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Theories of attitude formation and attitude change

Theories of attitude formation and attitude change

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11/05/2012

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Theories of attitude formation and attitude change

A variety of theories attempt to explain attitude formation and attitude change from various aspects of emotional life, behavior, and cognition.

Social judgment theory:
The Social Judgment theory of attitude change was proposed by Carl Hovland and Muzafer Sherif. This theory attempts to explain how attitude change is influenced by judgmental processes. The key idea of Social Judgment theory can be understood and explained in terms of "attribution" and other "communication processes." "Attribution" is the process by which people decide why certain events occurred or why a particular person acted in a certain manner. The following factors influence the person's attribution: internal versus external causes of own behavior and the behaviors of others, consistency consensus, a certain person's role as an "actor" or a "receiver" in a particular situation. A study of weight perception illustrates the theory. Participants are asked to categorize several small weights by weight class based only on lifting each one in turn. A control group C categorized the weights roughly evenly across six weight classes, while another group A was asked to lift a much heavier weight before each test weight. This group categorized most weights in the lowest weight class, with decreasing quantities in each successively higher weight class. The third group B lifted a weight only as heavy as the highest weight class before judging each other weight; this group categorized most weights into the highest weight class, with decreasing quantities in successively lower classes; the opposite result of group A, and contrary to predictions of the contrast effect. Hovland and Sherif called this effect, where things start to seem more like their context (the heavy

Functional theory of Attitude Formation:  Utilitarian Function: use to obtain rewards and avoid punishments.." within which assimilation effects will make your position seem more like their own. When applied to social judgments. when an anchor (the heavy weight) approaches the range of possible judgments (the six weight classes).. these effects show that the most effective position to advocate for changing another's attitude judgment is the most extreme position within that person's "latitude of acceptance.g. t-shirts .g. Beyond this latitude lies the latitude of rejection. the categorization or judgment shifts from contrast to assimilation. e. brand loyalty  Value-Expressive Function: express identify to others. within which any position will be seen as more different from one's own due to contrast effects. e.  Ego-Defensive Function: self-protection. smokers  Knowledge Function: simplifies decisions. In terms of anchoring and adjustment.weight).. and the assimilation effect.g. e.

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