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Attitude Chapter 5

Attitude Chapter 5

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Attitudes and Attitude Change

Attitudes

Attitudes are evaluative responses to
stimuli

Attitudes

They are based on “ABC” information

affective component

behavioral component

the person’s emotions and affect towards the object

cognitive component

how person tends to act towards the object
consists of thoughts and beliefs the person has about the object

These are not always highly related to each other.

Attitudes

Attitudes make it possible to access related information and to make decisions quickly. Attitudes are one determinant of behavior but not the only one; conversely behavior also determines attitudes.

Theories of Attitudes
  

Learning Approach Consistency Approach Expectancy-Value Approach Cognitive Approach

Theories of Attitudes 1.The learning approach   Attitudes are acquired in the same way as other habits:   Yale Attitude Change program (Hovland et al. 1950s)  association reinforcement and punishment imitation.. .

.g.g.Theories of Attitudes  Transfer of affect involves transferring emotions from one object (e.. the car the model is standing by). a sexy model) to another (e..

This model appears to work well when people are unfamiliar with the material.Theories of Attitudes  Evaluation of Learning Approach:   The learning approach views people as passive recipients of external forces. .

.Cognitive consistency approaches depict people as striving for coherence and meaning in their cognitions.Theories of Attitudes 2.

Theories of Attitudes  Cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger. . Dissonance is an aversive motivational state that results when our behavior is inconsistent with our attitudes   Dissonance creates psychological tension that people are motivated to reduce. 1957) is concerned with discrepancies between people’ s attitudes and their behaviors.

.Theories of Attitudes  Three ways of reducing dissonance    changing our behavior (often difficult) trivializing the dissonance changing the attitude.

Theories of Attitudes  Decision making usually arouses dissonance that is resolved by increasing liking for the chosen alternative and decreasing liking for the non-chosen alternative. .

.Theories of Attitudes   Dissonance can occur when we commit ourselves to a single course of action. cult members claimed that their faith had helped save the world and began active recruiting. Finding additional supporters helped justify their original behavior.  When the world failed to end as had been predicted. Festinger and his colleagues documented the behavior of members of a doomsday cult.

”) . which is typically relieved by changing the attitude (since behaviors are difficult to “undo.Theories of Attitudes  Attitude-discrepant behavior (counter-attitudinal behavior) also induces dissonance.

Theories of Attitudes  Factors increasing dissonance for performing counterattitudinal behavior       Small threat of punishment Behavior is freely chosen There is an irrevocable commitment Negative consequences were foreseeable Person feels responsible for consequences Effort is expended .

 . active. rational decision-makers.Theories of Attitudes  Expectancy-value theory assumes that people develop an attitude based on their thoughtful assessment of pros and cons: Expectancy-value theory treats people as calculating.

eg what is the likehoodthat I will get a high paying job . when they do not have the motivation or the ability. Heuristics-mental shortcuts that provide quick estimates about the likehood of certain events. they process messages heuristically.Theories of Attitudes  Dual Processing Theories   People process a message systematically when they have both the motivation and the ability to do so.

 This theory assumes that people are active processors of information and generate cognitive responses to messages. .Theories of Attitudes  Cognitive response theory seeks to understand attitude change by understanding the thoughts (“cognitive responses”) people produce in response to persuasive communications.

Persuasion can be induced by interfering with a person’s ability to counter-argue. .Theories of Attitudes   Attitude change depends on how much and what kind of counterarguing a message triggers.

Theories of Attitudes   Petty and Cacioppo’s elaboration likelihood model draws a key distinction The central route to persuasion involves  careful and thoughful consideration of the content of the message. . The peripheral route to persuasion involves some simple cues such as attractiveness of the source.

.Theories of Attitudes  People use the central route when they are     People are more likely to use the peripheral route when they are    involved in the issue concerned about accuracy aware that others are trying to change their attitudes. uninvolved in the issue distracted by the source or context overloaded with other things to do.

 This idea reflects transfer of affect. . the more favorably they are apt to evaluate the communication.Persuasion  The more favorably people evaluate the communicator.

