Social Psychology - Rhinebeck Central School District

Attitudes and Attitude Changes: Influencing Thoughts and Feelings Chapter 7 By persuading others, we convince ourselves. Junius Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. The Nature and Origin of Attitudes People are not neutral observers of the world. They evaluate what they encounter.

They form attitudes. Attitudes Evaluations of people, objects, and ideas. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Attitudes are made up of three (3) parts that mixed together form our evaluation of the attitude object: 1.A cognitive component, consisting of your thoughts and beliefs about the

attitude object. 2.An affective component, consisting of your emotional reactions toward the attitude object. 3.A behavioral component, consisting of your actions or observable behavior towardCopyright the attitude object. 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Constructing an Attitude Ex. Attitude Object = Car

1. What is your affective reaction when you see a certain car? Perhaps you have feelings of excitement. If you are a U.S. autoworker examining a new foreign-made model, maybe you feel anger and resentment. 2. What is your cognitive reaction? What beliefs do you hold about the cars attributes? Perhaps you admire its hybrid engine that makes it one of the most fuel efficient cars you can buy.

3. What is your behavioral reaction? Do you go to2010 a Pearson dealership test-drive the car Copyright Education. Alland rights reserved. Where Do Attitudes Come From? One possible answer is that some attitudes are linked to our genes (studies of twins support this).

Our social experiences also play a large role in shaping our attitudes. Though all attitudes have affective, cognitive, and behavioral components, any given attitude can be based more on one type of experience than another. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Cognitively Based Attitude An attitude based primarily on peoples beliefs about the properties of an attitude object. Sometimes our attitudes are based primarily on the relevant facts, such

as the objective merits of an automobile. How many miles to the gallon does it get? Does it have side-impact air bags? Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Affectively Based Attitude An attitude based more on peoples feelings and values than on their beliefs about the nature of an attitude object. Sometimes we simply like a car, regardless of how many miles to

the gallon it gets. Occasionally we have positive emotions about someone, in spite of having negative beliefs (not a nice person or not good for me). Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. If affectively based attitudes do not come from examining the facts, where do they come from? They can result from: 1. Peoples values, such as religious and moral beliefs. 2. Sensory reaction, such as liking

the taste of chocolate. 3. Aesthetic reaction, such as admiring a painting or the lines and color of a car. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Classical Conditioning Example Suppose that when you were a child, you experienced feelings of warmth and love when you visited your grandmother. Suppose also that her house always smelled faintly of mothballs. Eventually, the smell of mothballs alone will trigger the emotions you

experienced during your visits. (Mothball smell feelings of warmth and love) Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Operant Conditioning Behaviors tend to increase or decrease in frequency, depending on whether they are followed by positive reinforcement or punishment. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Operant Conditioning & Attitude Formation Imagine: A four-year-old white girl goes to the playground and begins to play with an African American girl. Her father expresses strong disapproval, telling her, We dont play with that kind of child. It wont take long before the child associates interacting with African Americans with disapproval, thereby adopting her fathers racist attitudes. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Affectively-Based Attitudes: 1. Do not result from a rational

examination of the issues 2. Are not governed by logic (e.g., persuasive arguments about the issues seldom change an affectively based attitude), and 3. Are often linked to peoples values, so that trying to change them challenges those values. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Behaviorally Based Attitude An attitude based on observations

of how one behaves toward an attitude object. According to self-perception theory, sometimes, people dont know how they feel until they see how they behave. We can form our attitudes based on our observations of our own behavior. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Explicit versus Implicit Attitudes Explicit Attitudes Attitudes that we consciously endorse and can easily

report. Implicit Attitudes Attitudes that are involuntary, uncontrollable, and at times unconscious. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Think-Pair-Share Please come up with 3 examples of attitudes with different primary origins. 1. Cognitively-based 2. Affectively-based 3. Behaviorally-based

Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Explicit versus Implicit Attitudes Consider Sam, a white, middle-class college student who genuinely believes that all races are equal and abhors any kind of racial bias. This is Sams explicit attitude, in the sense that it is his conscious evaluation of members of other races that governs how he chooses to act. For instance, consistent with his explicit attitude, Sam recently signed a petition in

favor of affirmative action policies at his Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. university. Explicit versus Implicit Attitudes Sam has grown up in a culture in which there are many negative stereotypes about minority groups, however, and it is possible that some of these negative ideas have seeped into him in ways of which he is not fully aware. When Sam is around African Americans, for example, perhaps some negative feelings are triggered automatically and

unintentionally. If so, he has a negative implicit attitude toward African Americans. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Explicit versus Implicit Attitudes People can have explicit and implicit attitudes toward virtually anything, not just other races. For example, students can believe explicitly that they hate math but have a more positive attitude at an implicit level.

Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. How Do Attitudes Change? When attitudes change, they often do so in response to social influence. Our attitudes toward everything from a presidential candidate to a brand of laundry detergent can be influenced by what other people do or say. This is why attitudes are of such interest to social psychologistseven something as personal and internal as an attitude is a highly social phenomenon, influenced by the imagined or actual behavior of

other people. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Changing Attitudes by Changing Behavior: Cognitive Dissonance Theory Revisited As we noted in Chapter 6, people experience dissonance: When they do something that threatens their image of themselves as decent, kind, and honest. Particularly if there is no way they can explain away this behavior as due to external circumstances.

When you cant find external justification for your behavior, you will attempt to find internal justification by bringing the two cognitions (your attitude and your behavior) closer together. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Changing Attitudes by Changing Behavior: Cognitive Dissonance Theory Revisited Suppose you dont want to rub your new fatherin-law the wrong way by arguing with him about politics. You might go along with a mildly positive remark about a politician you actually dislike.

Counterattitudinal advocacy, a process by which people are induced to state publicly an opinion or attitude that runs counter to their own private attitudes, creates dissonance. When this is accomplished with a minimum of external justification, it results in a change in peoples private attitude in the direction of the public statement. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Persuasive Communication Communication (e.g., a speech or television ad) advocating a particular side of an issue.

How should you construct a message so that it would really change peoples attitudes? Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Persuasive Communications and Attitude Change Yale Attitude Change Approach The study of the conditions under which people are most likely to change their attitudes in response to persuasive messages, focusing on who said what to whom

the source of the communication, the nature of the communication, and the nature of the audience. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Copyright Copyright 2010 2010 Pearson Pearson Education.

Education. AllAll rights rights reserved. reserved. The Central and Peripheral Routes to Persuasion Elaboration Likelihood Model An explanation of the two ways in which persuasive communications can cause attitude change: Centrally, when people are motivated

and have the ability to pay attention to the arguments in the communication. Peripherally, when people do not pay attention to the arguments but are instead swayed by surface characteristics. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. The Central and Peripheral Routes to Persuasion Under certain conditions, people are motivated to pay attention to the facts in a communication, and so they will be most persuaded when these facts are

logically compelling. Central Route to Persuasion The case whereby people elaborate on a persuasive communication, listening carefully to and thinking about the arguments, as occurs when people have both the ability and the motivation to listen carefully to a communication. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. The Central and Peripheral Routes to Persuasion Under other conditions, people are not motivated to pay attention to the facts; instead, they notice only the surface

characteristics of the message, such as how long it is and who is delivering it. Peripheral Route to Persuasion The case whereby people do not elaborate on the arguments in a persuasive communication but are instead swayed by peripheral cues. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Copyright Copyright 2010 2010

Pearson Pearson Education. Education. AllAll rights rights reserved. reserved. The Motivation to Pay Attention to the Arguments One thing that determines whether people are motivated to pay

attention to a communication is the personal relevance of the topic: How important is the topic to a persons well-being? Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. The Motivation to Pay Attention to the Arguments The more personally relevant an issue is, the more willing people are to pay attention to the arguments in a speech, and therefore the more likely people are to take the central

route to persuasion. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Adapted from Petty & Cacioppo, 1986, based on Petty, Cacioppo & Goldman, 1981. Copyright Copyright 2010 2010 Pearson

