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Chapter 6.docx

12 Pages

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PSYC 2120
Ward Struthers

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Chapter 6 Attitudes and Social Behaviour What Are Attitudes y Jeff Kellers term on attitude general perspective on life an out outlook that can positive leading to success or negative leading to failure o More closely related to dispositional optimism y SP does not use the term attitude for a general perspectivemuch more specific meaning Attitudes Evaluations of Targets Attitude an individuals evaluation of a target along a goodbad dimension o Target object issue person group behaviour or any other identifiable aspect of environment o Evaluation attitude is a goodbad judgment represents an individuals overall assessment of whether a particular target is positive or negative y Some targets cannot be seen directlymust infer attitudes from individuals observable responses y always have a targetmust be directed at something o people have attitudes toward many targetsideologies or values controversial issues individual people groups and object o very broad SP interested mainly in attitudes directed at important targetscontroversial issues ethnic groups and consequential behaviours y understand where these attitudes come from and how they affect usgive insight into causes of your daily actions Three Part of Attitudes SP identifies elements of attitude 1 affect 2 cognition 3 past behaviour 1 How the object makes the person feel 2 The persons beliefs about the object 3 The persons previous actions toward the object y Targets arouse negative feelings likely to generate unfavourable attitude y Targets that are knowbelieved possess negative characteristics likely to generate unfavourable attitudes y Targets someone has behaved negatively in the past are likely to be seen as disliked targetsbetween attitudes and behaviour Twoway relationy Previous behaviour toward target contributes to current attitude toward the target o Killed cockroaches strengthen negative attitude towards them y Current attitudes cause future behaviour o Negative attitude towards cockroaches increases likelihood of killing them y Both directions of influence can occur past behaviours influence current attitudes and current attitudes influence future behaviour o Behave positivelynegativelymore likely to judge they likedislike it o Behave in future ways that reflect their attitudes approach things you like avoid things you dislike Victoria Esses 1 attitudes toward certain targets depend mostly on peoples feelings toward those targets blood donation 2 attitudes toward other targets depend mostly on peoples knowledge and beliefs controversial social issues y often peoples feelings beliefs past actions toward targets are consistent with one anothereither MOST POSTIVE OR MOST NEGATIVE o but chocolate cakefeel positively toward chocolate cake but believe cognitive has some negative characteristics y attitude towards individuals and social groups include a mix of positivenegative feelings and beliefsconflicting elements Ambivalent attitudes evaluations of targets that include both positive and negative elements y People do not like attitudinal ambivalenceunpleasant experience y Produces variable behaviour y Can lead to different behaviour over time because either theelements about target may come to mind at a particular pointwhichever type of element is most dominant will drive behaviour o Attitudes low in ambivalence all allwill not produce such variable responses Explicit Versus Implicit Attitudes Explicit attitudes evaluations that people can report consciouslyautomatic evaluative responses to a target which may occur without awareness Implicit attitudesy Subtle effect of attitudes on cognition and behaviour y Spontaneous immediate goodbad response to the target that cannot be consciously controlled y Evaluates the target at a subconscious levelautomatic process o Implicit attitudes that reflect lowerlevel minimal processingassociations between objects and evaluations o Implicit attitudes that reflect higherlevel more extensive processingevaluations based on rational beliefs about the objects and its features y Implicit conform to explicitspontaneous automatic response to target parallels our conscious evaluation of the target y Inconsistent between explicit and implicit occurs o Consciously support issuepolicy but feel anxious about it at a subconscious level o Express liking for an individual but subconsciously envies o May not realize their implicitexplicit attitudes differ Perceptions of Others Attitudes y Structure of individuals perceptions of the attitudes of other people have 2 dimensions 1 Liberal vs Conservative 2 Traditional vs Novel radical y Perceptions of other peoples attitudes guided by the consideration of the extent to which o The other is 1 liberal or conservative and 2 traditional or innovative y Dimensions are fundamental in perceptions of others attitudes in many different domains Why Do We Evaluate y Must be able to seek help when necessary and recognize dangerous situations that should be avoided y Recognition is not very informative unless memory system triggers some sort of evaluation of the object o Recall how the object had behaved in the past o Predict whether it is likely to be helpful or harmful in the present situation Rapid appraisal of the objects implications for us is usefulevaluative judgment allows us to approach or flee from target Assessing Objects y benefit from quick assessments from positivenegative implications of objects they encounter in the environment y attitudes provide rapid evaluations of objects people and issues Objectappraisal function a function of attitudes in which they provide rapid evaluative judgments of targets facilitating approach or avoidance y Judge appraise whether targets are helpful or hurtful goodbad y Most basic function and principal reason why humans evolved to form attitudes y Ancestors are more likely to survive because of forming attitudes y Animals also benefit from formingevaluations of objects and basing their actions on those evaluations o dogs wag tailsbut our attitudes differ from animalslack complex cognitive component of attitudes o but object appraisal can be served by simple affective responses that do not rely on complex cognition Expressing Values y attitudesexpress underlying valuesbroad abstract standards or goals that people consider to be important guiding principles in their life Valuesy freedom equality and happiness
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