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Ashley Waggoner Denton

PSY320H1F Week 1 (4):  What is an attitude? - A cognitive representation that summarizes an evaluation of something - A categorization of a stimulus - An association in memory between a given object and a given summary evaluation of the object - An overall evaluation of an object that is based on cognitive, affective, and behavioural information - Have two key dimensions: direction/valence and intensity/strength  What are the different types of validity? - Face validity: Is it measuring what it should be measuring? - Content validity: Does it cover all dimensions of the construct being measured? - Convergent validity: How well does your measure matches up with others that measure the same thing? - Discriminant validity: Does it relate to things that are not relevant? - Predictive validity: Can it predict future behaviours?  What are some of the ways that reliability can be measured? - Internal consistency: Are each of the scale items measuring the same thing? - Test-retest reliability: Do scores remain consistent across time?  What are some of the problems with self-reports? - Wording effects: The same question asked with different words can produce very different results  E.g., “I believe a woman should have the right to take the life of her unborn child” vs. “I believe a woman should have the right to control her own body” - Context: The affiliation of the researcher can influence how people respond  E.g., People may assume that different questioners are interested in different things - Order effects: The response to a question can be greatly influenced by the question that preceded it  E.g., People show greater support for legalized abortion if the question is preceded by questions regarding women’s rights vs. questions about traditional values; People will interpret questions they don’t understand based on surrounding questions - Response options: How many options, how scales are anchored, the presence of a “don’t know” option, etc.  E.g., How successful would you say you have been in life? 0 (not at all successful) – 10 (extremely successful) vs. -5 (not at all successful) – +5 (extremely successful) - Social desirability bias: People respond in a way that makes them look good rather than in an honest way - Acquiescence bias: Some people seem to agree with everything, regardless of what a question asks - Hard to capture complex attitudes: Structured attitude measures fail to capture much of the flavour and nuances of attitudes Week 2 (3):  What types of information contribute to an attitude? - Affective information: How do you feel about the attitude object? What type of emotion(s) does it elicit?  Hard-wired, often acquired from first “gut reactions” - Behavioural information: Knowledge of your past, present, and future interactions with the object  How often you shop at Walmart is relevant to your attitude toward Walmart  Habitual behaviour feed into our attitude - Cognitive information: Your knowledge about the attitude object, including any beliefs, thoughts, or attributes you associate with the object  You may dislike a particular celebrity because you believe they engaged in some despicable behaviour (E.g., Chris Brown)  What are two different ways that attitudes can be structured? What does this have to do with ambivalence? - One-dimensional View: The positive and negative elements are at opposite ends of a single dimension, people will tend to experience either end of the dimension or a location in between  The existence of positive beliefs, feelings and behaviours inhibits the occurrence of their negative counterparts  No ambivalence - Two-dimensional View: One dimension reflects whether the attitude has few or many positive elements, and the other dimension reflects whether the attitude has few or many negative elements  People can possess any combination of positivity or negativity in their attitudes  Inconsistent with one-dimensional view: attitudes with many positive & many negative elements  attitudinal ambivalence  Potential ambivalence: A state of conflict that exists when people simultaneously possess positive and negative evaluations of an attitude object - Intra-component-attitudinal ambivalence: within the same component (E.g., Blondes: believing blondes are fun but also think they are stupid) - Inter-component ambivalence: between two components (E.g., Liking badboys, know it is stupid, but you feel your heart beats faster anyways)  Felt ambivalence: actually feeling of tension people experience when consciously thinking about the attitude object - When people report having mixed, conflicted feelings  What are the different functions that attitudes may serve? How might we measure this? - Experiential-Schematic: Attitudes based on past interactions that become part of a knowledge structure (or schema) that organizes past experiences and provides guidelines for future interactions  Object-appraisal function: attitudes help us summarize the positive and negative attributes of objects in our social worlds  Knowledge function: attitudes help organize our understanding of the world, guiding how we attend to, store, and retrieve information  Utilitarian function: attitudes alert us to rewarding objects or situations we should approach, and punishing objects or situations we should avoid  E.g., My opinions about gay men and lesbians mainly are based on whether or not someone I care about is gay - Defensive: Projection of unacceptable motives and expression of hostility  Externalization/Ego-defensive function: attitudes enable us to maintain cherished beliefs about ourselves by protecting us from awareness of our negative attributes and impulses or from facts that contradict our cherished beliefs or desires  E.g., My opinions about gay men and lesbians mainly are based on the fact that I would rather not