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SOCPSY 1Z03 (385)
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Lecture

Attitudes February 10th.docx

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Department
Social Psychology
Course
SOCPSY 1Z03
Professor
Paul Glavin
Semester
Winter

Description
The Nature ofAttitudes The Relationship Between Attitudes and behaviour –  Attitudes => behaviour –  Behaviour => attitudes Not required reading: Reasoned Action Model Attitudes - An attitude is a predisposition to respond to a particular object in a favorable or unfavorable way. We have a number of attitudes and may shape how we will act in a certain situation. Ex. Talking to someone pro-choice - Components: o Cognitive - thought/idea (schema) o Evaluative - positive/negative view o Behavioural - inclined to act on your attitude(s) Formation - Reinforcement (instrumental conditioning) - the more we are exposed to a positive thing about a behaviour the stronger the attitude. Ex. Attending church + positive reinforcement = stronger attitude - Classical conditioning - associate things with attitudes. Ex. Children learning meanings of words Ex. being dirty = punished. - Observational learning - certain attitudes about things we haven’t met. Ex. Watching TV aboutAmerica as a culture, etc. Theory of Cognitive Dissonance Leon Festinger (1959) • Apsychological social psychology theory - Dissonance theory deals with consistency between two or more elements (behaviours and attitudes) o Cognitive dissonance = psychological tension between dissonant cognitions Individuals motivated to find cognitive consistency - By resolving dissonant cognitions/ Reducing dissonance Sources of Dissonance 1. Post-decisional Dissonance - Whenever we make a decision, there are some cognitions (attitudes, beliefs, knowledge) … •  that are consonant with that decision •  other cognitions that are dissonant with it 2. Counter-attitudinal Behaviour - When our behaviours contradict existing attitudes Prediction: we will change/adjust our attitudes to resolve dissonance Strategies for reducing Dissonance Reducing dissonance between two cognitions: – Disregard one of the beliefs – Change/Flip one of the beliefs – Distort one to match the other – Add a third belief that resolves conflict Strategies for reducing Dissonance • Example: you consider yourself an ‘A’student, but fail your 1Z03 midterm – Disregard: ignore/forget test – Change your belief that you are an ‘A’student – Distort: “the test wasn’t fair” – Add: I was unwell that day Festinger (1956) “When Prophecy Fails” • 1956: Participant observation of doomsday cult in Chicago - Leader (Keech) communicated with ‘the Guardians” - only she could hear the “Guardians” - Guardians would save cult from global flood at 12am
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