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Attitudes. The Nature of Attitudes. Attitude A relatively stable organization of beliefs, feelings and behavior tendencies toward something (attitude object) Attitudes and Behaviors We don’t always behave the way we feel The correlation between attitudes and behavior is not always high

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the nature of attitudes
The Nature of Attitudes
  • Attitude
    • A relatively stable organization of beliefs, feelings and behavior tendencies toward something (attitude object)
  • Attitudes and Behaviors
    • We don’t always behave the way we feel
      • The correlation between attitudes and behavior is not always high
    • Self-monitoring
      • Tendency of the individual to observe the situation for cues about appropriate reaction
the nature of attitudes1
The Nature of Attitudes
  • Attitude Development
    • Much of our attitude is the result of experience
    • Oskamp, 1991
      • Early experiences (smiles and encouragement for pleasing behaviors, punishment and disapproval for displeasing behaviors) create enduring positive and negative attitudes
    • Parents, teachers, friends, celebrities shape our attitudes
the nature of attitudes2
The Nature of Attitudes
  • Attitude Development
    • Bandura: Bobo the Clown

How are you influenced by what you see?

social identity theory
Social Identity Theory
  • Tajfel & Turner (1979)
  • No one “personal self”, but several selves of widening circles of group membership.
  • Different social contexts may trigger an individual to think, feel and act on basis of his personal, family or national “level of self.”
  • Social identity is the individual’s self-concept derived from perceived membership of social groups (Hogg & Vaughan, 2002)
    • individual-based perception of what defines the “us” associated with any internalized group membership. This can be distinguished from the notion of personal identity which refers to self-knowledge that derives from the individual’s unique attributes.
social identity theory1
Social Identity Theory
  • Group membership creates ingroup/ self-categorization and enhancement in ways that favor the in-group at the expense of the out-group.
  • Categorizing as group members leads them to display ingroup favoritism.
    • Seek positive self-esteem by separating ingroup from an outgroup
      • Positive distinctiveness of ‘us’
    • People’s sense of who they are is defined in terms of ‘we’ rather than ‘I’.
  • Three main variables of ingroup favoritism
    • Extent to which individuals identify with ingroup to internalize group membership as aspect of self-concept.
    • Extent to which prevailing context provides ground for comparison between groups.
    • Perceived relevance of comparison group,
      • Shaped by relative and absolute status of the ingroup.
  • Individuals are likely to display favoritism when an ingroup is central to their self-definition and a given comparison is meaningful or the outcome is contestable.
social identity theory2
Social Identity Theory
  • Schoolboys were assigned to groups, which were intended as meaningless as possible.
  • Assigned randomly, excluding roles of interpersonal discrimination such as history of conflict, personal animosity or interdependence.
  • Assigned points to anonymous members of both their own group and the other group.
  • Conclusions
    • even the most minimal conditions were sufficient to encourage ingroup-favoring responses.
    • Participants picked a reward pair that awarded more points to people who were identified as ingroup members. In other words, they displayed ingroup favoritism.
prejudice discrimination
Prejudice & Discrimination
    • Prejudice
      • An intolerant, unfavorable and rigid view of a group of people (Attitude)
  • Discrimination
    • An act or series of acts that denies opportunities and esteem to an entire group of people (Behavior)
  • Sources of Prejudice
    • Frustration-aggression theory (Allport, 1954)
      • Displacement of hostility by exploited, oppressed, or disenfranchised away from proper target and toward lower social groups
    • Authoritarian personality theory (Adorno et al, 1950)
      • Rigidly conventional, rule-following individuals hostile to those that deviate from the norms
    • Cognitive misers
      • Too much cognitive simplification, creates over-generalizations and stereotypes
    • Racism
      • Members of certain racial/ ethnic groups are innately inferior
attitudes and behavior
Attitudes and Behavior
  • Heavily researched because of belief that attitudes can predict behavior
    • NOT supported by evidence
    • LaPiere (1930): attitudes & behaviors toward Orientals in 1930s California
      • Reported attitudes didn’t correlate with discriminatory behavior
measuring attitudes
Measuring Attitudes
  • Direct questions (Survey says…)
    • Difficult to assess intensity
    • No way to standardize answer
  • Projection test
measuring attitudes1
Measuring Attitudes
  • Attitude scales (most common)
    • Thurstone scale
      • Evaluative statements about attitude object
        • Wide range of positivity & negativity
    • Osgood’s Semantic Difference
      • Rate attitude object on bipolar adjective word pairs
    • Limitations
      • Social-desirability bias
measuring attitudes2
Measuring Attitudes
  • Physiological changes
    • Arousal states associated with positive & negative attitudes
    • GSR
      • Measures perspiration
        • Limitation: doesn’t indicate type of emotion
    • Pupilary response
      • Hess (): subject wants to see what it like more than what it dislikes
        • Problems: fear dilates pupils, to, limited to visual
measuring attitudes3
Measuring Attitudes
  • Physiological changes
    • Facial electromyogram (EMG)
      • Assumptions: facial expressions are innate, people learn only to control gross facial movements, unable to control slight enervation
      • Measures muscle enervation (tension)
      • Limitations:
        • Expensive, invasive, experiment may alter attitudes
attitude change
Attitude Change
  • How and why do attitudes change?
  • How do we resist attitude changes we don’t want?
  • Pay attention to message, fully comprehend, and accept message as convincing
  • Resistance
    • Identify underlying message, recognize attention-getting techniques
    • Awareness of techniques & tactics
persuasion advertising techniques
PersuasionAdvertising Techniques
  • Bandwagon: Popularity = desirability
    • “Everyone’s doing it!”
  • Celebrity Testimonial: Fame = taste
    • “I’m Michael Jordan & I drink Gatorade!”
  • Association Principle: product assoc. with qualities
    • “Cool, sexy people smoke Kool cigarettes!”
  • Emotional Appeal: Creates emotional response (fear)
    • “If you don’t want YOUR family threatened, get an ADT security system!”
  • Repetition: Repeated exposure of logo & name
    • Political ads immediately before election
  • Use of Humor: Funny is noticeable
    • GoDaddy commercial with Joan Rivers
  • Compliance tactics
    • Ingratiation
      • Harder to resist requests from people we like
    • Foot in the door
      • Giving in to an initial, small request makes it harder to resist a later, larger request
    • Door in the face
      • Refusing an initial, large request makes it harder to resist later, smaller requests
    • Hard to get
      • Appearance of demand for goods/ services decreases resistance to request
attitude change communication model
Attitude Change Communication Model
  • Each of the following manipulated in order to change your attitudes
    • Source
      • Credibility is key
    • Message
      • When interested in, more important than source
    • Medium of communication
      • Face-to-face, personal stories, writing (complex ideas)
    • Characteristics of the audience
      • Difficult to alter
      • Resistance because: commitment to current attitudes, shared attitudes, early childhood formation by family of attitudes
attitude change cognitive dissonance theory
Attitude ChangeCognitive Dissonance Theory
  • Occurs when a person holds two contradictory beliefs at the same time.
    • “I am a good friend.”
    • “My boyfriend was my friend Jenny’s before I took him”
  • Attempt to resolve the dissonance
  • More power to change attitude than past behavior, so:
    • “Jenny wasn’t really a friend; she was more like an acquaintance.”
attitude change cognitive dissonance theory1
Attitude ChangeCognitive Dissonance Theory
  • Why act contrary to belief?
    • Every time we make a decision
    • Enticement
      • The greater the reward, the less cognitive dissonance
      • Think about:
        • Childbirth “It’s not that bad”
        • High school “High school was awesome!”
        • Marriage “You two should get married!”