think about homosexuality or gay people - Value-Expressive: When the attitude is used as a vehicle for expressing important personal values  Value-expressive function: attitudes help us express who we are (our self-concept) and our central values  E.g., My opinions about gay men and lesbians mainly are based on my concern that we safeguard the civil liberties of all people in our society - Social-Expressive: When the attitude is used as a way of connecting to, or fitting in with, important others  Social-adjustment function: attitudes help us connect with those we like and dissociate us from those we dislike; sharing attitudes with others provides us with a sense of belonging and connectedness  Impressions management function: sometimes we express attitudes that are not necessarily accurate self-expressions, but that reflect the attitudes of others around us  E.g., My opinions about gay men and lesbians mainly are based on my perceptions of how the people I care about have responded to gay people as a group Week 3 (5):  What is persuasion? - The process of forming, strengthening, or changing attitudes by communication  What are the basic assumptions and predictions of the Elaboration Likelihood model (ELM)? - Elaboration refers to the thoughts (the cognitive response) that someone has in reaction to a persuasive message  When elaboration occurs, a persuasive appeal will be successful if it lead to favourable reactions and unsuccessful if it leads to unfavourable reactions - Central route: When people think carefully about the content of the communication, including the quality of the arguments and evidence provided  Elaboration likelihood is high  attitude change will depend on the nature of the elaboration - Peripheral route: When people attend to relatively simple, superficial cues related to the communication  Elaboration likelihood is low  attitude change will depend on the availability of peripheral cues (people often rely on heuristics (“rule of thumb”))  What are the key principles of the Yale model, the Meta-cognitive model, and the Unimodel? - Yale model (Hovland, Janis, Kelley, 1953):  Messages could change a person’s attitude by presenting an incentive for attitude change  The incentive for attitude change is influenced by the source, message, and audience of the persuasive communication  The source of the persuasive communication (who)  Source characteristics: attractiveness, likability, credibility, and expertise  Its content (what)  Message characteristics: quality, vividness, length, familiarity, and context  The audience (to whom)  Audience characteristics: age, personality ,mood, as well as their motivation to process the message  Three processing stages: 1) Pay attention to the message 2) Comprehend the message 3) Accept the message (incentives come into play in this stage) - Meta-cognitive model (Petty & Brinol, 2006):  Meta-cognitions: thoughts about thoughts  May add new beliefs that can subsequently be “tagged” as not true (Implications of implicit- explicit ambivalence)  A persuasive intervention can:  Introduce a new evaluative association with the attitude object OR  Try to re-shape and old association  Depends on what happens next with the added information:  Scrutinize and disagree with it  left with an attitude that is still connected with the negative argument because we still remember it, but add a tag to indicate that it is invalid - Explicit measure  attitude unchanged - Implicit measure  new attitude appears; look ambivalent  No critical evaluation due to lack of interest or distraction  believed/added  new association without the negative tag - Explicit & implicit measures  ambivalent attitude  Persuasive information can have different effects on explicit and implicit measures of attitudes: explicit measures of attitude can tap information about an object that is presented and believed , whereas implicit measures can tap information that is present but may or may not be believed - Unimodel (Kruglanski & Thompson, 1999):  Persuasion involves a single process  Any relevant information can be used as evidence to form an attitude, even if it is a “cue”  There is no fundamental difference between a cue and the message content  Apparent difference between cues and arguments should disappear when cues are made more complex and arguments are made more simple  Criticisms:  Prior experiments have found differences between cues and message content even when the cues are bound up with the arguments  Dual process models explicitly state that variables can serve multiple roles depending on how they are processed  What is behaviour conditioning, and what is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation? - Behaviour conditioning: Pair an emotion with a specific performed behaviour; not just a result of demand characteristics - Problems when people are aware of receiving high rewards  Overjustification effects: extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation  Intrinsic motivation: doing something because you want to  Extrinsic motivation: doing something for the reward or because of social norms  What are the various ways in which mood can affect our attitudes? What are the differences between these various mood effects? - Mood-congruence effect: The tendency for people to express attitudes that match their current mood  More powerful when judgments are constructed on the spot, rather than retrieved from memory  Judgments have to be constructed when the object being judged is unfamiliar  Judgments are retrieved when people have a lot of experience with them  Evaluations of famous consumer products show less mood-congruent bias  Judgments about atypical/unusual people are more strongly affected by mood - Mood-as-information: The idea that mood is used as a source of information about our attitudes, unless we realize that our mood is irrelevant to the attitude object at hand - Mood-as-cue: When motivation/ability are low, mood can serve as a cue/heuristic - Does being in a positive mood lead to more or less information processing?  