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Chapter 16: Social Behaviour

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PSYC 1002
Lorena Ruci

Lecture 21: Chapter 16 Attitudes and Attitude Change  Attitude is a person’s evaluations of people, things, etc.  Three components: o Cognitive (beliefs): rationalization/justification of our beliefs o Affective (emotional feelings): it’s one thing to think something is right, but it’s another thing to feel an emotional component for an issue o Behavioural (predisposition to act): what we do in order to fulfill the belief; the reason we act this way is because we think and feel that it’s right  Some attitudes are firm, some are malleable; with the right manifestation of a counter argument, then some people’s attitudes are more likely to change than others  Factors in changing attitudes: o Source  The person with the opposite attitude trying to convince you to change your mind  Source credibility and trustworthiness: source is knowledgeable and can be trusted, argument is based on factual data; depends on how person doing convincing is perceived, e.g. a doctor o Message  The argument/what is being said  Logic: whether the message is laid out in a rational/scientific change, then attitude more likely to change  Emotions: people feel strongly about what they believe in; certain emotional reactions associated with believing and doing certain things; more likely to be persuaded if a good emotional response, e.g. negative cigarette ads  Argument: the better the argument, the more likely you are to change  Repetition: not effective, though used frequently in advertising o Receiver  The audience, or the person who holds the attitude  Holds certain stable characteristics that, depending on which characteristics they had, attitude change is more/less likely to occur  Personality: openness to experience tend to lead people to be more open minded to a new attitude  Expectations: expect positions to be attacked, so they will be closed off to arguments  Prior Knowledge: knowing more about a topic will lead a person to being more open minded Theories of Attitude Formation and Attitude Change  Learning Theory o Classical Conditioning: people associate positive reactions to things, then you’ll have the same expectations of that object o Operant Conditioning: making an attitude stronger or weaker by associating it with rewards or punishments o Observational Learning: The natural process that occurs when people are exposed to something, you’re more likely to consider a new message  Dissonance Theory o Inconsistency among attitudes leads to attitude change o People will avoid holding inconsistent attitudes, and will change one or both attitudes in order to reduce that conflict o Motivational drive for reducing dissonance/conflict leads to people altering their cognitions/attitudes o If you desire something but it’s unattainable, this creates an unpleasant state, so you convince yourself you never wanted it in the first place o If you can’t undo an action, you change your attitude about it  Self-perception Theory o Inferring attitudes from behaviour o Based on dissonance theory, but takes an opposite way of thinking about it o People infer and evaluate attitudes by looking at their actions o Foot in the door: salesperson offers a small sample, engage with benefits, then offer you intended product; if you agree to a small request, you’re more likely to agree to bigger request later because you’re already invested  Elaboration Likelihood Model o Explains the likelihood that an attitude will be held strongly, not weakly o Why some people are committed to some ideas, and others aren’t o Two routes to persuasion o Central: appealing to those factors of the source, message, and receiver that leads person to elaborate the message for a longer time, e.g. doctor says you need to eat healthy because of health issues o Peripheral: message not being considered closely, e.g. politician dresses nicely, is attractive, and appeals to the masses; as a result, the attitude change will last for a short period of time, or not at all Persuasion*  Decision o Attractive and displeasing features; Alpha and Omega strategies  Attractiveness outweighs negative consequences of d
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