BELIEVING VERSUS DOUBTING  “I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU SAY BUT I DON’T BELIEVE IT”  BELIEF PERSEVERANCE. .EVEN IF THE INFORMATION ON WHICH ARE BASED IS DISCREDITED.THEY ARE RESISTANT TO CHANGE.THE FINDING THAT ONCE BELIF IS FORM.

ASSUMPTIVE WORLD-THE VIEW THAT PEOPLE LIVE IN SOCIAL WORLD BASED ON CERTAIN BELIEF ABOUT REALITY. .BELIEF AND COPING   COPING THE GENERAL TERM FOR HOW PEOPLE ATTEMPT TO DEAL WITH TRAUMAS AND GO BACK TO FUNCTIONING EFFECTIVELY IN LIFE.

LIFE IS SAFE.UNTRUSTWORTHY PEOPLE .THE OPPOSITE THE WORLD IS DANGEROUS FULL OF EVIL.GOOD THINGS HAPPENING MOST OF THE TIME. THE WORLD IS BENEVOLENTPEOPLE ARE NICE.

IAM GOOD PERSON-IAM SOMEONE OF VALUE AND THEREFORE DESERVE GOOD THINGS TO HAPPEN TO ME.  THE WORLD IS FAIR AND JUSTPEOPLE GENERALLY GET WHAT THEY DESERVE. .

DOWNWARD COMPARISONCOMPARING ONESELF TO PEOPLE WHO ARE WORSE OFF. .  COGNITIVE COPING-THE IDEA THAT BELIEFS PLAY A CENTRAL ROLE IN HELPING PEOPLE COPE WITH AND RECOVER FROM MISFORTUNE.

Persuasion  Several aspects of a communicator affect whether he or she is evaluated favorably.  Credibility    Liking Expertise Trustworthiness .

those we like or identify with. and because messages from in-groups are more likely to be processed using the central route.Persuasion  We are persuaded by the opinions of our reference groups.  This occurs both because of the motivational factors of liking and perceived similarity. .

.Persuasion  The message content clearly influences whether or not people will accept it.

the greater the potential for change.Persuasion  The greater the discrepancy between the listener’s position and the message presented. Attitude Change Discrepancy .

the Nobel Prize winner. The YMCA instructor produced the most change when advocating three hours sleep. Bochner and Insko (1966) presented participants with a message on the number of nightly hours of sleep required The message ostensibly came either from a Nobel Prize winner or a YMCA instructor. when advocating only one. .Persuasion  Sources who are more credible can advocate more discrepant opinions successfully.    For example.

or even rejecting it altogether. it is seen as even further away (message contrast). it is assimilated into the audience’s opinion (perceived as closer than it really is) When message discrepancy is high. Discrepancy may be reduced by distorting or misperceiving the message.Persuasion    When message discrepancy is low. .

Persuasion  People are most affected by the strength of arguments when they are motivated to pay attention and able to think carefully about them (central route processing). .

   source characteristics message length number of arguments . peripheral cues become important in determining attitude change.Persuasion  When people are not motivated or able to think about message content.

Persuasion  Repetition and familiarity tend to  increase liking. this can be dealt with by having ads that provide slight variations on a theme. Repetition may lead to tedium. Repetition may help people process strong arguments more completely but expose the flaws in weak arguments. but only up to a point.  .

.Persuasion  Matching the Persuasive Message to the Nature of the Attitude   Attitudes that are highly emotional may be more easily changed by emotional appeals. Messages that address the functional basis of an attitude (what the attitude does for the person) may be more persuasive.

Persuasion   Attitudes that are high in ego involvement are resistant to change. Kinds of ego involvement include    Commitment Issue Involvement Response Involvement .

Persuasion  People high in authoritarianism or dogmatism (closed-mindedness)   People who are high in the need for tend to respond to the expertise of the source first and to argument strength only when the source is non-expert. . closure  typically more resistant to persuasion.

