PSYCH 104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 29: Twin, Genetic Predisposition, Operant Conditioning

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5 Oct 2020
Psych 104
Social Psych
Spring 2019
Attitude Generation:
Operant conditioning
Someone’s behavior affects you, either positively or negatively, and if you
have more positive outcomes towards an attitudinal topic, you’ll have a
positive attitude. If you have more negative outcomes, you’ll have a
negative attitude.
Social comparison
Sometimes when we don’t know what we feel, we just compare ourselves
to other people. We’re motivated by what others think about a subject;
what other people feel about an attitude topic can provide the basis for
what we feel. Even though their behavior is not directed at us, we can
create attitudes towards something just by comparing ourselves to how
others feel.
Genetic predisposition
Identical twins who are raised apart vs. fraternal twins reared apart: people
with the same genetic code who are raised apart have greater overlap in
their attitudes
Food preferences, politics, etc.
Genetic predisposition to the attitudes we’ll hold later in life.
Reared apart identical twins just have more overlap than
fraternal twins.
Functions of Attitudes:
1. Value expression: summary of what we believe
a. Provide a lot of the social lubricant as to who we will get along with, who we will
be good matches with
b. People with similar attitudes tend to be better friends, better marriage partners,
c. When we express our attitudes, people get to know a lot about us.
2. Provide expectations: people know what to expect
a. Knowing what peoples’ attitudes are helps us predict their behavior.
b. We like having expectations, we like to be able to predict how people will
c. We feel troubled when we don’t have a handle on people and their behaviors.
3. Organization
a. Attitudes provide an organization towards our knowledge and our beliefs.
b. There are things that are close together and farther apart in terms of neural
pathways in our brains.
4. Utilitarian: attitudes work to reward us
a. First three are the important functions of attitudes
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