Mood-as-(de)motivator:  Good mood may indicate that “all is well”  no need for careful processing  less information processing  Mood-as-goal: Moods function like goals that people strive to maintain; People tend to devote more attention to information that helps to maintain their current mood  If people believes it will help maintain good mood  more information processing  Mood-as-resource: Mood can also function as a resource  Positive mood  more energy to be unbiased and more open-minded about information that contradicts their view  more information processing - Process information in a more unbiased fashion Week 4 (2):  What is self-perception theory? How does it relate to the foot-in-the-door phenomenon? - Self-perception theory: when our attitudes are weak and ambiguous, we discern our own attitudes by examining our behaviour  Provided we are engaging in the behaviour voluntarily - Foot-in-the-door technique: a slight act of compliance increases the likelihood of complying with a larger request  Someone asks you to do something (small) that you agreed to do…and then they make a larger request  you become more likely to say “yes” to this larger request than if had they made the large request directly  Self-perception: provided that you agreed to the first request voluntarily, and that it meant something to you, you will infer that you must have an action-consistent attitude  What is cognitive dissonance? How does self-affirmation relate to cognitive dissonance? - Cognitive dissonance: an unpleasant state caused by people’s awareness of inconsistency among important beliefs, attitudes, or actions  Four conditions are necessary to produce dissonance and to produce attitude change: 1) The individual must perceive the action as inconsistent 2) The individual must take personal responsibility for the action 3) The individual must experience uncomfortable physiological arousal 4) The individual must attribute the arousal to the inconsistency between attitude and action  Brehm (1956): rank preferences among a set of household items, then asked them to choose one of two equally liked items  Overtime, participants grew to like the chosen item much more  Spreading apart of choice alternatives: the difference between the post-decisional appraisal of the chosen and un-chosen alternatives  Post-decisional dissonance: occurs when a decision is made between alternatives that are close in overall value, and the decision cannot be changed - Increase the liking of the chosen product and devalue the rejected product to justify decision  People can relieve dissonance by engaging in self-affirmation (any act that reaffirms their positive sense of self-worth and integrity)  Steel, 1998: - Participants were either science majors or not - Were asked to rate 10 popular albums th th - Given choice to keep either 5 or 6 ranked album - After making choice, half were asked to put on white lab coats for a second experiment - Rank albums again  Findings: Science majors who put on a lab coat showed the least amount of spread of alternatives effect Week 5 (3):  What is a “matching strategy”? Why does it work? Does it always work? - Attitude change partly depends on whether message emphasizes the content, structure, or function that are the basis for the recipient’s own attitude - Matching strategy: phrasing a message in a language that best suits the recipient  To create matches, we may want to know:  About the specific person’s attitude to the specific attitude object  About the person’ attitudes in general - Self-monitoring (function) - Need for affect, need for cognition (content)  About the attitude object in general - E.g., Does it generally serve a utilitarian function?  Content match: people differ in the extent that their attitudes are generally based on affective and cognitive information  Strong affective intervention  more attitude change among those whose attitudes are affect-based  Strong cognitive appeal  more attitude change among those whose attitudes are cognition-based  Edwards (1990): created a new attitude toward the fictitious drink “Power-Plus” 1) Participants were exposed to both affective and cognitive positive information about the drink - Assumption: attitude based most strongly on the type of information received first 2) Given negative affective and cognitive information - Assumption: attitude based most strongly on the type of information received first  Findings: - Affect-based appeal elicited significantly more change in attitude that were affect- based - Cognitive-based appeal elicited somewhat more (not significantly) change in attitude that were cognitive-based  Also depends on individuals’ need for affect (tendency to seek out and enjoy emotional experience) and need for cognition (tendency to seek out and enjoy effortful cognitive tasks)  Function match:  Self-monitoring: - High self-monitors: attitudes fulfill a social-adjustive function  more persuaded by appeals targeting social-adjustive concerns - Low self-monitors: attitudes fulfill a value-expressive function  more persuaded by appeals targeting value-expressive concerns  Shavitt et al.: attitudes toward objects that primarily fulfill an instrumental function were more likely to change in response to an instrumental appeal  Can also look at matches within content categories (even more specific matching)  De Steno et al., 2004: for those who carefully thought about the message, messages that matched their current mood state were perceived as more valid, and led to greater change - Works because:  May make people more motivated to process the message (motivation)  May make the message easier to understand (ability)  Motivation and ability reduces the impact of weak