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Chapter 10. Understanding Individual Behavior. Attitudes: The ABC Model. A ffect Feelings for an object B ehavioral Intentions Potential Behavior toward it C ognition Beliefs about it. Attitude Change Techniques. Persuasion Cognition -> Behavior Conditioning

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Chapter 10 l.jpg
Chapter 10


Individual Behavior

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Attitudes: The ABC Model


Feelings for an object

Behavioral Intentions

Potential Behavior toward it


Beliefs about it

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Attitude Change Techniques


Cognition -> Behavior


Affect -> Cognition -> Behavior

Cognitive Dissonance Production

Behavior -> Cognition

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  • “The link between the person and the environment”

  • Broadly defined, includes Social Perception (impressions of people)

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  • Why are perceptions often distorted?

    • Why do people not always perceive things as they are?

    • Why do people perceive things differently?

      • Different people

      • Same person at different times

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Sources of Perceptual Distortions/Differences

  • Selectivity (perceiving only part of envir. or attending to some parts more than others)

    • External Factors (i.e., in physical envir.)

      • Similarity

      • Size

      • Nearness

      • Motion

    • Internal Factors

      • Experience

      • Motivation

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Sources of Perceptual Distortions/Differences

  • Closure (adding to your perception)

    • Stereotyping

    • Halo Effects

    • Attribution

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Perceived causes of behavior

Major concern: whether caused by internal or external factors

(the person or the environ.)

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Internal and External Attributions


Does the person behave in the same manner in different situations?


Does this person behave in the same manner in this situation at other times?


Do other people behave in the same manner in this situation?

Internal Attribution




Low Distinctiveness

Low Distinctiveness

High Consistency

Low Consensus






External Attribution

Low Consistency

High Distinctiveness

High Consensus

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Common Attributional Errors

Fundamental Attribution Error

We Perceive others’ behaviors as more Internally caused than they are

Self-Serving Bias

We perceive our own:

Success as Internal

Failure as External

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  • Internal State

  • Uniqueness

  • Consistency

  • Stability

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Personality Theories

  • Developmental Stage (Psychodynamic)

    • (Freud, etc.)

  • Trait-Based (“Big Five”, etc.)

    • e.g., Neurotic, Extraversion, Authoritarian (Eysenck)

  • Motive-Based

    • e.g., Achievement, Affiliation, Power (McClelland)

  • Belief-Based

    • e.g., Internal vs. External Locus of Control (Rotter)

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Locus of Control

  • People who believe that individuals are in control of their own lives have an Internal locus of control.

  • People who think that forces beyond their control dictate what happens to them have an External locus of control.

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Emotional Intelligence


  • Knowing one’s own emotions

  • Controlling one’s emotions

  • Recognizing others’ emotions (Empathy)

  • Social Skill - Controlling others’ emotions

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Emotional Intelligence

Author Daniel Goleman says incompetence in management occurs more often from lack of EQ than lack of IQ.

EQ skills are essential in managing conflict

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Types of Learning

  • Shaping

    • Learn by doing

    • Small, Reinforced Steps

  • Modeling (Social Learning)

    • Learn by observing someone else

    • Consequences to Model are important

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Mental Ability

  • General Intelligence (g factor)

    • Correlation with Job Performance

  • Specific Intelligences (s factors)

    • Correlation with Job Satisfaction

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Testing Intelligence and Personality

  • When using in selection and placement: Back up with validity studies.

  • In General:

    • Intelligence - Moderate Validity

    • Personality - Low Validity

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Cognitive (Problem-Solving) Styles

  • How do we gather information?

    • Sensing - Look at the facts, details.

    • Intuiting - Brainstorm, get a general overview.

  • How do we choose between alternatives?

    • Thinking - Analyze objectively, reason.

    • Feeling - Consider the impact on people.

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Cognitive Styles

  • Sensation / Thinking (ST) (e.g., technician)

  • Intuitive / Thinking (NT) (e.g., planner)

  • Sensation / Feeling (SF) (e.g., salesperson)

  • Intuitive / Feeling (NF) (e.g., artist)

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Myers-Briggs Test

  • Has 4 dimensions (incl. Sensation vs. Intuition and Thinking vs. Feeling)

  • Also Includes:

    • Extraversion vs. Introversion

    • Judger vs. Perceiver

      • (decisive vs. flexible)

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The Myers-Briggs Framework

Higher and lower positions in each of the dimensions are used to classify people into one of sixteen different personality categories.

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Consequences of Stress

  • Psychological

    • moodiness, depression, emotional fatigue

  • Physiological

    • cardiovascular diseases

    • ulcers, sexual dysfunction, headaches

  • Behavioral

    • poor performance, accidents

    • absenteeism

    • workplace aggression

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Sources of Stress

  • Experience

    • Job Conditions

    • Job Events

    • Life Events

    • Life Conditions

  • Personal Characteristics

    • Personality

    • Coping Behaviors

      (These and other factors influence how people much stress people feel.)

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Sources of Stress

  • Job Conditions

    • Intrinsic to the Job

    • Being in the Organization

    • Roles in the Organization

    • Career Development

    • Relations within the Organization

    • Organization interface with the outside

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Sources of Stress

  • Intrinsic to the Job - Examples

    • Making decisions

    • Unstructured tasks

    • Constant monitoring

    • Repeated exchange of info with others

    • Dealing with the public

    • Unpleasant physical conditions

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Sources of Stress

  • Job Events & Life Events

    • Even “good” things can be stressful, because change is generally stressful.

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Sources of Stress

  • Life Conditions

    • Urban Stress Test

      • Measures: Population Change, Crowding, Education, Violent Crime, Unemployment, Per Capita Income, Birth Rate, Air Quality, Hazardous Wastes, Water Supply & Quality, Wastewater Treatment

      • Does not include: Climate, Cultural Offerings, NFL Football

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Sources of Stress

  • Personality

    • Type A Behaviors

      • Highly Competitive

      • Impatient

      • High Job Involvement

    • Determinants of Type A Personality

      • Sensitive Nervous System

      • Demanding Parents (love contingent upon achievement)

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Primary Prevention

Change how you do things to remove stressors from your life

Secondary Prevention

Prepare yourself to withstand stressors


Treat the stress effects you already have


Primary Prevention

Time management, skill enhancement, delegation, job redesign

Secondary Prevention

Exercise, diet, recreation, sleep, relaxation, meditation


Professional help, social support

Coping with Stress