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What attitudes are? Function of Attitude Theories of attitudes Formation of attitude The relationship between attitudes and behavior How attitudes are measured?

Is learned predisposition to respond to an object or class of objects in a consistently favorable or unfavorable way
Affective Behavioral Cognitive

Cognitive Component
Cognitive Component: Individuals belief about an object such as Coke
Has almost no calories Contains caffeine Competitively price

Affective Component
Affective component: feelings or emotional reactions to an object
I like Volvo I do not like Pepsi p

Feeling Need not to be correct


Behavioral Component
Behavioral Component: ones tendency to respond in a certain manner toward an object or activity Decision to purchase or not purchase a product i.e. Pepsodent

Characteristics of Attitude
An object: product, brand, service Direction, intensity, and degree Structure Learned Consistency


Function of Attitude
Adjustment: use to obtain rewards and avoid punishments Ego-defensive:self-protection, e.g., smokers Value-expressive: express identify to others. e.g., t-shirts Knowledge: simplifies decisions, e.g., brand loyalty

Attitude formation
Social learning: Acquiring new information, forms of behaviour, and attitudes from other persons We are influenced by the people around us:
friends, fi d f family, il co-workers, k etc. t

Types of social learning:

Classical conditioning Instrumental conditioning Observational learning Genetic factorsinherited general dispositions
Highly heritable attitudes and gut-level preferences (music, food) are especially influenced

Theories of Attitudes
Learning Theories Consistency Theories
Balance Theory Cognitive Dissonance

Consistency Theories
These theories are based on the assumption that human beings have a strong psychological need for consistency. Heider ( (1958) ) refers to this as a need to maintain balance.


Cognitive Dissonance Theory

Cognitive dissonance is a psychologically uncomfortable condition brought about by an imbalance in thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, or behaviour. Degree of dissonance is dependent on the following factors -Significance of the decision
-Number of alternatives Attractiveness of rejected alternative Number of negative characteristics of chosen object


Ways to reduce dissonance (e.g., a dieter binges)
Change attitude to be consistent with behavior Diets dont really work anyway Acquire supporting information Many overweight people live long healthy lives Trivialize the behaviors in question Looking thin is not all that important Restore positive self-evaluations I like the way I look, regardless of my weight

Attitude Change
Evidence suggests that attitudes are very stable and resistant to change Persuasion = attempts to change someones

attitudes what makes a persuasion effective?

Hovlands Three Component Model

There are three components involved in persuasion: Source
The communicator

The communicator
Various aspects of the communicator increase their persuasiveness:
Credibility expertise, trustworthiness, sincerity Attractiveness good looks, popularity, likeability Speaks rapidly rapid speech suggests expertise

The communication

The audience (can be a person or group)

The message
Similarly, aspects of the message increase its persuasiveness:
Non-obvious persuasion
seems like the goal of the message is apparently not to influence

The audience
Finally, aspects of the audience are also important Research suggests that some audiences are easier to influence:
Low/moderate self-esteem Younger age groups i.e., less than 25 yrs old

Present both sides of the issue

especially if the audience is knowledgeable about the issues refute an opponents perspective

Arousing emotion
e.g., use of fear is effective if the level is moderate and ways to avoid the feared situation are included

Selective attention and interpretation


Elaboration Likelihood Model

A theory that suggests that a persons level of involvement during message processing is a critical factor in determining which route to persuasion is likely to be effective
Central route: Information Peripheral route: great packaging, celebrity endorsement

Resistance to Persuasion
Reactanceprotect ones personal freedom Hard-sell attempts often lead to neg. attitude change Forewarningprior knowledge of persuasion Increase arguments for and counterarguments against Selective avoidancescreen out contradictory information Channel surf, surf tune out certain information Generate counterarguments Inoculationchallenging ones views increases resistance Biased assimilationperceive information that disconfirms our views as less reliable Attitude polarizationinterpret mixed evidence in ways that strengthen existing views

AttitudeBehaviour Relationship
Low attitudebehaviour correspondence Attitudes do not always predict behavior Looking good attitude takes precedence over attitudes toward personal health
LaPiere (1934) found that virtually all businesses served Chinese couple courteously, yet most owners held negative attitudes 1 out of 184 refuse them service, when he writes after the trip 91% of the 128 who respond say that they would refuse service to Chinese

One instance vs. aggregate Look at attitudes that are specific to the behavior (Ajzen and Fishbein)
Do y you like to g go out to eat vs. do y you like Thai food.

Attitudes are more likely to guide behavior if attitude is made salient (e.g., ask people to consider their attitudes, make self-conscious

Theory of Reasoned Action

A comprehensive theory of the interrelationship among attitudes, intentions, and behavior Behavior is a direct result of intention Two factors involved in behavioral intention:
Attitude toward an act Subjective norm
Attitude toward the behavior

Beliefs that specific referents think I should or should not perform the behavior

Beliefs that the behavior leads to certain outcomes t

Evaluation of the outcomes

Motivation to comply with the specific referents f t

Subjective norm Intention Behavior


Applying the Theory of Reasoned Action to Change Intentions

It helps to identify those attributes most important in causing consumers to form positive (or negative) attitudes toward the purchase of a product
Changing attitude toward purchase

When Attitudes Predict Behavior

Direct experience Attitude Relevance Attitude Specificity Potency Potency. Vested interest Self-Aware, when reminded.

It helps to identify and helps to adjust sources of social pressure and their possible role in intention formation
Changing subjective norms

Measurement of Attitude
Observation Qualitative Investigation
Focus group Depth p interview Psychological tests

Self Report Attitude scales Physiological Measurement