information  if the messages are strong, matching can make them more compelling and persuasive - May not always be the best approach  Elicit more scrutiny or attention to matched appeals  matching may cause more or LESS persuasion depending on the strength of the arguments contained within the matched message  Strong argument  more attitude change  Weak argument  less attitude change  Depends on:  Strength of the person’s attitude  Strength of your appeal  What does it mean that we can be “influenced by the unknown”? - When attitude change (or formation) occurs without our conscious awareness of the persuasion factors  Ex. tendency to choose the object on the right - People can sometimes report attitudes accurately, without knowing why they feel the way they do (and forcing them to describe why can cause people to change their attitudes)  Verbal overshadowing - Much of our behaviour occurs without our awareness or intention - Subliminal refers to something that is present outside of conscious awareness (E.g., Very brief flashes of words/images)  Many types of priming tasks are used to activate concepts in someone’s mind, without their awareness  Subliminal priming of motives can determine the effectiveness of subsequent persuasive messages because they activate goal-relevant cognitions  Prime + preexisting motivation  goal-relevant messages have greater success  Strahan, Spencer, & Zanna (2002): - Independent variables: Thirst (thirsty or not thirsty) and type of prime (thirst-words or neutral words) - Dependent variable: Amount of Kool-Aid consumed - Result: Priming can persuade people to drink, but only if they want to drink in the first place (thirsty)  What are social norms, and why do people conform to them? - Social norm: a generally accepted way of thinking, feeling, or behaving that most people in a group agree on and endorse as right and proper  Descriptive social norms: what people actually think, feel, or do  Prescriptive (injunctive) social norms: what people should think, feel, or do  Most norms have both of these qualities  Each type of norm can influence behaviour in different ways - People tend to conform to norms for two reasons:  Informational influence: a group has informational influence if we adopt the group consensus because it seems correct – we believe the groups’ norm reflects reality  Normative influence: a group has normative influence if we adopt the group consensus to show identification with the group – wanting to win respect and acceptance from the other group members Week 6 (5):  What is the norm of reciprocity? What is the norm of commitment? How do these norms affect our behaviour? How can we resist being influenced by such norms? - Norm of social reciprocity: The shared view that people are obligated to return to others the goods, services, and concessions they offer to us  Some form of this norm exists in almost all societies  Individual benefits: ensures fairness  Group benefits: strengthens bonds, builds trust and commitment  Door-in-the-face technique: Influencer makes a large initial request that is refused, followed by a smaller request that looks like a concession, making it more likely that the other person will concede in turn 1) Initial request must be large enough to be refused, but not large enough to breed resentment 2) Target must be given the chance to compromise (must have the opportunity to comply with a second request after refusing a first) 3) Second request must be related to the first, and come from the same person who is seen as making a concession  Under these circumstances, the norm of social reciprocity will be activated and the target starts to feel guilty and that they should be willing to make a concession themselves  Agreed to second, smaller request in order to repair their damaged sense of self  That’s-not-all technique: Start with an inflated price and immediately shift to a lower price (E.g., Winners & Marshalls)  Selling the top of the line: Tries to sell the most expensive model, if unsuccessful then moves down to less expensive item  As sales person moves down, buyer feels obligated to move up, and ends up spending more than they planned - Norm of social commitment: The shared view that people are required to honour their agreements and obligations  Allows individuals to trust each other, and to plan for the future based on other people’s stated intentions  Even stronger in collectivist cultures and groups  Low-ball technique: Influencer secures an agreement with a request but then increases the cost of honouring the commitment (E.g., Hidden airline fees) 1) Fulfilling social commitments - In many cases, the changes to the initial agreement is blamed on an outsider, maintaining the customer’s feeling of social obligation to the salesperson 2) Maintaining a positive self-image - We like to think of ourselves as trustworthy and reliable - The thought of not following through the commitment arouses cognitive dissonance, so we go through with the behaviour 3) Bolstering the original commitment - Cognitive bolstering: supportive new thoughts, feelings, and behaviours strengthen the original commitment - So even when the original reason for the purchase is no longer valid, there are other reasons to still purchase it - Resisting normative influence: 1) Question how norms are being used  Knowledge is power! Being able to recognize when and how norms are being used against you is enough to prevent yourself from engaging in a behaviour you would rather not do - E.g., By calling out a salesperson who is low-balling you 2) Question claims about relationships  Should you really feel obligated to this salesperson? Do you really owe them something? 3) Question others’ views of the situation  Is the other persons’ expectation of you valid? - E.g., Do you really owe the person this favour?  