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Lecture on Attitude Theories and Models

Course Code
Dax Urbszat

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Samples : representation of the population
Sampling error : difference btw attitude in sample and attitude in population (larger the sample,
smaller the sampling er r or; does not decrease linearly (by less and less; diminishing return)
Population size : large samples do not guarantee accuracy
Example of Literary Digest Fiasco : US presidential elections poll -> failed: sample was NOT
representative b/c phone books and car registration in 1936 were mostly rich republican
(underestimated democratic votes) (Gallups sampling procedure was more perfect random sample)
Simple random sampl i ng : every person in the population gets the same chance to be selected
Stratified random sampli ng : not as good as simple random (randomly select half the population first
so that the other half is completely removed from the beginning)
Survey : results are quite accurate, lots of relationships btw variabl es compared to experiments
Intercept interview : convenience samples (ie: PSY100 students), non-scientific, researcher bias &
too much control (is PSY100 generalized? = just out of high school = same as average population;
perhaps going to university makes you less prejudiced and biased
Mail survey : low cost, long history, low response rate (use a guilt technique to improve)
Face-to-face survey : time and money cost but highest response rate
Telephone survey : most popular, most ppl have phones so less biased (for unlisted numbers, use
Random-digit dialing (RDD) or Digit-plus procedure)
Intra-attitudinal structure
1) Unidimensional : until 1960s, attitude was viewed as affe ctive (emotional) response to objects;
semantic differential
2) Bidimensional : affective and cognitive (emotions are derived from a combination of arousal AND
cognitions used to explain arousal; ie: experiment of unsafe br idge with epinephrine dose = ppl who
aware of the effect of medicine did NOT appear happy or angry b/c of attribution)
3) Three dimensional : affective, behavioral, cognitive (ABCs); typically associations btw each of the
components; change in one should change the other two as well? = not necessarily (you dont behave
prejudiced when working with non-prejudiced ppl)
4) Non-dimensional (by Fazio): nodes in an associative network; associations bt w an object AND
evaluation; more frequently linked, stronger the attitude, and activate faster
EEG (electroencephalograms ): recorded on the scalp
Late positive potential (LPP) by Cacoppo et al: evaluatively incongruent stimuli; 400ms after
stimulus presentation; attitude extremity (-ve reaction greater on the right side of the brain)
Lateralized late positive potential (LLPP) by Cunningham et al: processing of +ve (left) and –ve
(right) stimuli
Negativity bias : not much reaction to neutral stimuli; greatest reaction to negative stimuli even
though +ve and –ve were supposed to be equally evaluated (ie: fire in the house vs. lottery => pay
more attention to fire b/c its critical for survival (evolutionary perspective)
Positivity offset : likely to have a positive attitude towards a neutral stimulus, in the absence of any
negativity or pos itivity around (ie: novel stimulus generally go from neutral -> positive wit h exposure
rather than negative); helps to have a general likeability towards novel things (ie: make new fr iends)
(evolutionary perspective)
Responding to valence : amygdala (fea r response; esp. –ve emotional)
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