Class Notes (808,231)
Canada (493,092)
Psychology (3,455)
PSY220H1 (190)
all (1)
Lecture 4

Feb 13 lecture 4.docx

15 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George

Attitudes vs beliefs  Attitudes: global evaluations toward some object or issue  How we feel about something  beliefs: pieces of information about something; facts or opinions  Info we expect to be true/fact, but they don't always have to be. (childhood vaccinations causing autism)  Let s ask Fyodor …  Every man has reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone but only his friends. He has other matters on his mind which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But there are other things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind.  Fyodor Dostoyevsky  Fyodor makes 2 important points: 1. There are some private attitudes which we may not share with others. 2. We may not be aware of all of our own attitudes. Dual attitudes  Implicit attitudes: automatic and nonconscious evaluative responses  Explicit attitudes: controlled & conscious evaluative responses Why we have attitudes  General attitudes facilitate quick, efficient decision making in specific situations  We are cognitive misers and by having attitudes we do not have to think about a situation from scratch  Help us adjust to new situations.  e.g. If I have the general attitude that extreme (absurd) sports are good and fun, we may act favorably toward taser ball.  If we have the general attitude that being eletrocuted is bad, we will act accrodingly  Processing & remembering information is not enough- we need the evaluative component to guide future behaviour. Bad is stronger than good  Bad/good is the most basic level of categorization.  I like it vs. I don't like it (one of the first categorization children grasp)  Upon identifying something new, people immediately & unconsciously decide whether it is bad or good.  This initial reaction can be changed with further thought, but we don’t always apply further thought. o We may OR may not change initial reaction when new info is available (i.e. from other people) o We only take time to assess initial reaction when we are motivated to do so and when we have the time to do so Immediate reactions  Fortune's dad: Eek! A spider! Bad! (initial negative attitude toward spiders)  Australian host:Actually, we encourage that species of spider to live in the house. They are harmless to us, and they eat the mosquitoes.” (new information that motivated to reassess initial reaction)  Fortune's dad: “Oh, well, I guess that spider is a good thing.” (attitude revised and changed) Bad is stronger than good  Baumeister et al, 2001  Bad emotions/negative attitudes, bad parents (affects children more than good ones) and bad feedback (draws more attention than good ones) have more impact than good ones.  Bad information is processed more thoroughly than good.  Bad requires action on your part and some sort of remedy  Natural inclination to focus on things we want and what we do not have and not things that are already good in our life (higher levels of gratification -> higher levels of reported self well-being) How attitudes are formed  Mere exposure effect  Classical conditioning  Operant conditioning  Social learning  How attitudes are formed  Mere exposure effect  Familiarity does NOT breed contempt o Novel things will draw our attention, but we like things we are more comfortable and know well o MEE Works in degrees (we like things that are more familiar with than less familiar with, and more familiarity will increase liking)  Qualification: if your initial reaction is negative, repeated exposure will make you dislike it more o If Initial categorization is strongly negative, repeated exposure will not always be enough to reassess initial reaction  very robust & one of the most-demonstrated effects in social psychology. o Most things with more exposure will generate more favorable attitudes. How attitudes are formed  Classical conditioning  Association between positive stimuli & neutral stimuli results in more positive attitudes towards formerly neutral stimuli.  Celebrity endorsements Classical Conditioning of Attitudes  Staats & Staats, 1958  The word Dutch was paired with + words (vacation, gift); the word Swedish was paired with – words (bitter, failure).  When tested afterwards, participants preferred Dutch to Swedish.  In study 2, the pairing was reversed, and people preferred Swedish.  May help to explain the prejudice against social groups (i.e. mentally ill, racial groups) who are frequently associated with negative information in the media How attitudes are formed  Operant conditioning: More likely to repeat behaviours that have been rewarded.  Brown, 1956  Students wrote an essay about capital punishment and randomly received an A or a D.  