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PSYB10 - 4.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Elizabeth Page- Gould

PSYB10 – LECTURE 4 (ATTITUDES, PERSUASION, CONFORMITY & DISSENT) WHAT ARE ATTITUDES?  a like or dislike that influences our behavior towards someone or something  a belief that you hold that is shaped with goodness or badness: valence that you hold (positive or negative)  Affective: What you feel about something – emotions that you associate with the attitude object  Behavioural: what you are likely to do – as a response to your attitude  Cognitive: What you think about something – set of assumptions and beliefs about object  Valence: bipolar dimension from good to bad – continuum  Strength: intensity of the attitude EXPLICIT ATTITUDES  attitudes stored in the form of a statement of which you are fully aware (stored in words)  you know what your explicit attitudes are and are very confident about your attitude IMPLICIT ATTITUDES  an association between something and the concept of good and bad – related to the semantic network  things we have a good attitude about we hold an association with goodness and vice versa  you are not necessarily aware of your implicit attitudes  measured in terms of reaction times ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOUR  Which comes first?  most of the early funding in the field of social psychology came in during the WWII and creating propaganda for buying war bonds– so much of the early research relates to relationship between attitude and behaviour  People were trying to persuade others in to doing something/how can it be done? (in this case having people buy more war bonds)  originally there was an assumption that what you believe about something would directly affect or predict your behaviour about that thing  but people would not have guessed that your behaviour would change your attitude or belief about that thing – but it is more supported by the literature COGNITIVE DISSONANCE  A change in people’s behaviour alters their attitudes (Festinger, 1957)  Dissonance: unpleasant feeling of tension or arousal when your behaviour is inconsistent with your attitudes and values  underlies almost everything we do  fundamental aspect of attitude change and persuasion  you experience unpleasant tension (dissonance) when: -you experience contradictory attitudes (you and your best friend have different ideas about a certain object)...(like JB or dislike JB) 1 PSYB10 – LECTURE 4 (ATTITUDES, PERSUASION, CONFORMITY & DISSENT) -you behave inconsistently with your attitudes (you have a new group of people whom you want to impress, and to fit in you behave according to the new group of people)...(pretending not to like JB)  To relieve this tension: -you change your attitude since you cannot change your behaviour (you change your attitude to match your actions – how we act changes our behaviour but how we act rarely affects how we feel or think)...(in the case of pretending not to like JB, you will find in time you really don’t like him as much) -or you reappraise the situation so that your behaviour no longer indicates anything about your attitude (much less common response) – called Overjustification Effect Festinger & Carlsmith (1959)  really boring experiment for 45 minutes turning wooden pegs on a board  as you are leaving and being debriefed the experimenter will tell the participants that they need people to be motivated and need participation because it is their thesis project – and for 2 out of 3 conditions they participants were asked to help the experimenter out with this issue  in one of the conditions, the experimenter offers the participant $20 extra if they would go out and tell the next participant that it was a fun experiment -this goes against the participants attitude of the experiment but offer of money overpowers it  in the second condition (key for cognitive dissonance) participant asked once again to encourage the next participant for an extra dollar (not a large amount of money so change in behaviour harder to justify)  third condition was a control condition in which participant not asked  one week later a different experimenter from the lab calls all the participants and asks them how the quality of the running experiments are  results of the phone survey showed that: -the control group ranged from unpleasurable to neutral -the $1 group ranged from neutral to extremely pleasurable -the $20 group ranged was pretty much confined to a neutral opinion (overjustification effect)  as a result people paid only $1 had changed their attitude to be congruent to the lie they told  Overjustification Effect: if one can justify an attitude-inconsistent behaviour, then they will not experience dissonance feelings and attitude will not change  external things that one can attribute to a certain behaviour causes the loss of internal motivation to do that behaviour POST-DECISION DISSONANCE  Dissonance aroused after making a decision, typically reduced by: -enhancing the attractiveness of the chosen alternative -devaluating the rejected alternatives  (ie) after making a big purchase, people are often