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PSY320H1 Lecture Notes - Blood Donation, Semantic Differential, Three Witches

Course Code
Ashley Waggoner Denton

of 4
PSY320H1F: September 18th, 2012
Chapter 2
The First Witch Attitude Content
Multicomponent Model: Attitudes are summary evaluations of an object that have Cognitive,
Affective, and Behavioural components.
- Cognitive: beliefs, thoughts, and attributes
- Affective: feelings or emotions
- Behavioural: past behaviours or experiences
I. Semantic Differential Measures of the CAB Components
- Generic approach Crites, Fabrigar, et Petty (1994): developed a measure for affective
and cognitive components with more specific evaluative semantic dimensions
Cognitive: useful useless, wise foolish, beneficial harmful, valuable worthless,
perfect imperfect, wholesome unhealthy
Affective: love hateful, delighted sad, happy annoyed, calm tense, excited
bored, relaxed angry, acceptance disgusted, joy sorrow
Reliable and valid
Can be used across different attitude objects
- Non-generic approach Breckler & Wiggins (1989): used the same semantic differential
measures to assess both cognition and affect for a particular object but framed the scales
Ex. Blood donation is vs. Blood donation makes me feel
- Pros:
Simple to administer and complete
Can be used to compare favourability of responses across attitude objects
- Cons:
Only measures cognitive and affective components, neglects the behavioural
II. Open-Ended Measures of the CAB Components
- Participants are asked to write down the thoughts, feelings, and behavioural experiences
they associate with an attitude object
Cognition measure: list characteristics, attributes, and values
Rate how positive or negative
Affect measure: list feelings and emotions
Rate how positive or negative
Behaviour measure: list relevant past experiences
Rate how positive or negative
Compute a score that is an average of the valence ratings
- Pros:
Measures behavioural component more comprehensive tests
Participants are unrestrained from provided dimensions
- Cons:
Participants may have trouble articulating thoughts, feelings, and past experiences
might not provide response for one or more components
Require more time and effort not feasible for measuring multiple attitude objects
PSY320H1F: September 18th, 2012
Do the CAB Components Predict Attitudes?
Cognitive and Affective Measures Studies
- Abelson, Kinder, Peters, & Fiske (1992):
Favourability of affective responses correlated with overall evaluations more than
favourability of their beliefs does
Both cognitive and affective information contribute to the prediction of political
- Esses, Haddoct, & Zanna (1993):
Cognitive and affective responses were both important for predicting prejudice, but
contribution depended on the target group
Cognitive information best predicted attitudes toward strongly disliked groups
Affective information best predicted attitudes toward liked groups
- Eagly et al. (1994):
Affect contributed significantly to the prediction of some attitudes, but beliefs were
the most important predictor in most instances
- Breckler et al.:
Both cognitive and affective information predicted attitudes
The relative importance of each class of information is, to some extent, a function of
the stimulus object under examination
Affective blood donation
Cognitive abortion, comprehensive exams
All of the above studies: the evaluative implications of cognitive and affective information
are positively correlated
- Huskinson et Haddock (2004):
People differ reliably in the extent to which they use the favourability of their beliefs
or the favourability of their feelings to derive their overall attitudes
Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioural Measures Studies
- Haddock et al. (1994):
The quality of participants past experiences with Native Canadian predicted
attitudes independent of the favourability of participants thoughts and feelings
about the group influences how we react to different types of information
The Second Witch Attitude Structure
One-dimensional View:
- The positive and negative elements
are at opposite ends of a single
dimension, people will tend to
experience either end of the
dimension or a location in between
- The existence of positive beliefs,
feelings and behaviours inhibits the
occurrence of their negative
- No ambivalence
Two-dimensional View:
- One dimension reflects whether the attitude
has few or many positive elements, and the
other dimension reflects whether the attitude
has few or many negative elements
- People can possess any combination of
positivity or negativity in their attitudes
- Inconsistent with one-dimensional view:
attitudes with many positive & many negative
elements attitudinal ambivalence
PSY320H1F: September 18th, 2012
- Difficult to evaluate the meaning of neutral point in one-dimensional scale:
A compromise between many positive and many negative elements OR no positive
and no negative elements whatsoever?
- Importance of assessment of attitudinal ambivalence: predict a variety of outcomes
Ex. response polarization:
Highly ambivalent more strongly influenced by features that make salient
the positive or negative attributes behave more favourably when the positive
elements are salient and vice versa
Non-ambivalent less strongly influenced by acute salience
MacDonald & Zanna (1998): cognitive-affective ambivalence participants who
exhibited a high degree of ambivalence toward feminists reported stronger
intentions to hire the feminist candidate after seeing the admirable but
dislikeable male candidate succeed
Types of Ambivalence
1. Potential ambivalence: a state of conflict that exists when people simultaneously possess
positive and negative evaluations of an attitude object
Measured by asking people to indicate the positive and negative elements of their
attitude, perhaps by asking them to list the beliefs, emotions, and behaviours that
occur to them; may reveal:
a) Cognitive ambivalence: positive and negative beliefs
b) Affective ambivalence: positive and negative feelings
c) Behavioural ambivalence: positive and negative experiences
d) Asymmetry in the valence among the beliefs, feelings and behaviours that
produce conflicting behaviours
The ambivalence may or may not be consciously perceived by the person
2. Felt ambivalence: actually feeling of tension people experience when consciously thinking
about the attitude object
Measured by asking people to rate the extent to which their feelings are conflicted,
mixed, and indecisive
The two types of ambivalence do not correlate very highly tend to measure somewhat
different things
In general:
Ambivalent attitudes tend to cause a greater scrutiny of information that can help to
resolve the ambivalence
Ambivalent attitudes are less likely to predict behaviour than non-ambivalent
The Third Witch Attitude Function
- Smith et al. (1956): attitudes serve three main functions:
Object-appraisal: summarize the positive and negative attributes of objects in our
social world
Social-adjustment: help us identify with people whom we like and dissociate from
people whom we dislike
Externalization: defend the self against internal conflict