes me feel good)
Behavioral: actions towards attitude object (I choose chocolate cake)
Cognitive: thoughts about attitude object (Dark chocolate is good for my health)
-Measuring Snake Attitudes
Affective response would be fear
-Sources of Attitudes
Values (implicit understandings of our world shaped by our cultures that we
live in and our upbringings shape how we look at certain things and concepts)
Mere exposure (people like things that they have already been exposed to, or
have seen a lot)
o Mirror study: we see ourselves as our mirror image
o Participants were shown to pictures of themselves and pictures of their
mirror image
o Ps prefer the mirror image, while others preferred the actual image
-Classical Conditioning
Basic premise: things that are neutral can acquire a valence attitude over time
EX: advertisements for the most part are going to pair their product with
something positive; to get you to buy their product
o Typically appeal to ones visceral feelings
Study: pared dutch with negatives words and Swedish with positive words.
Results conditioned attitude scores reflected more negative attitudes for dutch

-Operant Conditioning
Premised on rewards and punishment
-Body Movement
Headphone Study: half the participants were told to nod and the other shake
o Who was more persuaded by the argument?
o Those who nodded were more persuaded by the argument
o Subtle change in attitudesupports notion of embodiment

Function of Attitudes
-Knowledge Function: help us make sense of the world; what we should approach or
I know this so I can feel comfortable around it; feel confident/know how to
-Value Expression: our attitudes can express our beliefs; also guide our social
behavior to help facilitate smooth interactions
-Social Adjustment Function
Binge Eating Study
o Looked at sorority girls at UMich and their binge-eating behaviors
o Girls would binge over the same time correlated with their friendship
development; become closer over time
o Convergence on behavior that promotes harmony

Bennington Study (in southern VT)

o Faculty at Benningtonlargely liberal; women who admitted into this
college were raised as largely Conservative but over time adopted
more liberal outlooks in order to adjust into the context that they were in
(more positive social adjustment to collegemore popular, more
o Those who stayed (kept conservative values) correlated with less
-Ego-Defensive Function
do anti-semitic attitudes serve an ego-defensive function?
o People who engage in bias attitudes feel good about themselves
o IV: self-image threat (neg or pos feedback) and target ethnicity
o Half participants were told they did poorly on the exam
o Ps watched a video of a woman that was applying for a jobwho was
clearly Jewish or clearly Italian (same video except for a couple of
changed details) and asked to evaluate the woman
o DV: Self-Esteem and Attitudes toward target
o Measured self-esteem after the initial feedback, then asked to evaluate
the woman; then measured self-esteem again (after the chance to
express bias)
o If you feel bad about yourself, you express bias to feel better about
o Ps expressed bias towards Jewish target when they felt a negative
self-treat (gave lower evaluation to target)
o Those who got negative feedback and expressed bias (Jewish woman
is not very good) saw increase in their self-esteem (The more they
expressed bias the higher their self-esteem went)
Changing attitudes: were bombarded with Persuasion Attitudes
o Superbowl ads: all affectiveBudweiser puppies
o Advertisers want you to talk about these ads with other people

Understanding Persuasion: Elaboration Likelihood model

Central route to Persuasion

o Focusing on the merits of arguments; when people are focused and

want to understand
o Central to the merits of the product (central to me is different from
central to someone)
Focused and attentive because its relevant to youengage in
effort and try to elaborate; interested in digging deeper into the
Can lead to long lasting change (EX> increase in tuition rate
may write a letter to the President; form a group of students to
do something about this issue)
Peripheral Route to Persuasion
o Budweiser ad: try to associate Beer with affective feeling of cute puppy
o Not central; associate source, context, and the information that is not
central to the merits
Use peripheral cues (is it funny? Does it feel good?) can trigger
liking and acceptance but often only temporarily
Who says What to Whom?
Who: the communicator
o Say things audience agrees with (gains credibility by the notion of
similar thinking
o Introduce oneself as expert (better if someone else does this)
o Speak competently
o Eye contact
o Speak quickly (less time to process and argue
o Argue against self-interest
What: the message
o Emotionally interesting
o Imagery provoking

