Attitude Change: The Yale Program 01/31/2014
Day 1- January 31st
Carl I. Hovland: influential psychologist; published much, but difficult to replicate. Little evidence for role
of reinforcement in attitudes.
Took behavioristic approach, studied reinforcement in attitudes.
Source Message (positive attitude towards the message)
The source may not actually have this opinion (are being paid to support this product or promote an idea).
Belief that people say what they mean and mean what they say
Audience Message (?)
The Message typically contains persuasive arguments about why someone should believe the idea.
Positive reaction-> persuaded by the source
Audience Source (?)
Central route to persuasion-> facts and content of the message
Peripheral route to persuasion-> attributes of the source
Channel-> newspapers, magazines, radio, television, mobile devices, internet (facebook), face-to-face
(bathrooms, grocery stores).
Bases of Source Influence
Not relevant to attitude change:
Outcome control-> ability to deliver rewards and punishments
Employers solicit campaign contributions from employees.
Instructors influence essay positions-> higher marks assigned to papers or essays that supports the beliefs
of the instructor.
Coercion-> use of threat of force (false confessions)
Stockholm Syndrome? cases where individuals have been kidnapped but come to adopt the beliefs of
their captures to prevent further injury by the captures (e.g Patty Hurst).
Government or employer makes demands that must be met-> many of these lead to attitude change.
Relevant to attitude change:
Individual recognized to have experience or knowledge in an area of field.
Physicians, scientists, lawyers, etc.
Useful info from whatever source
Admired individuals, those we identify with
Sports, Entertainment figures, Celebrities, parents, political, religious figures, friends, etc.
Amalgam of expertise, referent power, status, etc.
At least two of these
Presented individuals with a list of reasons for why it is possible to produce a nuclear bomb.
Two different sources for the information
J Robert Oppenheimer-> credible source
Pravda-> communist spokesperson (disliked by most North American individuals).
Immediate: higher attitude change from Oppenheimer, little by Pravda.
Four weeks later: attitude change from both individuals was virtually identical (maybe slightly more attitude
change from Pravda).
Effect of source credibility disappears after a period of time
People may have forgotten about the source, only influenced by the message itself.
Is it dangerous to turn right on a red light?
Message, no message or Discounting cue (told that the information in the message was invalid/wrong).