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PSYCH 3CB3 Final: PSYCH 3CB3 - Exam Review

Course Code
Richard B Day
Study Guide

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Introduction to Attitudes and Beliefs
Why do we have attitudes?
Utilitarian function
oTo draw us closer to our goals and to dislike those things that frustrate
Social Adaption Function
oUsefulness of attitudes in maintaining good relationships with others
oMaintain our position in the group by adapting the group’s attitudes on
certain things
Economy Function
oTreating all instances of a thing or events as identitcal makes it easier
for us to deal with new instances – also gives us a sense of control over
our environment
Expressive Function
oArticulating one’s internalized values helps to strengthen a desirable
Ego-Defensive Function
oSimilar to Freudian defense mechanisms we adopt an attitude to deal
with behaviour or feelings that make us feel anxious or guilty
Function Matching Hypothesis
oAttitude formation or change occurs to meet a functional need
Further, persuasion methods should match the need or function
that the attitude serves
Measurements of Attitudes and Beliefs
Scaling Techniques
Semantic Di'erential
oEvaluate attitude objects on series of bipolar scales (strong to weak,
Empirically-Determined Scales
oAllow us to assign number
Thurstone’s Equal-Appearing Interval Scle
Check o' all that apply to you”
Collect about 100 states that re2ect di'erent opinions
about attitude object, sort statements into piles, scale
value for each item, and then choose which statements
will be used
Likert’s Summated Rating Scale
Rate from 1-strongly disagree to 5-strongly agree”
Scale values may be reversed for items that are negative,
or (more commonly) the scoring may be reversed
Advantages to using these methods

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Quick and easy to give, give quantitative results for
statistical analysis, can be administered and scored by
Disadvantages to these methods
Assume conscious access to attitudes
Assume cognitive storage of attitudes
oWe rarely store attitudes, we typically make it up
on the spot
oSensitive to context e'ects
Problems with Context Variables in Explicit Measures of Attitudes
Explicit Measures of Attitudes
oEasy and relatively quick to administer
oProvide a quantitative measure of attitudes that lends itself to
statistical analysis
oCan be scored or even administered and scored by a computer or
oAssume that we have ready conscious access to our attitudes and that
we have attitudes stored somewhere
oMeasures are sensitive to context e'ects – what we believe to be the
expectations of the researcher, and the acceptable responses
according to our culture
oQuestion Comprehension
Understand the questions to know how to answer it
oRetreieving Relevant information
Question Order E'ects
Information that has been elicited by one question may be
included )if relevant in the answer to a subsequent
Response order E'ects
Ss will process information in the order in which it occurs
if they are reading it and are more likely to elaborate
reasons for the :rst proposition
Response Wording E'ects
Acquiescence E'ects
oWording is important because of the human
tendency toward agreeing with any statement
oFormatting Answer to Fit Response Alternative Provided
Scale items and associated numbers can bias response
People interpret 0 to 10 scales and -5 to +5 scales
Categorical Response Alternatives
Need to ensure that all possible categories are included

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Ss will choose the one that is closest to their views, even
if their real view is not present
oPeople choose the :rst alternative in latitude of acceptance
May have a range from 6 to 8, people will mostly choose their
:rst alternative – 6
oUsing the Rating Scales
Reliability is higher when all scale points are labeled than when
only some are
oEditing or censoring our responses for social desirability or self-
presentation reasons
Especially common when question is threatening, and in face-to-
face interviews
Behavioural Measures of Attitudes
Wrong number technique
oCall sample of respondents asking for a garage since you are stuck on
the road
oAsk Ss to call garage for you
oCallers had either Black or White voices – See how many call back
Milgram’s Lost Letter Technique
oLetter dropped on 2oor with address written on it
oSee how many people will send letter
The Bogus Pipeline
oSs is told he is connected to machine that can dectect his true feelings
or beliefs with 100% accuracy
oSs tend to be more truthful when they are connected to a bogus
Other Techniques
oDistance from target individual in waiting room setting
oHelping Behaviour toward out-group member
oExamining body language, eye-contact, etc.
Implicit Measures of Attitudes
Finding out attitudes without directly asking a question about it
Response Time Measures
oSequential Priming Procedures
Exposure to a concept facilitates subsequent recognition of
related concepts
Concept Priming
oPrime with an attitude object, then ask for response
times to identify words that re2ect possible
attitudes about that object (eg. Stereotypes about
Evaluative Priming
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