o Hold attention
o Focus on one kid, or one dogthey can give you a lot of statistics on
large numbers but they dontour culture empathizes with individuals
o Does scaring people cause people to change their attitudes?
o Study: fear appeals
IV: persuasion technique (pamphlet, scary film, or both
pamphlet and film)
DV: number of cigarettes per day
Over time, scary video immediately caused men to decrease
smoking but this effect didnt last
Those who saw both the pamphlet and film successfully
decreased smoking
*scare people and give them a reason
o The Message: one-sided vs. two-sided appeals
One-sided best for those in support of your argument, two-sided
best for those against
Whom: The Audience (who this is going to, what types of attitudes do they
already have?)
Forewarned is forearmed (give time to counterargue) Stealing thunder may
decrease persuasion
Distraction disarms (increases persuasion); more likely t get out of critical
mindset and go peripheral route
Age: young (18-25) and older (60+) more persuadable
o Collegewho am i?
Attitude inoculation: give dose of argument
Theory of planned behavior

-Cialdini Videoyielding persuasion

Advertising- What psychological tricks do they use? (Youtube)
Principle of Reciprocity:
Principle of Scarcity: things that are deemed as scarcemakes them more
Principle of Authority: much more willing to follow the lead of one qualified, in

Principle of Commitment- ask one to do a little thing first and then follow up with a
bigger request later; wear small pin, then later request people to make a sizeable
Principle of Liking: more likely to say yes to those who we like and are familiar
with (friend, relative)
Principle of Consensus: more likely to say yes to a request if we have information
that a lot of people around us area also saying yes

Autokinetic Effect Experiment (Sherif, 1936)
Asch Line Judgment study
Berscheid et. al (1968)


Informational social influence

Normative Social Influence

Obedience to Authority
Dehumanization of Victims
What is conformity?
Behavioral change (in accordance with others actions) due to real or
imagined influence of others
Informational Social Influence
We use others behavior as a source of information in ambiguous situations
just to know what to do!
Auto Kinetic effect experiment
Day 1: private estimateshow much is the dot moving?
Several days later: groups of 3, public estimatesemergence of group norms
Wide variability alone, converge after hearing others estimates
2nd response still alone but also changed (indicates using others estimates as
information rather than trying to fit in)

-binge drinking: we overestimate how many students consistently binge drink,

hope that exposure of actual percentage leads to private acceptance
-Mass Hysteria: psychogenic illness!
Ambiguous arousal and label as sickness (like 2-factor theory of emotion!)
Times of stress

Factors that facilitate ISI

ambiguous situations
crisis situations
presence of experts
Normative Social Influence
-social norms: implicit/explicit rules for acceptable behaviors, values, beliefs
-normative social influence: conformity stemming from desire for social approval
Asch Line Judgment study
Confederates are told to report wrong answers
Subject denies their own perception, either because they believe the group is
correct, or bc the disagreement would be uncomfortable
With partner, conformity=5%, compared to 37% when alone
*public compliance (vs. private acceptance)
-Social Impact Theory (Latane)
Number (4 is magic #)
Milgram Study
2/3 of people will shock to a lethal level
power of situationnot bad people just various social influences

-us and them
-allows you to justify negative treatment
Berscheid et. al (1968)
when subjects couldnt retaliate, participants justified that they deserved
painful shock they had administered
-prefrontal medial cortex activated when you see other humans, less activated when
looking at pictures of homeless
-Dehumanization black ape link
primed with black or white faces
speed to recognize degraded images of apes
-another study subliminally primed with either big cat words or ape words
-video of either black or white man being beatenhow likely are patients to say this
behavior is justified?


Social Facilitation
Gary Stacer (Miami Uni., Ohio)

Nature of groups
Group influence on individual
Group influence on collective behavior
Group influence on prejudice
Nature of Groups
What is a group?
3 + people, mutual social influence; needs and goals shape each other
evolutionary purposes (in our dna) and social reality (provide worldview,
meaning, etc.)
leads us to adhere to groups norms
-Group influence on Individual Performance
Social Facilitation (Bob Zience)
o Positive influence on performance with easy task
o Negative influence on performance with hard task

o Run from light faster when there are observersfacilitation of the
dominant response
*Presence of others creates arousal; for easy tasks arousal facilitates
performance, for hard it harms performance
Social Loafing
Negative implications for easy task, positive implications for hard task
(reduces anxiety)

:loosening of normative behavioral constraints when in groups
-reduced accountability/increased obedience to group norms
-even positive norms (dark/bright room intimacy study)
-Zombardo: surgical masks decrease accountability
Group Decisions
-groups outperform individuals when they rely on their most competent member and are
stimulated by each others comments
-Process Lost when:
Failure to listen to most competent member
Failure to share unique info
Confidence =/= competence
Gary Stacer (Miami Uni., Ohio)

