PSYC 2P30 Lecture Notes - Church Attendance, Computer Terminal, Classical Conditioning

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5 Apr 2012
2P30 Lect Oct 11, 2011
Where do attitudes come from?
Classical conditioning of attitudes
Classical conditioning, pairing stimuli, something without meaning, gains
meaning. Eg. pairing something negative with cats, cats become negative. You
don't teach the dog to salivate around the dinner bell. Because the dog
salivates with meat powder, after putting the meat down repeatedly during the
tone, the tone starts having a meaning. When negative events happen, we
have a negative evaluation. If you go to your cousin's wedding, and your uncle
vomits on you, you think gross, disgusting.
Crandall et al.
Students sitting at a computer terminal, researchers paired words to them,
while these words were being displayed on screen, sad and happy faces would
flash really quickly to the point where they weren't even aware of it. "what do
you think about this group of people?" for those that were paired with happy
faces, they rated them moe positively, and less positive with sad faces.
Instrumental/Operant conditioning
We act in a particular way and we get rewarded for it, this Increases the
behaviour and strengthens the attitude. Eg. if i do something, and get
rewarded for it, I'll do it more, and opposite for punishment. We reward the
right attitudes in our children, friends, and family, this is how we shape
people's attitudes. Related to the Law of Effect. We reward and punish each
other's behaviours and attitudes. Eg. if someone tells a racist joke, and
everyone scolds him at the dinner table. If someone tells a racist or sexist joke,
and you go along with it, then your view of that group are influenced, possibly
may see them more stereotypically.
Modelling of Attitudes
It doesn't have to happen to you, it can be modelled for you. You pick up what
others get rewarded or punished for. If you were to watch someone get
punished for something, then you are less likely to do it. We pick up our
attitudes from other people.
Social comparison
We look to other people to form our own attitudes - Festinger(1954). Main et al.
went to a science centre, and asked people about a fictious race. If you tell me
that most people are okay with them, then I'll be okay with them, if you tell me
other people find them to be negative then i'll find them to be a bit negative.
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