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Attitudes. Early definition – Lange (1888) defined as a state of readiness to behave Allport (1935) - first complete definition in social psychology mental & neural state – mediating construct of readiness – activation, physiological quality organized - cognitive structure

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Attitudes

Early definition – Lange (1888) defined as a state of readiness to behave

Allport (1935) - first complete definition in social psychology

mental & neural state – mediating construct

of readiness – activation, physiological quality

organized - cognitive structure

through experience – information or exposure

exerting directive or dynamic influence – energizes, and directs

on responses to all objects and situations to which it is related


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Attitudes

Attitudes – the evidence for their ‘existence’

in other’s – attribution patterns

individual attitude (person x ‘object’ interaction)

Low Consensus – High Distinctiveness – High Consistency

shared attitude (object main effect)

High Consensus – High Distinctiveness – High Consistency

in self – ease of evaluative response, information retrieval, behavioral predispositions


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Attitudes

Traditional three component view

Attitude (Evaluation/Evaluative Reaction – abstracted from below)

feelings (Affective reaction)-

behavior – (Behavioral)

beliefs – (Cognitive)


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Attitudes

Measuring Attitudes

Self-reports

Overall evaluation – ‘summary’ of attitude (direct)

Assessment of qualities/beliefs associated with the ‘object’ (indirect)

are positive or negative qualities assumed to describe the ‘object?

Behavioral indicators

do you choose the ‘object’

time spent looking at

will you help the person

Physio/neuro indicators

arousal, pupil dilation (strength, but unclear direction)

areas of the brain activated


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Attitudes

Attitude Functions

Inherent in all

Object Appraisal –

Knowledge –

Utilitarian –

Certain Attitudes

Value Expressive –

Ego defensive –

Social-adjustment -


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Attitudes

Sources of Attitudes

Genetics

- uniformly – selected for

- inherited – individually

Learned Associations

- classical conditioning

- operant conditioning

- observational learning


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Tesser (1993); Tesser, Whitaker, Martin, & Ward (1998)

Attitudes with higher heritability were:

Accessed faster – respond more quickly when asked for your attitude

More resistant – social norms less likely to lead you to change

More appealing in others – similarity on them led to higher liking of others

Resulted in more arousal when changed

  • Men and women have the right to find out if they are sexually suited before marriage.

  • The average person can live a good life without religion.

  • The death penalty is barbaric and should be abolished.

  • Birth control, except when recommended by a doctor, should be made illegal.

  • Sex crimes, such as rape, deserve more than mere imprisonment; such criminals ought to be flogged or worse.

Attitude data from Eysenck, 1954


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Attitudes

In addition to heritability, in what other important ways do attitudes vary?

Attitudes Strength

certainty –

extensive personal experience –

extremity –

Attitude Specificity

at what ‘level’ is attitude assessed?


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Attitudes

Attitude Specificity

Attitudes can vary in terms of specificity of target

Attitude toward ‘justice’ – ‘equal rights’ – affirmative action – quotas

network of general and specific attitudes, of varying strengths,

with all eventually associated with beliefs and feelings and behavioral intentions


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Attitudes

Stability of Attitudes – as evident in reports of attitudes

Having versus Reporting attitudes – do you know what you are talking about?

Thinking about your attitude

Explaining your attitudes

Incubating your attitude


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Attitudes

Stability of Attitudes – as evident in reports of attitudes

Anchoring and Adjustment initially assumed to be underlying process

Anchor - underlying abstracted Evaluation is accessed almost automatically

Adjustment - then ‘adjust’ for current conditions/information

Evaluation develops gradually, over time and across experiences

not aware of all that led to the Evaluation

may not ‘know’, completely, why we feel as we do

When explain/report one’s attitude, may sample from available experiences


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Attitudes

Dual Attitude Models – (Wilson et al 2001) can simultaneously have two attitudes

Implicit – automatic, impact primarily on implicit responses

Explicit – require effort to activate, can ‘override’ implicit

Strategies for Assessing “Implicit” as separate attitude

Priming – use object of interest to ‘prime’ or ‘activate” processing – then expect to find that evaluatively similar information will be processed faster

Implicit Associations Test – a categorization task – assumes that those things that are more closely associated will be more easily categorized together

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

http://www.tolerance.org/hidden_bias/


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Attitudes

Implications for Understanding and Using Attitudes in Context

What should we expect from attitudes?