-Groups of 4 trying to decide best candidate for ojb, one clearly most qualified
Group 1: given 8 pos. 4 neg.
Group 2: 8 pos., 2 bad things given to each individual member of group (amounts to
more than 4)only shared common information, focused on what they had in common
-distribution of information and release by each person varying will induce process loss
Some of the crucial information might not be shared
-The Challenger:
Exploded 76 seconds after liftoff because of leak in rocket booster field joint
There was concern over whether o-rings could withstand the cold
temperatures (concerns suppressed because of group-think)
Illusion of unanimity
Belief in moral correctness
Conformity pressure
-When does this happen?
Isolated from other opinions
Direct leader
Poor decision procedures

Under stress

*consequences: defective decision making, poor info, failure to develop contingency

-Avoiding groupthink:
As a leader, remain impartial
Solicit outside opinions
Subgroup discussions
Secret ballots
Devils advocate
-leadership and gender, the glass ceiling insert pic
Men: agentic
^qualities we choose when asked to describe necessary leadership

Women: communal
- helpful
-concerned for others
-Role incongruency and leadership implications
Women are less likely to come to mind as leaders
Resume studiesFemal gets less call backs, evaluated differently, offered
lower salaries
Letters of recdifferent descriptive words that may be less desirable for
Emerge more with implicit assessment
Reaction to same leader traits: men=good leader, woman=bossy/bitchy

Collins and Feeney, 2004

Attachment Styles
2. Anxious/Ambivalent

3. Avoidant
2 dimensions:
Anxiety: attitudes towards self
Im afraid I will lose my partners love
Avoidance: attitudes towards others
I prefer not to show a partner how I feel deep down
level of anxiety intersection w/ level of avoidance
-LL: secure
-LH: dismissing avoidant (high opinion of self)
-HH: fearful avoidant (low opinion of self)
-HL: preoccupied/anxious ambivalent
-secure: good sex life
-preoccupied: may use sex to pull others close, more likely to engage in risky sex
-avoidant: desire for connection, may avoid sex or use it to resist intimacy
-Attachment style can shape how we interpret ambiguous information
-Attachment styles and perception of support
Collins and Feeney, 2004
Dating couples varied in att. Styles
One partner gives speech, the other gives feedback (manipulated to pos. or
neutral notes) before and after speech
Neutral notes:
o high avoidance perceived pre-speech not as less supportive (stressful)
o high anxiety perceived post-speech note as less supportive (stressful)
*attachment styles are flexiblecan be learned in relatinships and helped w/ therapy

Role Models and Gender/Leadership Stereotypes (Dasgupta and Asgari

Longitudinal study)
0= no gender biases, less than 0= counter stereotypes
Significantly above zero but not significantly different from each other during the
1st year

o In 2nd year, womens colleges: women are considered as leader just as

much as men
Coed colleges had higher implicit biases because they have less
female professor compared to males
o Context can shape attitudes
o Exposure to female faculty memberssource of divergence
Interpersonal Attraction
Determinants of Attraction/Liking
Think of one of your closest friends. Why are you so close with this person?
o This person is a listener, an encourager, and gone through so much
together. Loves me for how God has made me. Tests me and brings
perspective to my life.
Think of someone you dislike. Why do you dislike this person?
o Complains a lot, makes me feel like I have to act a certain way; difficulties
understanding each other
Propinquity/ Proximity
o Dormsrandomly assigned to rooms/ roommates
o Friendships develop more frequently with people who are in closer
o 1 and 5 had more friends on the upper floor (closer proximity to the stairs)
o Where you place yourself can help create friendships
More overlap with close friend than acquaintance (due to perceived similarities)

We care about what people think of us

We want to be liked
People are motivated to avoid rejection
o Evolutionarily, being accepted has a fundamental adaptive purpose
matter of survival
Participants in an fMRI machine played a virtual game of toss with two other
Anterior cingulate regions of the brain that was activated (involved in response
to physical pain)
Participants primed with rejection show less romantic interest than those primed
with acceptance. (To the point you act like you are not interested at all)
Those with rejection sensitivity: fear rejection but also expect it as inevitable (start
looking at other signals of rejection)

