PSYB10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Heart Rate, Balance Theory, Likert Scale

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Published on 23 May 2016
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PSYB10 – Introduction to Social Psychology
LEC 04: Attitudes
Attitude – positive or negative evaluation of an object that includes three elements of affect, cognition
and behaviour
Measuring attitudes
- Likert scale: a numerical scale used to assess people’s attitudes; it includes a set of possible
answers with labeled anchors on each extreme
- Response latency: the time it takes an individual to respond to a stimulus, such as an attitude
question
- Implicit attitude measure: indirect measure of attitudes that does not involve self-report
Predicting behaviour from attitudes
- Attitudes can be poor predictors of behavior
- LaPiere study in the 1930s
oTraveling across the United States with a Chinese couple at time when anti-Chinese
prejudice was high
oSurprisingly, they were only denied service at 1 place in the 250 places they visited
oHowever, when each place was later contacted and asked if they would serve
“Orientals,” 90 percent said they would not
Why attitudes are poor predictors
- Attitudes may conflict with other influences on behavior
oSocial norms, other conflicting attitudes, and situational factors also influence behavior
- Attitudes can be inconsistent
oEmotional and cognitive aspects conflict
oFor instance, liking a person’s talent but disliking his or her arrogance
- Attitudes are often based on second hand information
oResearch shows attitudes based on firsthand experience better predict behavior
- General attitudes may not match specific targets
oAttitudes about gay men predicted willingness to show a gay man around campus—but
only when he was consistent with the individual’s stereotype of gay men
- Many behaviors are automatic
oAutomatic information processing guides behavior in ways that escape conscious
awareness
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