Behavior and Attitudes Chapter 4 David Myers
Behavior and Attitudes How well do attitudes predict behavior? When does behavior affect attitudes? Why does behavior affect attitudes?
Behavior and Attitudes • Attitudes – evaluative reactions toward an entity that are exhibited in your beliefs, feelings, and/or actions • ABC’s of Attitudes - Affect, Behavior, Cognition
Do Attitudes Determine Behavior? • Do Attitudes Determine Behavior or Are We Hypocrites? • Most incorrectly feel that to change behaviors you must first change attitudes • Studies show that people’s attitudes don’t predict their actions very well • Politicians(2008 Election) • Religion • Honesty • Race • Sex(Abstinence Only Programs)
When Do Attitudes Predict Behaviors? • Minimizing Social Influences • When Social Influences are Minimal (e.g. conformity) - Bogus Pipelines, Implicit Association Tests • When Situational Influences are Minimal– attitudes are better predictors of average behaviors rather than isolated acts • Specific Attitudes - are better predictors of behavior than general ones • Potent Attitudes – stronger accessible attitudes are better predictors of behavior
Do Behaviors Determine Attitudes? • Festinger’s Attitude Theory – changing one’s behaviors will lead to changes in attitudes • Roles - can lead to dramatic changes in attitudes
Do Behaviors Determine Attitudes? • Stanford Prison Experiment
Do Behaviors Determine Attitudes? • Saying Becomes Believing Effect – we adjust our message to the audience and then believe it more ourselves • Foot-in-the-Door Phenomenon – the tendency to comply with a larger request after having previously agreed to a small request • Cialdini’s Low-Ball Technique – people who agree to an initial request will still agree when the stakes are higher
Evil and Moral Acts and Attitude Change • Harmful/Evil Acts – minor acts of harm makes it easier to commit larger acts later on • Moral Acts - chosen moral action also leads to attitude change • Interracial Attitudes & Behaviors • Social Movements
Why Do Actions Affect Attitudes? • Self Presentation Theory: Impression Management • we express attitudes that match our actions in order to appear consistent • Self-monitoring - attention one gives to situations and corresponding self-presentations
Why Do Actions Affect Attitudes? • Self-justification Theory: Cognitive Dissonance – we are motivated to maintain cognitive consistency • Festinger ‘s Cognitive Dissonance Theory – we feel tension when two thoughts or beliefs are inconsistent with one another • Insufficient Justification – altering one’s attitude when there is a lack of justification for a behavior
Self-justification Theory: Cognitive Dissonance • Dissonance & Decisions – choosing between equally appealing options causes dissonance • Reduce dissonance by upgrading your choice and downgrading the unchosen option
Why Do Actions Affect Attitudes? • Self-Perception Theory - when unsure of our attitudes we infer them by self-observation • Expressions and Attitudes – manipulating facial muscles causes students to report anger or happiness • Mimicry -Mirroring others allows us to experience their feelings • Overjustification Effect – rewarding someone for doing something they like will cause them to lose interest • Unanticipated rewards or rewards that make one feel good don’t diminish intrinsic appeal or motivation
Self-Justification or Self-Perception? • Dissonance Theory appears to explain attitude change • Self-perception Theory explains attitude formations.