satisfied and think they did the right thing Brehm (1956)  invited housewives into the lab to look at various household appliances  they would then rate each item (toaster, coffee maker, waffle iron), and then the researchers took the top two items from the participants list and randomly gave them one of the two as a gift 2 PSYB10 – LECTURE 4 (ATTITUDES, PERSUASION, CONFORMITY & DISSENT)  how will people’s attitudes change to the item that they did get vs the one they didn’t get?  after the participant had gotten the gift, they were asked to rate the appliances one more time  changes from the original top2 showed that the gift item rating stayed the same, whereas ratings for the other item dropped significantly - spreading of alternatives when you make a decision LIKING  positively-valenced attitude (subset of attitude) BALANCE THEORY (off shoot of cognitive dissonance, how we reduce dissonance in certain situations when you are comparing your attitude to somebody else’s attitude)  To reduce cognitive dissonance, we desire to keep a positive “balance” between our opinions and those of others  involves youeself, attitude or object, conflict (with close other) – balance between the three things by determining the individual relationships amongst the three (+/-)  you are in balance when the product (think integer multiplication) o all these relationships is +  options when unbalanced: -try to change friend’s attitude (hardest, rare) -change your attitude toward the issue (usually, common) -change your liking of your friend/conflict (sometimes) ATTITUDE CHANGE  Persuasion: the altering of an existing attitude or the adoption of a new attitude ROUTES OF PERSUASION  Central route to persuasion: When a person invests the necessary decision-making time and effort to evaluate the evidence and logic behind each persuasive message -give somebody a reasoned list of arguments as to why you should believe/change attitude -takes a lot of cognitive effort on everybody’s part  Peripheral route to persuasion: When people attend to indirect factors to make a decision about a persuasive message (ie speaker’s appearance) -indirect factors that don’t related much to the attitude but rather other emotional or social confounds 6 BASIC TENDENCIES TO SAY “YES” 1. Reciprocation  a social norm stating that we should try to repay in kind what another person has given us (the power of a gift)  also can be taken advantage of in context of persuasion, when you take from someone you feel obligated to give back 2. Consistency  people will go to extremes to try to appear consistent in their behaviour  public commitments are powerful determinants of behaviour  ie the restaurant reservation study in which people who were explicitly asked and answered to call and cancel for a no show had a lower no show rate 3. Social Proof  we follow the lead of similar others, and accept “personal stories” as proof of a product’s promises – the experiences of others are used as pieces of information for decision-making  ie it did work for this person so ... weight loss programs 3 PSYB10 – LECTURE 4 (ATTITUDES, PERSUASION, CONFORMITY & DISSENT)  other people’s stories are effective for persuasion because other people are like us/better understanding through other people Social Proof as Information Study: -cold winter morning, a man stops on a busy sidewalk and looked up at the sky for 60sec, at nothing in particular (conditions varied from one man, five men, fifteen men) -people from windows would count how many people followed along and gazed skyward -the more people that start off in the condition results in more people taking that behavior as proof 4. Liking  if you like someone, you are more likely to do what they want you to do  ie people like MJ, MJ likes Nike, and so people also like Nike  Tupperware Parties – friends gather for a party at a friend’s place sponsored by the Tupperware Company, and so technically you have friends selling to friends 5. Authority/Credibility  We are much more likely to be persuaded if we perceive the source of the persuasive message to be credible or respectable (ie celebrity actors dressed in lab coats)  did a study whether or not they could get people to j-walk at an intersection and had the same actor (once j-walk in a suit, and then j-walk in casual) j-walk in different situations and counted how many people would follow  results showed that 3.5 as many pedestrians followed him when he wore a suit and tie 6. Scarcity  an item or opportunity becomes more desirable as it becomes less available  comes from the concept of supply and demand from economics PERSUASION TACTICS 1. door-in-the-face technique: after making someone refuse a large, unreasonable request, they will be more likely to agree to a more reasonable second request  Cialdini et al. (1975) – ask college students a moderate request, but half of them were asked a big request first and results showed that the prequestioned group was more inclined to say yes to the moderate request (50%) 2. foot-in-the-door technique: after agreeing to a small request, people are more likely
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