Implications of Rejection Sensitivity

In adolescence, peak of when we are most concerned about how other people
think about us
Those high in rejection sensitivity perceive rejection in ambiguous cues (relate
the confederate leaving as some reflection on them)
Hopper artmore reflecting social alienation
Measure of eye blink response (when we expect danger and threat, we show an
exaggerated fear response)
Those low in rejection sensitivityno change in blink response to Hopper and
Those high in rejection sensitivitysaw increased in blink response when looking
at Hopper painting (more blinking, more rapidly to perceived state of threat)
Balance Theory (All the perspective of the perceiverdoes NOT MEASURE
reciprocity; does not consider the strength of these relationships)
Similarities function to create cognitive consistency
Attitude Object: best friends boyfriend for example
-1 = imbalance state: we actively seek to maintain similarities
When you and enemy share an attitudethat can also create a sense of tension
What Causes Attraction? Physical Attractiveness
Halo effect: What is beautiful is good
Lookers are more socially skilled and less lonesome
Mark Snider et al (1970): men given picture of attractive person vs. unattractive
personthey were warm and friendly to attractive person
o Women portrayed as attractive were warm and friendly
o The mens expectations led to an self-fulfilling prophecy manifested in the
womens behavior
Close Relationships
Who do you love? (family, parents, sibling, friends)
My parents
Who are you in love with? (romantic relationships)
Who are you sexually attracted to? (famous, lusty relationships, certain friendships)
What is LOVE?
Passionate love

o Visceral, emotional type of love (physiological arousal)

o Found in most cultures
o Dopaminergic subcortical reward system (also seen in drug effects)
In this way, love can truly be addictive (Helen Fischer)
o Important for starting a relationshipdoes not exist forever
Companionate Love
o Deep friendship bond (can be in all types of relationships)
o Important for making it succeed and survive
Maintaining Passion in marriage
Arons Novel/Exciting Activity Hypothesis
o Novel activities activate dopaminergic reward system and this becomes
associated with relationship

Do you help Carol?

:act of performing a goal that benefits another person

-Why do we help?
Social exchange
Social learning
-Altruism: helping even when it costs you
-Egoism: helping for selfish reasons
-Evolutionary approach
Kin selection saving relatvies
prosocial genes exist when c<bXr
cost/benefit/genes shared (r)
-interdependent living (norm of reciprocity, learning social norms)
-Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis (batson)
:altruistic behavior happens in an empathetic mindset
-Perception that someone needs our help
-adopt anothers perspective: yes/no

-emotion: empathy/personal distress

-motive: altruism/egoism
-behavior: reduce others distress/reduce our own stress
Do you help Carol?
Social Exchange Theory: we help when the benefits exceed the cost
-Observational learning: people are more helpful after observing others help
-Situational Factors for helping
notice event
interpret as emergency
assume responsibility
know how to help
engage in helping

:an intentional act aimed at causing physical or psychological harm

-Hostile aggression: stems from anger

-Instrumental aggression: means to some goal other than causing pain (soldier)
-Freud: instinct
everyone possesses death drive
aggression towards others is hydraulic release of the death drive
-Genes: Instinct
protection to pass on genes
men higher in testosterone
Culture of Honor
o Argumenthomicides are higher among white southern vs. northern
o Honor-based aggression more sympathetic towards southern whites
o Farming (cooperation) vs. herding (vulnerable to theft)
Insult Study
-social situations
Frustration-aggression hypothesis

Triggered-displaced aggression
The weapon effect
-violent media and video games
-Biblical Violence
If God sanctioned the violence, people are more likely to do it
If we see somebody else express violence we think we can too

Labor Market Audit Studies
informal Discrimination Studies
Jane Elliot blue eyed bias classroom demonstration
Steele and Aronson

Inter-group Bias
-Defining intergroup bias
-Reasons for it

-Modern Inter-group Bias

-Reducing Inter-group Bias
Stereotypes: beliefs bout the attributes typically posed by members of a group
Stereotype context model
x-axis: competence
y-axis: warmth
LL: contempt (homeless)
LH: envy (wealthy)
HH: admiration (Americans)
HL: pity (elderly)
-prejudice: the affective disposition towards others
-discrimination: unjustified negative action/behavior towards members of a group
Labor Market Audit Studies
-send out resums manipulating ethnicity of name
-callbacks more for white-sounding names regardless of resume strength
-Diva Pagerrace and criminal record
-whites with criminal record got preference over blacks without
informal Discrimination Studies
-whites allowed on bus without fare more than blacks
-texas tape recordinterviews looking at discrimination towards pregnant, gay pride hat,

What causes inter-group bias?