Can we report our attitudes?

Can they predict behavior?

When will attitudes be predictive of behaviors?

Are attitudes strong or weak?

What attitudes are salient?

What ‘behaviors” are to be predicted? (specific or global)

What are the social or intrapersonal context conditions?

What should we be aware of in ‘using’ attitudes?

What is attitude based on (what component)?

What function does attitude serve?

Is there likely a discrepancy between implicit and explicit attitudes?


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Attitudes

Attitude (Explicit) - Behavior Consistency

Interest in Attitudes 'requires' that there be a reasonable link to behaviors

Early research was 'disappointing‘ – but often naive

Issues to consider

Predict specific behavior, or pattern of behaviors

Predict in narrow context or broad context

Strength of attitude

Salience of attitude


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Attitudes

Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen & Fishbein)–behavioral intention, to predict actual behaviors

Attitude -

Subjective norms –

Perceived control –

Attempts to:

focus attention on using attitudes that are at the same level of specificity as

the behavior of interest

acknowledge the importance of “psychological context”

incorporate beliefs about personal control that might facilitate or preclude behavior

behavioral intention


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Attitudes and Attitude Change

Despite the ‘changes’ in views of attitudes –

strategies for producing change yield results consistent with early models – with less effort to verify link to behaviors

Successful change can be gotten by attacking any component of attitude

Affect

Behavior

Cognition


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Attitudes and Attitude Change

Cognitive Dissonance as a Model for Understanding Attitude Change- Festinger

Really a very general model for understanding, but research slow to recognize

Cognitive Consistency Model

Basic assumptions –

relationships among cognitions

tension in the system

magnitude of dissonance

strategies for reducing dissonance

Why might inconsistency be aversive?


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Attitudes and Attitude Change

Cognitive Dissonance as a Model for Understanding Attitude Change- Festinger

Research Approaches to Attitude Change based on Dissonance

Insufficient justification (forced compliance) approach

Insufficient deterrence (hypocrisy)

Decision-making

Is arousal really a factor in the ‘experience’ of dissonance


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Attitudes and Attitude Change

Cognitive Dissonance as a Model for Understanding Attitude Change- Festinger

Later research recognized the alternative responses possible

Reducing dissonance

change cognitions

add cognitions

change importance

reduce/reinterpret the arousal


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Attitudes and Attitude Change

Persuasion Models – present new information to bring about change

Possible Responses - accept new information and change

- reject new information and keep old attitude

- argue back, to change source’s attitude

- react to new information, and change opposite way

- derogate the source, imply bias

- ignore new information


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Attitudes and Attitude Change

Persuasion Models – present new information to bring about change

Historical Perspective – the logical, thoughtful information processor

Yale Program - Hovland et al (1950's)

Attitude - implicit response, drive like, approach/avoid

Opinion - verbal response, interpretations, beliefs, evaluations

Stimulus -- Implicit Response (attitude) -- Response (opinion)

Attitude Change

New Information is Stimulus

Opinions are existing Habits

New Habits may form if LEARN and ACCEPT new information

Acceptance depends on incentives-does new information provide “rational”

or “logical” support for the conclusions


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Attitudes and Attitude Change

Persuasion Models – present new information to bring about change

Processes (McGuire) ATTENTION

RECEPTION (comprehension & learning)

YIELDING (acceptance)

RETENTION?