Pearson Education. Education. AllAll rights rights reserved. reserved. The Motivation to Pay Attention to the Arguments Need for Cognition A personality variable reflecting the extent to which people

engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive activities. People high in the need for cognition are more likely to form their attitudes by paying close attention to relevant arguments (i.e., via the central route), whereas people low in the need for cognition are more likely to rely on peripheral cues, such as how attractive or Copyright 2010 Pearsonis. Education. All rights reserved. credible a speaker

The Ability to Pay Attention to the Arguments When people are unable to pay close attention to the arguments, they are swayed more by peripheral cues. Status of communicator Liking or trusting communicator Therefore someone with a weak argument can create distractions (e.g., loud music) to make people more susceptible to peripheral influence. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

How to Achieve Long-Lasting Attitude Change Compared to people who base their attitudes on peripheral cues, people who base their attitudes on a careful analysis of the arguments will be: More likely to maintain this attitude over time, more likely to behave consistently with this attitude, more resistant to counterpersuasion. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Emotion and Attitude Change

Before people will consider your carefully constructed arguments, you have to get their attention. One way is to grab peoples attention by playing to their emotions. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Fear-Arousing Communications Fear-Arousing Communications Persuasive messages that

attempt to change peoples attitudes by arousing their fears. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Fear-Arousing Communications Do fear-arousing communications work? If a moderate amount of fear is created and people believe that listening to the message will teach them how to reduce this fear, they will be motivated to analyze the message carefully and will likely change their attitudes via the

central route. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Adapted from Leventhal, Watts & Pagano, 1967. A group of smokers who watched a graphic film depicting lung cancer and then read pamphlets with specific instructions about how to quit smoking reduced their smoking significantly more than people who were shown only the film or only the pamphlet. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education.

rights reserved. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. AllAll rights reserved. Fear-Arousing Communications Fear-arousing appeals will also fail if they are so strong that they

overwhelm people. If people are scared to death, they will become defensive, deny the importance of the threat, and be unable to think rationally about the issue. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Emotions as a Heuristic HeuristicSystematic Model of Persuasion An explanation of the two ways in which persuasive communications can cause attitude change: either systematically

processing the merits of the arguments or using mental shortcuts (heuristics), (e.g., thinking, Experts are always right) Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Emotions as a Heuristic Our emotions and moods can themselves act as heuristics to determine our attitudes. When trying to decide attitude about something, we often rely on the How do I feel about it?-heuristic. If we feel good, we must have a

positive attitude; if we feel bad, its thumbs down. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Emotions as a Heuristic The problem with the How do I feel about it? heuristic is that we can make mistakes about what is causing our mood, misattributing feelings created by one source to another. If so, people might make a bad decision. Once you get a new couch home, you might discover that it no longer makes you feel all that great. Advertisers and retailers want to create good

feelings while they present their product (e.g., by playing appealing music or showing pleasant images), hoping that people will attribute at least some of those feelings to the product they are trying to sell. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Emotion and Different Types of Attitudes Several studies have shown that it is best to fight fire with fire: If an attitude is cognitively based, try to change it with rational arguments.

If it is affectively based, try to change it with emotional appeals. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Emotion and Different Types of Attitudes Some ads stress the objective merits of a product, such as an ad for an air conditioner or a vacuum cleaner that discusses its price, efficiency, and reliability. Other ads stress emotions and values, such as ones for perfume or designer

jeans that try to associate their brands with sex, beauty, and youthfulness, rather than saying anything about the objective qualities of the product. Copyright 2010 Pearson rights reserved. Which kind of ad is Education. mostAll effective?