-social cognition/categorization
the human mind must think with the aid of categoriesorderly living depends
on it
-Jane Elliot blue eyed bias classroom demonstration
minimal groupswe favor our often minimal and arbitrary in-groups
Consequences of categorization
-IG bias boosts self-esteem
-out-group nomogeneity
were diverse, theyre all the same
-failure of logic
accuracyrationalize with subtypes as part of the group to not disturb the
overlying group stereotype
*illusory correlation:
basic cognitive process that produces stereotyping
perceiving a relationship that doesnt exist
formed by the pairing of distinctive events that capture our attention
-old-fashioned racism still a thing, people just dont report conventional prejudice
its gone (nope)
people are lying

people are unaware

Measuring Bias: Beyond Self-Report

-List statements
how many of these statements make you angry?
-Bogus pipeline
lie detectormore bias when hooked up
-Priming: faster to recognize semantically related wordsreaction time is indictive
Implicit Associations Test
-Alan Orman
-Family/Career vs. Male/Female
-meta-analytic findings: implicit attitudes are better predictors of discrimination than are
explicit attitudes
Contemporary Prejudice Theory
Aversive Racism Theory (Dovido)
-old fashioned bigotry less common
-modern racism is subtle, indirect, and less overtly negative
-co mitted by people with non-prejudice self-image
Aversive Racism

-prejudice stems from ambivalence

-origins: egalitarian value systemstrive for fairness
-sympathize with victims
-possess non-prejudice self-image
-still have negative feelings and beliefs about certain races
-social cognitive mechanist (categorize, in-group bias, etc.)
*youll see this when racist attitude can be attributed to other non-discriminatory
factors/ambiguous situations
Devines Dissociation Model:
-stereotypes are automatically activated but prejudice can be controlled with motivation
and cognitive resources (breaking a bad habit)
-So when ability to process is low, theres increased bias
*circadian rhythms and alertnessis someone guilty of a crime?
-When high IAT whites shown pictures of blacks, increased activation in self-regulation
brain areas
-interracial interaction, high IAT whites show non-verbal behavior control
-after interaction, high IAT whites show cognitive deficit
-high IAT biased whites are more liked by black interaction partners (trying harder)
Changing implicit bias:

-goals, individuation
-other peoples attitudes
Changing Implicit Bias
-violent, sexist rap music is a mind bug for racism
more pro-white bias seen after subject exposed
-also exposure to white/black people who were either admired or disliked
exposure to admired blacks reduces bias 24 hours later, less pro-white bias
than the control group
establish objective criteria
evaluate blind to categories
oversight and accountability
humility in our own objectivity
Inter-Group Bias (stereotype threat)
1. prejudice from target perspective
2. disengagement/disidentification
-female in physics class of mostly men, wants to do well on test to make her social
identity group seem competent
-various achievement gaps:
male/female gap in math/science

black/white gap in academics

Stereotype Threat
:the sense that one can be judged or treated in terms of a sterotype or that one might
confirm the stereotype
a threat in the air
Steele and Aronsonmotivated college students
black and white participants
threat in the air diagnostic or non-diagnostic
test performance
Multiple identities
-Asian (good at math), women (bad at math)
-race and gender both made salient in different conditions
-when white men read article about superiority of Asians in math, do more poorly on
math test than the control group
Why does stereotype threat occur?
-arousal? Like social facilitationless performance deficit with easy test
-stress/anxiety (psychophysiology)
-impairs executive function/working memory

when were distracted by stereotype questions, it take our working memory

ability away from test

consequences of stereotype threat:

disengagement and disidentification
unliking of self and performance in the domain
o maybe I dont care about math
ceasing to base self-worth in that domain
o Im not a math person
dont belong to the domain anymore
1. relationship between grades and self-esteem
2. responsiveness to IQ test feedback
white peoples self-esteem very tied to IQ test, black peoples self-esteem
3. Educational data
Reducing Stereotype Threat
-theories of intelligence
-learning about stereotype threat

-is intelligence a fixed entity or incremental/malleable? (like a muscle)

NYU study
-black/white college students told that theyre teaching students about either malleable
or fixed intelligence (more of multiple intelligence than fixed)
-malleability: increases identification/and success with school for blacks
-self-affirmation boosts grades for black students in one study