Fear appeals are more effective if they not only arouse fear but also provide information about how to reduce the fear. Fear usually increases the effectiveness of a persuasive appeal. but if too much fear is aroused.  .Persuasion  Aggression Arousal   Fear Arousal  Personal frustrations may make a person more vulnerable to persuasive communications advocating aggressive actions. the effect may be disruptive.

Persuasion  People committed to an attitude position who are forewarned of an attempt to change their attitudes will be more resistant to persuasion   They can generate more counterarguments. . Those who are not committed to an attitude position are actually more likely to change their attitudes after a forewarning.

however.Persuasion  Distraction makes it harder to counter-argue and thus tends to enhance the effectiveness of a persuasive message.  Too much distraction. will prevent a message from being heard at all and will reduce persuasion to zero. .

Persuasion  McGuire suggested that inoculation (building resistance to persuasion by arguing against weak forms of a persuasive argument) helps people resist persuasion. .

.Attitude Change over Time  Thinking about an attitude object tends to make the attitude more extreme  thinking allows people to generate more consistent attitudes (if they have a preexisting schema for the issue).

  separation in memory of the source and the message Separation in memory of the message and discounting cues .Attitude Change over Time  The sleeper effect refers to a rebound in persuasiveness of messages delivered by low-credibility sources.

Attitudes and Behavior  First study of attitude-behavior consistency:    La Piere (1934) toured the United States with a Chinese couple. However. They were refused service at only one establishment. . stopping at hotels and restaurants along the way. 92% of the institutions later said in a letter that they would refuse to accept Chinese people as guests.

Attitudes and Behavior  Later studies have shown higher degrees of attitude-behavior consistency  especially for attitudes that are       stable important certain consistent between cognition and affect easily accessed formed through direct experience .

Attitudes and Behavior  Strong attitudes are typically      They are often “embedded” or tied to other beliefs. personally relevant. stable. . They are often formed through direct experience and become highly accessible as a result. held about personally important issues about which one feels extreme and certain.

Attitudes and Behavior  Stable attitudes that are accessible in memory are most likely to predict behavior .

. people.  Longer time intervals diminish attitudebehavior correlations because attitudes. and situations change.Attitudes and Behavior  Maximum attitude-behavior consistency occurs when attitudes and behaviors are measured at about the same time.

Attitudes and Behavior  Attitudes that are more accessible in memory influence behavior more strongly.  Attitudes that are expressed more frequently are more accessible and tend to become more extreme. .

 We may have a pervasive tendency to non-consciously classify most stimuli as good or bad. . and almost immediately tend to approach or avoid them.Attitudes and Behavior  Attitudes are often automatically activated when the attitude object is present.

.Attitudes and Behavior  The more relevant an attitude is to a behavior. the more attitude-behavior consistency there will be.

The attitude that is most salient is most likely to influence behavior  especially when the attitude is not a strong one. .Attitudes and Behavior  In most situations. several attitudes are relevant to behavior.

Attitudes and Behavior   When an attitude is based heavily on affect. . persuasive appeals to emotion are more successful When attitudes are based more on cognition. cognitively based appeals are more successful.

. Especially true for attitudes that have little cognitive support.Attitudes and Behavior  Wilson and his colleagues have found that introspecting about the reasons one likes or dislikes an attitude object can disrupt attitude-behavior consistency   Causes the attitude temporarily to change.

Minard (1952) found that white coal miners treated black coworkers as equals in the mines but as social inferiors in the outside world. attitudes (especially weak attitudes) are not as strong determinants of behavior. . People sometimes have completely different attitudes towards the same attitude object in different situations.Attitudes and Behavior   When situational pressures are strong.  For example.

.g.The Reasoned Action Model  The model has been widely used to predict a variety of behaviors. decision to breast feed .  E. birth control use.

 Other factors not included in the model may also be important:    external constraints and opportunities. fear habit .The Reasoned Action Model  The theory of planned behavior adds an additional variable to the model:  Perceived behavior control = people’s belief in their ability to control their outcomes.

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