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Lecture 7

PSYC 2160 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Attitude Change, Social Influence, Milgram Experiment

Course Code
PSYC 2160

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Social influence
Occurs when:
1) one person (the source) engages in some behavior (persuading, threatening, promising, or
issuing orders)
2) causing another person (the target) to behave differently from how he/she would otherwise
Attitude change
A change in the target's beliefs and attitudes about some issue, person, or situation.
Occurs when the target's behavior conforms to the source's requests or demands.
Open influence
The attempt is readily apparent to the target.
Manipulative influence
The attempt is hidden from the target.
Changing the beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors of a target through the use of information or
argument (open influence)
The use of threats or promises to gain compliance (open influence).
The use of orders based on legitimate authority to gain compliance (open influence).
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Reactions to persuasive messages
Ignore it, dismiss the communicator, listen to the message but suspend judgment, misperceive or
misconstrue the content, or attempt counter-persuasion.
Communication-persuasion paradigm
Conceptualizes persuasion attempts in terms of source, message, target, channel, and impact -
that is, who says what to whom by what medium with what effect.
Provides the target w/ information above and beyond the content of the message itself. Some
more credible than others.
Communicator credibility
The extent to which the communicator is perceived by the target as a believable source of
Factors that influence credibility
Expertise, trustworthiness, attractiveness, and likeability.
The source's expertise
Higher levels of expertise will bring about greater attitude change in the target. If the target has
little involvement in the issue, more attitude change will occur. More involvement in the issue
will bring about less attitude change.
The source's trustworthiness
A source with goals and values similar to the target will be more persuasive than a source w/
dissimilar values.
Social impact theory
The impact of an influence attempt is a direct function of:
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