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feb 28 2012- psych 215.docx

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McGill University
PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

Tuesday, February 28 , 2012 What is an attitude? Sometimes you will have a mild-valenced reaction to something, and sometimes it will be strong. Certain topics elicit more intense attitudes (eg: abortion vs. whether light posts should be gray or green). Attitudes Internal: they are inside of your head. Four Possible Reactions to Attitude Objects So it is possible to have a low negative reaction or a low positive reaction to an object; this would mean you are indifferent. High negative and low positive would mean you have a negative reaction. But it is also possible to have a high negative and high positive attitude. Example: if you grew up in a house with high prejudice against a certain race. And then you go to University and meet them and you realize that they are not so bad; you fall in love and decide to marry one. But researchers say that the bad attitude towards this race are still there, ingrained in your mind, sometimes unconsciously. In a situation associated with stress, etc, you might say something negative to your partner referring to their heritage. So basically your mind is trying to entertain both attitudes at the same time. The degree to which your attitudes have internal consistency is also important. For example, you have positive attitudes towards one thing, implying that you should also feel the same about another, but you don’t. Is anything truly neutral Research suggests that when you make up nonsense words like this, using syllables from words that have positive effects on people, you are often not neutral about the words. Voting Behaviour It is thought that your attitudes will predict your behaviour; therefor it is studied often. This is important in elections. Research suggests that attitudes do predict voting behaviour (95% accurate). So polls on attitudes predict how you will act in the future. It was shown that in elections, they use every sing attitude change process. Romney solidifies… Different articles influence you and have an impact on a person’s attitude towards the candidate. The sum of this will determine whether the person votes for Romney or another candidate. Positive Attitudes/Negative Attitudes Depending on the party, they will associate Romney with either positive or negative attitudes. News Flash Example. New political party. Basically we are trying to show attitudes that we hope that other people have. Another party, running against this new party, would say things to try to prevent you from forming attitudes that are too positive towards the first new party. In an attack ad, everything that one party put forward must have issues brought up against it, or you can try to eat away at the positive things that the first party tried to associate with their position. How Attitudes are Measured: Self-Report Measures Since it occurs inside of your head, most of the time people will have to be asked about it. Usually it is through a multiple-item questionnaire. Most of the questions refer to the Likert Scale. Next Slide Makes you rate your intensity against a certain thing. How Attitudes are Measures: Self-Report Measures Truthfulness is something that is questioned a lot; sometimes we censor things that we are reporting, even if we are talking about an anonymous questionnaire. We may do this to make our responses more socially acceptable.  Bogus pipeline: beginning of the semester, you fill out a questionnaire. Later on in the semester, you participate in the experiment (you think that it has nothing to do with the initial questionnaire, and the investigators already know your opinions). They make you hold a wheel that they say is a sensor for lying. Youre told different things, and are told that the sensor will tell you if it is positive or negative (your attitude against the thing); but remember, the researchers already know your opinions. They do this to persuade you that the machine can read your mind.  Then they ask other questions about the attitude, and you have to turn the steering wheel towards yes or no depending on your attitudes. So you believe that there is no way that you can lie to this machine.  People hooked up to this admit to having socially unacceptable attitudes, when they would not admit to this usually. How attitudes are measured: Covert Measures If the way that they make you report your self-attitudes are not that great, is there a way to get the right information? The facial EMG… There are muscles that you use when you have positive or negative affect are distinct. When
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