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intro to attitudes.docx

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Psychology 3723F/G
Martin Kavaliers

Intro to attitudes: definitions and functions Attitudes:  “likes and dislikes” -Bem  “a relatively enduring mental and neural state of readiness, organized through experience, which exerts a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual’s responses to all objects and situations with which it is associated” – Allport  “the categorization of a stimulus object along an evaluative dimension, which can be based upon or developed from 1) cognitive information, 2) affective information, and/or 3) behavioural information” – Zanna & Rempel  “a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor” – eagly & chaiken Evaluation: good-bad, like-dislike, favorable-unfavorable Target: what is evaluated positively or negatively  i.e. food, person, object, social issue, abstract concept, behav, virtually anything Other aspects of focus: relatively enduring, relatively important Attitudes can both be based on AND influence: 1. Cognitive information/processing a. Beliefs about object  Bits of knowledge/information about an object  “a cognitive link between a target and an attribute”  i.e. “milk is nutritious” – target: milk, attribute: nutritious  held at a level of probability btwn 0-1 (weak = .2, strong = .9) b. Knowledge about object c. Expectations of object’s costs and benefits 2. Affective information/feelings a. Feelings toward object b. Emotions elicited by object c. Pleasure or pain associated with object 3. Behavioural information/behaviour a. Previous actions toward object b. Past/current ownership of object c. Planned actions toward object o Self-perception theory (Bem, 1972)  people infer their own attitudes from their own actions  most likely when attitude is weak/ambiguous  “the three component view” (CAB components) o components may sometimes be consistent with one another (all either positive or negative), sometimes inconsistent (positive beliefs, negative feelings i.e. dentist) Explicit attitudes: can be consciously reported Implicit attitudes: “an automatic evaluative response to a target, which may occur without awareness” – cant be measured traditionally  key aspects of attitudes: o evaluation – good/bad etc o target – what’s evaluated – can be virtually anything o automatic o may occur without awareness o usually primarily affective  implicit attitudes are usually consistent with explicit attitudes, and individuals are usually aware of their implicit attitudes, but imp/exp may differ, and people may not be aware of implicit responses  inconsistencies btw imp/exp might be bc unwilling to admit imp eval to oneself OR might reflect an ambivalent attitude o ambivalent attitudes contain both pos and
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