Adapted from Shavitt, 1990. Copyright Copyright 2010 2010 Pearson Pearson Education. Education. AllAll rights rights

reserved. reserved. Culture and Different Types of Attitudes Perhaps people in Western cultures base their attitudes more on concerns about individuality and self-improvement, whereas people in Asian cultures base their attitudes more on concerns about their standing in their social group, such as their families. If so, advertisements that stress individuality and self-improvement might

work better in Western cultures, and advertisements that stress ones social group might work better in Asian cultures. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Resisting Persuasive Messages Attitude Inoculation Making people immune to attempts to change their attitudes by initially exposing them to small doses of the arguments against their position. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Resisting Persuasive Messages Being Alert to Product Placement When an advertisement comes on during a TV show, people often decide to press the mute button on the remote control or to get up and get a snack. To counteract this tendency to tune out, advertisers look for ways of displaying their wares during the show itself. With this technique, called product placement, companies pay the makers of a TV show or movie to incorporate their product into the script. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Resisting Persuasive Messages Being Alert to Product Placement When people are forewarned, they analyze what they see and hear more carefully and as a result are likely to avoid attitude change. Without such warnings, people pay little attention to the persuasive attempts and tend to accept them at face value. So before kids watch TV or sending them off to the movies, it is good to remind them that they are likely to encounter several attempts to change their

Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. attitudes. Resisting Persuasive Messages Resisting Peer Pressure Peer pressure is linked to values and emotions, playing on their fear of rejection and their desire for freedom and autonomy. In adolescence, peers become an important source of social approvalperhaps the most importantand can dispense powerful rewards for holding certain attitudes or behaving in certain ways, such as using drugs or engaging in unprotected sex. What is needed is a technique that will make young

people more resistant to attitude change attempts via peer pressure so that they will be less likely to engage in dangerous behaviors. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Resisting Persuasive Messages Resisting Peer Pressure One possibility is to extend the logic of the attitude inoculation approach to more affectively based persuasion techniques, such as peer pressure. In addition to inoculating people with doses of logical arguments that they might hear, we could also inoculate them with samples of the kinds of emotional appeals they might encounter.

Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. When Persuasion Attempts Boomerang: Reactance Theory Reactance Theory The idea that when people feel their freedom to perform a certain behavior is threatened, an unpleasant state of reactance is aroused, which they can reduce by performing the threatened behavior. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Predicting Spontaneous Behaviors Attitudes will predict spontaneous behaviors only when they are highly accessible to people. Attitude Accessibility The strength of the association between an attitude object and a persons evaluation of that object, measured by the speed with which people can report how they feel about the object. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Predicting Deliberative Behaviors Theory of Planned Behavior The idea that the best predictors of a persons planned, deliberate behaviors are the persons attitudes toward specific behaviors, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Predicting Deliberative Behaviors Specific behaviors: The theory of planned behavior holds that only specific attitudes

toward the behavior in question can be expected to predict that behavior. Subjective norms: We also need to measure peoples subjective normstheir beliefs about how people they care about will view the behavior in question. Perceived behavioral control: Intentions are influenced by the ease with which they believe they can perform the behavior. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Adapted from Ajzen, 1985. Copyright

2010 Pearson Education. rights reserved. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. AllAll rights reserved.

The Power of Advertising It turns out that people are influenced by advertisements more than they think. The results of over three hundred split cable market tests indicate that advertising does work, particularly for new products. Effective ads worked quickly, increasing sales substantially within the first six months they were Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. The Power of Advertising

Subliminal Messages Words or pictures that are not consciously perceived but may nevertheless influence peoples judgments, attitudes, and behaviors. Simply stated, there is no evidence that the types of subliminal messages encountered in everyday life have any influence on peoples behavior. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Advertising, Cultural Stereotypes, and Social Behavior Advertisements transmit cultural

stereotypes in their words and images, subtly linking products with desired images. Advertisements can also reinforce and perpetuate stereotypical ways of thinking about social groups. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Adapted from Furnham & Mak, 1999. Gender stereotypes are particularly pervasive in advertising imagery.

Men are depicted as doers, women as observers. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved. Advertising, Cultural Stereotypes, and Social Behavior Stereotype Threat The apprehension experienced by members of a group that their behavior might confirm a cultural stereotype. Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

7th edition Social Psychology Elliot Aronson University of California, Santa Cruz Timothy D. Wilson University of Virginia Robin M. Akert Wellesley College

slides prepared by Travis Langley Henderson State University Copyright 2010 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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