Those who received an A had more positive attitudes towards capital punishment than those who received a D  How attitudes are formed  Social learning  More likely to repeat behaviours that have resulted in rewards for others. (operant conditioning through vicarious experience) Attitude polarization  Attitudes become stronger when people take time to reflect on them.  Confirmation bias supports this. (but not the same thing)  Lord et al. (1979)  People reading arguments for and against the death penalty were biased towards arguments that supported their original attitude.  Attitudes became stronger. Consistency  People don t like it when their beliefs, attitudes and behaviours are inconsistent. (it's uncomfortable)  Two theories emphasizing consistency:  Heider s Balance theory (AKA POX theory)  Cognitive dissonance theory Heider’s Balance Theory  Triads: Person (P), other person (O), attitude object (X)  Any combination of the triad but must include at least one (P) person to perceive  Two types of relationships:  Sentiment relationships (I like it/I hate it)  Unit relationships (I'm associated with it/I'm not associated with it)  Each relationship assigned + or - sign  Heider s Balance Theory  Bob likes the poem.  Bob does not like Jim.  Jim wrote the poem that Bob does not like. o Thus this triangle is unbalanced, as Bob would expect to dislike a poem written by Jim whom he hates. This situation would thus be uncomfortable by Bob.  Heider s Balance Theory  You love your sister.  You hate this new boyfriend she got.  Your sis loves her boyfriend. o Unbalanced relationship and uncomfortable inconsistency, and you might want to bring the relationship into balance. (By taking a liking to her bf, disliking your sister And her bf, or by making them break up.)  Heider s Balance Theory  Heider s Balance Theory  Multiply the signs and if they are positive, the relationships are balanced.  Proverb expressed: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Heider’s Balance Theory: Drawbacks  Assumes relationships are symmetrical.  The sis' boyfriend you hate might like you.  Does not assess relative strengths of relationships.  Your love for your sister might be stronger than your disliking for her boyfriend.  Limited to situations involving 3 elements. Cognitive Dissonance Theory  Inconsistencies produce psychological discomfort, leading people to rationalize their behaviour or change their attitudes.  They may change behaviour, but does not happen often.  Festinger & Carlsmith, 1959  Paid participants $1 or $20 to say that a boring task was enjoyable. (Independent variable: how much the participants were paid to lie)  Participants in the $1 condition later said that the task was far more enjoyable than did those in the $20 or control conditions. o Being paid $1 is not enough to justify a lie and as a result be motivated to justify their actions by saying that they actually enjoyed it  "I didn't actually lie, the boring task was actually fun" o Much easier for people who received $20 to justify the lie (the amount is enough) Cognitive Dissonance Theory  Effort justification: when people suffer, work hard or make sacrifices, they will try to convince themselves that it was worthwhile.  Nobody wants to believe that their efforts are ever useless and regret their past actions.  Aronson & Mills, 1959  Young women “interviewed” for participation in a group discussion of sex. (taboo in 1959)  Interview was either mild or very embarrassing. (embarrassing: how often do you masturbate? How many partners did you have sex with?)  Group discussion was very boring, but women from the embarrassing condition rated it more enjoyable.  Choice is important. If you performed an action but didn’t choose it, you don’t have to rationalize it. (you can blame on someone else)  Linder et al., 1967  Participants wrote an essay on a controversial topic.  Some were simply told to write the essay, others were gently pressured to choose to do so.  Those in the choice condition changed their attitudes to be more in line with the topic of the essay. o Those who were simply told to write an essay did not have to justify their claims as they could blame the experime o Those whose beliefs were strongly against capitalism but felt that they chose to write about it favorably adjusted their attitudes to reduce this inconsistency.  Cognitive Dissonance  For an economic era that is prosperous  Video  When Trauma Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: Cognitive Dissonance and the Justification of Effort.  Belief that being a soldier isn't useful  High degree of effort in training as a soldier  Thus -> Come to value the military highly and take pride in their job  (Under
More Less

Related notes for PSY220H1

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.