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feb 26 2p30.docx

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Gordon Hodson

PSYC 2P30 February 26 Attitudes 1. Definition of Attitude 2. Tripartite Models (ABCs) 3. Formation of Attitudes a. Social Learning b. Social Comparison c. Genetics 4. 5. 6. Traditional Yale Approach Attitude - Definition: evaluation (favourable vs. unfavourable) - Persuasion: attempt to change evaluation - Prejudice: negative attitude about a group and its members o Origins: prejudgment - A psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluation a particular entity with some degree of favour or disfavor - A favourable or unfavourable evaluative reaction toward something or someone, exhibited in one’s beliefs, feelings or intended behaviour Tripartite Models (ABCs) A: affect (emotion, feelings) - anger/joy determining likes ot dislikes B: behaviour (actions) - wear seatbelts C: cognition (thought) - concerning safety - attitudes can predict your ABCs - retrieved from memory o Spreading activation (linked to other attitudes in memory)  Ex: Asking your attitude about St. Catharines activates your attitude towards Brock University Formation of Attitudes A) Social Learning 1. Classical Condition of Attitudes o Pairing of stimuli, so that previously innocuous stimulus gains a new response in organism (or person)  E.g., neutral words can gain meaning (such as Google)  If negative encounter with a cat, it may result in a negative attitude towards the cat o Crandall et al. (2011)  Paired unfamiliar countries with subliminal primes 2. Instrumental/Operant Conditioning of Attitude o behaviour + reward = increase behaviours, strengthen attitude o behaviour + punishment = decrease behaviour, weaken attitude  Therefore, we often rewards “right” views in children 3. Modelling of Attitudes o Via observation of others  Children will often watch their parents more than they listen to them! B) Social Comparison - Festinger (1954): look to other to validate our social reality - Maio, Esses and Bell (1994) o Gave norm information on others’ ratings of (fictitious) immigrants  Positive/negative norms resulted in positive/negative attitudes C) Genetic Influences on Attitudes - Inherit attitudes? - Recent evidence suggests.... maybe - Compare MZ and DZ twins (found higher correlation for MZ) o Examine separated twins, find higher than by chance alone, across many attitudes. - Olson et al. (2001) o Some evidence that attitudes are heritable  26/30 showed some genetic heritability o Some attitudes appear to be more heritable than others o Mediated by other factors (e.g., personality, physical characteristics) o Still, most variance in attitudes is from environment - Genes -> personality -> behaviour o Indirect effects Attitude-Behaviour Link: The Problem - Wicker (1969; review of literature): o Attitudes rarely predict behaviours - Miscehl (1968): o Personality itself rarely predicts behaviour - When do attitudes predict behaviour? o Attitude specificity  How specific is the attitude that you’re checking  Church attendance -> actual church attendance  Theory of Reasoned Action  Attitude/Subjective Norm -> intention -> behaviour  Good at predicting intentional behaviours o Making decisions to change behaviour; intentions are bridging the attitude and behaviours  Theory of Planned Behaviours  Attitude/Subjective Norm/ Perceived behaviour control -> intention -> behaviour o Minimize extraneous influences  “Principle of aggregation”  Types of Extraneous Factors:  Hold other relevant attitudes  Motivated to satisfy other needs o Self Awareness  Ex: putting someone in front of a mirror o Attitude strength o Attitude accessibility Changing Attitudes (Persuasion) - Willer (2004) o During this period, after 9/11 until 4/04, Homeland Security terror alert level remained high; many argued that it was manipulated
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