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PSY320H1 Lecture Notes - Attitude Change, Shampoo, Caffeine

Course Code
Ashley Waggoner Denton

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PSY320H1F: October 9th, 2012
Chapter 8
Basic Principles of Persuasion
I. Influence by Silly Things
- Attitudes can be influenced by information that has, at best, a weak relevance to the
attitude object
Physical attractiveness of the source
People may remain favourable even after learning that the desirable consequence
will not occur by the time of the learning, already came up with other reasons to
like the attitude object
Rate of speech
Number of arguments
Citations of consensus
Positive vs. negative framing of attributes: merely involve showing the same
attribute in two different ways
- Variables that shape attitudes can seem more or less relevant to the attitude, falling
along a continuum from high to low relevance
Sometimes silly things may not be completely irrelevant (Ex. shampoo ads)
- May also be individual and cultural differences in what we believe to be relevant
II. Influence by Motivation and Ability
- The relative impact of weak information can be reduced when people possess high
motivation and the ability to form a correct attitude, except when the relevant
information is difficult to interpret and the irrelevant information is difficult to identify
ELM: motivation + able attempt to correct for the potential impact of extraneous
information on their attitudes and beliefs
Unimodel: a deep consideration of the information may cause the relevant
information to override the impact of the irrelevant information, particularly when
irrelevant information is difficult to process
- HOWEVER, the motivation to be correct can cause the use of irrelevant information on
HSM: motivated to form a correct attitude + all of the relevant information are
ambiguous/contradictory uses less relevant information
Overinterpretation of irrelevant evidence
- Confidence in self-concept more open-minded about ideas that challenge their views
use more relevant information
Self-affirmation theory (Steele, 1988): a high sense of self-integrity enables people to
be more open-minded about possible threats without feeling that their self-integrity
would suffer from being wrong
Sherman, Nelson, & Steele (2002):caffeine experiment
1) Asked women to read an article describing a link between caffeine
consumption and fibrocystic disease
Coffee drinkers (high relevance) vs. Non-coffee drinkers (low relevance)
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