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Attitudes - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Attitudes. An attitude is a positive, negative, or mixed reaction to a person, object, or idea. Attitudes can be based on three general classes of information: 1. Affect 2. Behavior 3. Cognition. How are Attitudes Formed?. Learning

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PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Attitudes' - JasminFlorian

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  • An attitude is a positive, negative, or mixed reaction to a person, object, or idea.

  • Attitudes can be based on three general classes of information:

    • 1. Affect

    • 2. Behavior

    • 3. Cognition

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How are Attitudes Formed?

  • Learning

    • Mere exposure—repeated exposure to a stimulus increases our feelings about the stimulus.

    • Direct experience

    • Operant conditioning-reward and punishment

    • Classical conditioning-association of CS with UCS

    • Observational learning-imitation of others

    • Media

  • Genetics

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Attitudes and Judgment

  • Existing attitudes bias judgments of new information.

    • Death penalty study (Lord, Ross, & Lepper, 1979)

    • Fibrocystic disease and caffeine study (Kunda, 1987)

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Attitudes and JudgmentData from Kunda (1987)

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Attitudes and Judgment

  • Attitudes also bias recall of old information.

    • Introversion/Extraversion study (Sanitioso et al., 1990)

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Attitudes and Behavior

  • LaPiere (1934) study of attitudes and behavior towards Chinese people.

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Attitudes and Behavior

  • Factors that moderate the attitude-behavior link:

    • Strength of attitude

    • Specificity of attitude

    • Self-focus

    • Self-monitoring

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Self-Monitoring Scale

  • 1. I find it hard to imitate the behavior of other people T F

  • 2. I can only argue for ideas which I already believe T F

  • 3. I have considered being an entertainer T F

  • 4. I would probably make a good actor T F

  • 5. I have trouble changing my behavior to suit different people and different situations T F

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Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior

Attitude toward

a behavior








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Cognitive Dissonance

  • A state of psychological tension that is aroused when a person simultaneously holds two thoughts that contradict one another.

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Theory of Cognitive Dissonance

Inconsistency between thoughts

Experience cognitive dissonance

Attempt to reduce dissonance

Change attitude

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Festinger & Carlsmith (1959)

  • Participants did boring tasks for 1 hour.

  • Paid $1 or $20 to tell another participant that the tasks were enjoyable.

  • During interview, asked how much they enjoyed the tasks.

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Three Dissonance-Arousing Conditions

  • 1. Attitude-behavior inconsistency

    • Leads to change in attitude

  • 2. Exerting wasted effort

    • Leads to effort justification

  • 3. Making a difficult decision

    • Leads to post-decisional dissonance

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Two Perspectives on Self-Persuasion

  • 1. Cognitive Dissonance Theory (Festinger) – inconsistency between thoughts leads to unpleasant tension (dissonance), which motivates people to reduce dissonance by changing thoughts.

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Two Perspectives on Self-Persuasion

  • 2. Self-Perception Theory (Bem) – people form and modify their attitudes by observing their own behavior.

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  • Behavior  Attitude change

  • Use of cognitive dissonance to promote healthy behavior.