Reception is neither necessary nor sufficient for there to be yielding

can comprehend, but reject

can fail to comprehend, but yield

Over time this evolved into a:

Cognitive Response Model

Use own information to counter new information

if successful, resist change


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Attitudes and Attitude Change

Persuasion Models – present new information to bring about change

Variables examined as relevant to successful change - persuasion

Source Qualities

Expertise

Trustworthiness

Attraction

Message Content and style

One vs. Two Sided

Emotional Associations

Recipient Characteristics and Attitude

Initial Attitude

Individual Differences

Context

Distraction

Affect transfer


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Attitudes and Attitude Change

Persuasion Models – present new information to bring about change

Some Issues that challenged the assumed “logical”/”rational” processes

Sleeper Effect

Short Term Change

Physical Attractiveness Effects

Context Effects

Lack of Appreciation of Early Assumptions

New Models assumed two alternative processes can result in change

Central Route Processing

Peripheral Route Processing


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Attitudes and Attitude Change

Revised Model - Elaboration Likelihood Model - Petty & Cacioppo

Assumes

1. Motivated to hold “correct” attitudes

2. Amount and Nature of issue-relevant elaboration in which willing to engage varies

- elaboration likelihood continuum

- differences are quantitative AND qualitative

high elaboration – consider more, consider longer, consider relevance to position

low elaboration – consider less, or with less effort, rely more on “irrelevant”

3. Variables affect amount and direction of Attitude Change by:

a. serve as persuasive argument – just better information to believe

b. serve as peripheral cues

c. affect argument elaboration, encouraging either objective or biased processing

4. Affect Objective Processing through: personal relevance, distraction, repetition, etc.

5. Affect Biased Processing (lead away from full careful analysis): positivity bias, forewarning/reactance, existing schema, mood effects on processing and retrieval

6. As motivation to process arguments decreases, peripheral cues gain importance

7. Consequences – will change be stable or unstable


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Attitudes and Attitude Change

Revised Model - Elaboration Likelihood Model - Petty & Cacioppo

Examples/applications – interactions, not main effects

Credibility as Information or as Heuristic

Mood as Information or as Heuristic


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Social Perception and Attitudes

Integrating Social Perception and Attitude Processes

Forming Attitudes and Making Inferences based on Group Membership

Attitudes Towards Individuals based on Categories or Groups

Prejudice and Discrimination as components of these attitudes

Affect – prejudice

Cognitive – schema or stereotype

Behavioral – discrimination


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Social Perception and Attitudes

Stereotypes and the “kernel of truth”

Issues to consider about stereotypes

how common and distinctive is the quality

why is the quality present within the group

are evaluative biases associated with the qualities


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Social Perception and Attitudes

Development of Prejudice and Stereotypes

Cognitive Roots of Stereotype Development

Seeking Organization

Schematic Processing

Out-group Homogeneity beliefs

Social Roots of Stereotype Development

Social Conflict

Social Identity

Social Roles

Social Learning


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Social Perception and Attitudes

Evolving Nature of Prejudice and Discrimination

Modern vs Old Fashion Racism

Hostile vs Benevolent Sexism

Characteristics of low prejudiced vs. high prejudiced individuals

Internal and External Motivation to Respond without Prejudice


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Social Perception and Attitudes

Costs of Prejudice and Discrimination

Material Costs – lost opportunities, social costs

Other Costs – lack of diversity of ideas

Psychological Costs – self evaluation and performance

Stereotype Threat


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Social Perception and Attitudes

Reducing Prejudice and Discrimination

Strategy Depends on Level in Social System

Legislation

Re-socialization

education

role-playing

Intergroup Contact

Re-categorization


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Social Perception and Attitudes

Social Norms and the Expression of Prejudice

(Crandall, Eshleman & O’Brien, 2002)

Social Norms Define Acceptable Expression of Prejudices

Acceptable Targets of Prejudice and Discrimination


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Social Perception and Attitudes

Stereotype Content Model - Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, & Xu

Focus on Content of stereotype, not process

Stereotypes can be both negative and positive

Content determines emotions experienced

Two Evaluative Dimensions

Competence

Warmth