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Attitude-Behavior Relations

First Generation: Whether To what extent, if at all, are attitudes predictive of behavior? Second Generation: When Under what conditions do what kinds of attitudes of what kinds of individuals predict what kinds of behavior? Third Generation: How

Attitude-Behavior Relations

First Generation: The LaPiere study and its implications for the field. Remember Wicker (1969). Remember Lewin. Campbell’s situational threshold model

Attitude-Behavior Relations
[Assume: moderately unfavorable attitude]

LaPiere

Low threshold reject

High T’hold accept * reject **

Campbell accept *= pseudo-inconsistency ** = true inconsistency

Attitude-Behavior Relations
Campbell’s “take home” point: The way the attitude is expressed depends on certain situational pressures. But the same latent acquired behavioral disposition or attitude mediates both verbal and overt behavioral responses. Implication: that the reported failure of attitudes to predict behavior represented “pseudo-inconsistencies” that should not influence our construal of AB relations.

Attitude-Behavior Relations
Second Generation: When Under what conditions do what kinds of attitudes of what kinds of individuals predict what kinds of behavior? Rationale: identifying moderating variables contributes to our understanding of the processes involved in going from attitudes to behavior.

Attitude-Behavior Relations
Conditions: Situational moderators (normative concerns) Theory of reasoned action and theory of planned behavior (Fishbein & Ajzen) Assumptions: people are quite rational and make systematic use of info available to them. When an appropriate measure of intention is obtained, it provides the most accurate prediction of behavior. Goal of reasoned action model: to understand and predict social behavior.

Attitude-Behavior Relations
BI and B: Relations “regulated” by BI 1. Measures must be specific and in correspondence. 2. Brief time interval between measurement of BI and observation of B.* 3. B under person’s volitional control. *the longer the interval, the more likely Att will exert direct influence on B. Intentions less stable across time than Atts.

Attitude-Behavior Relations
Determinants of BI: Attitude and SN, and relative importance. Relationship to underlying belief structures. B~BI BI = [Aact]w1 + [SN]w2 Aact = Bi x ai (summed, i=1 to N) SN = NBi x MCi (summed, i=1 to N) External variables: Link to B moderated by Aact, SN, and BI.

Attitude-Behavior Relations
Bowman & Fishbein (1978) Concerns about Reasoned Action: 1. Scope – the approach does not address cases where we want to know if a global attitude predicts a specific behavior (e.g., symbolic racism and opposition to school busing). Represents a measurement solution to A-B relations that does not deal with such cases.

Attitude-Behavior Relations
Abelson – “It seems like throwing out the baby and clinging tenaciously to the bathwater.” Adopting Aact represents a loss in explanatory power, but a gain in the precision of measurement and prediction. 2. Are the effects of A and SN on B fully mediated by BI, or can they influence B separately from their influence on BI? “Regulatory role” played by BI.

Attitude-Behavior Relations
3. Instability of BI – its strength may lie in its ability to predict immediate behavior. Otherwise, more dependent on social situations and contingencies than A. If As more stable and stronger than BI, then As and past B should have more predictive power as time interval increases. 4. Limited degree of volitional control over behavior. Less control if B depends on the presence of appropriate opportunities or adequate resources (time, $, skill).

Attitude-Behavior Relations
Other concerns: Interrelationship between A and Sn. Multicolinearity problem? BI and B: correlating two measures of the same attitude? Given specificity of measures, are you correlating behavioral measures of attitude with a behavioral self-report measure? What about effects of behavioral beliefs about alternative behaviors? Increase predictability. Having an abortion vs. having the child (Smetana & Adler)

Attitude-Behavior Relations
Theory of Planned Behavior: addition of perceived behavioral control: the person’s belief as to how easy or difficult performance of the behavior is likely to be. Extension of reasoned action – deals with B’s that are not under volitional control. Armitage & Conner (2001) meta analysis

Attitude-Behavior Relations
2nd Generation of A-B relations research Conditions (situational moderators) Attitudes (predictor moderators) Individuals (personal moderators) Behavior (criterion moderators)

Attitude-Behavior Relations
Third Generation: How How and by what psychological mechanisms do attitudes guide behavior? To improve the accuracy of prediction of specific action tendencies, it is necessary to examine the processes whereby attitudes guide behavior. Deliberative (reasoned action/planned behavior) vs. automatic processing models (Fazio’s MODE model and other automatic activation models).

Attitude-Behavior Relations
“Civilization advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them.” [Alfred North Whitehead] 1. Influence of attitudes on behavior is conscious and deliberate (reasoned action, planned behavior). 2. Example: attitude strength study by Holland, Verplanken, Van Knippenberg (2002).

Attitude-Behavior Relations

Not direct evidence of process, but: strong attitudes (evals retrieved from memory; easier to retrieve) guide; weak attitudes (“attitudes-astemporary constructions”) follow. Strong attitudes (more certain, personally relevant, etc.) less susceptible to survey context effects (Lavine, et al, 1998).

Attitude-Behavior Relations
But there are times when behavior is more reflexive than reflective, and situational stimuli elicit B automatically. Bargh, Chen, & Burrows (1996) 1. “language proficiency” study; perform sentence completion task (30 sets of 5 words each; form grammatical English sentence using 4 of 5).

Attitude-Behavior Relations
2. For half, embedded within these 150 words, were many words stereotypically associated with the elderly – gray, wrinkle, Florida, bingo. Primed (mentally activates a concept, made accessible) concept of elderly. 3. Other half exposed to neutral words not associated with elderly. Thanked and thought study was over.

Attitude-Behavior Relations
4. 2nd E covertly timed how long it took each participant to walk from the threshold of the lab to the elevator down the hall. H: merely activating the concept of elderly would make those participants automatically mimic how they habitually behave around the elderly, and thus walk more slowly down the hallway.

Attitude-Behavior Relations
Key finding: participants who were primed took 13 seconds longer to walk to the elevator. Presumably unaware of the priming effect. Other exs. of automatic activation effects: ●activating traits of rudeness or intelligence led to people behaving more assertively or performing better on tests of general knowledge.

Attitude-Behavior Relations
●activating goal of achievement led to people persevering longer on difficult tasks. ●(Dijksterhuis & van Knippenberg, 1998): Primed students either with a social category associated with intellectual accomplishment (professors), or with one noted for refined habits of mind (soccer hooligans). Those primed with professor cues did better on test of general knowledge than those primed with cues associated with soccer hooligans.

Attitude-Behavior Relations
Rudman & Borgida (1995): The afterglow of construct accessibility: Behavioral consequences of priming men to view women as sexual objects. Procedure: Pretests Market research Lexical decision task Interview Results