What is the norm of obedience to authority? Under what conditions will we follow the orders of another person? - Norm of obedience to authority: The shared view that people should obey those with legitimate authority  Is sometimes enforced (“Stop or I’ll shoot!”)  But most often, is motivated by private feelings that legitimate authority should be obeyed  The four conditions that will activate the norm of obedience to authority: 1) Authority must be (perceived as) legitimate - An authority must convey that he or she is the person who should be obeyed - Cues that convey someone is legitimate authority figure include uniforms, facial expressions, tone of voice, posture, and height 2) Authority must accept responsibility - People enter an agentic state: their actions are no longer seen as their own, but as the actions of the authority figure - Individual differences in assertion of responsibility: some people believe subordinates have no responsibility for their actions, whereas others believe individuals never give up the responsibility to control their own behaviour 3) Norm of obedience must be accessible - The more obvious the authority figure is, the more accessible the norm is going to be, and the more influence it is going to have over behaviour - Obedience in the Milgram studies basically vanished if the experimenter left the room 4) Incompatible norms must be suppressed - In many cases, obedience is not the only norm that is applicable to the situation - Thus, a normative conflict occurs, and people have to be tipped in favour of the obedience norm (E.g., Increasing the physical and/or psychological distance between the person and the person(s) they are harming)  What were the key findings of Jacks & Cameron (2003)? - What strategies do people report using when someone challenges a personally important attitude?  Attitude bolstering, counterarguing, social validation, and assertions of confidence were reported most likely to be used and most helpful (ABC SV AC)  Source derogation, negative affect, and selective exposure were reported least likely to be used - What strategies do people actually use? (Attitude object: death penalty)  Most popular responses were counterarguments, attitude bolstering, source derogation, and negative affect (CAB SD NA)  Very few assertion of confidence and no social validation  Expertise of the source had little influence  Greater personal importance of the death penalty issue led to greater resistance, regardless of the strategy used  Counterarguing was the most successful strategy  What were the goals of Sagarin and colleagues (2002) and what were their key findings? What were the key differences between the three experiments these researchers conducted? - Goal: to design a treatment that would allow individuals to recognize and resist the influence of misplaced authority - Must motivate individuals to resist persuasion and enable them to do so effectively  To motivate  perception of undue manipulative intent  To enable  must be a simple and widely applicable rule (“Authority based appeals are objectionable and should be rejected if the depicted authority does not at least possess special expertise on the topic”) - Study 1: Those receiving the treatment perceived the ads with illegitimate authorities as more unduly manipulative and less persuasive 1) Told that some ads are out to deceived, taught that any ads with a source not relevant to the issue advocated is illegitimate 2) Presented with 6 ads as examples 3) Rated the persuasiveness and perception of deception of another 6 ads  Manipulations: treatment vs. no treatment  Results:  Illegitimate authorities  decreased persuasiveness and increased perception of manipulation  Legitimate authorities  increased persuasiveness and decreased perception of manipulation - Study 2: Even after 1-4 days delay, those receiving the treatment perceived the legitimate authority ad as more persuasive than control  Manipulations: treatment vs. no treatment AND asked again 1-4 days later vs. not asked  Results:  Illegitimate authorities  decreased persuasiveness and increased perception of manipulation  Legitimate authorities  increased persuasiveness and decreased perception of manipulation  The effect persisted 1-4 days later, stronger 2-4 days later - Study 3: Dispelling illusions of invulnerability (people believe themselves to be less affected by ads than their peers)  Manipulations: treatment vs. no treatment AND vulnerability asserted vs. vulnerability demonstrated  Results:  Illegitimate authorities  decreased persuasiveness and increased perception of manipulation  Legitimate authorities  increased persuasiveness and decreased perception of manipulation  Vulnerability demonstrated  increased resistance to ads by illegitimate authorities  What was the premise of the article by Tormala and colleagues (2006)? How did they test their hypotheses, and what did they find? You may wish to focus on Studies 1 & 2. - When people perceive that they have successfully resisted a persuasive message, they can become more certain of their initial attitudes  Must perceive that the persuasive message was strong, or from a credible source because only in these cases is resistance diagnostic of validity - When people assess their resistance performance, they may believe that they did a good job or a bad job, and these appraisals may then influence attitude certainty - Premise: when people resist persuasion, they sometimes become less certain of their initial attitudes - Study 1:  Prediction: all participants would resist persuasion but hold their post-resistance attitude with varying levels of certainty depending on condition 1. Led to believe that their university had recently begun to consider the implementations of senior comprehension exams as a graduation requirement (intended to be counterattitudinal) 2. Read persuasive messages in favou
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