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PSYCH 2070 – CHAP 6.docx

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Western University
Psychology 2070A/B
Olson James

PSYCH 2070 – CHAP 6 - Attitudes and Social Behaviour Attitudes: Evaluation of Targets  Attitude  individual’s evaluation of a target along a good-and dimension  Target can be object, issue, person, group, behav. or any identifiable aspect  Always have target  directed at something Three parts of attitudes 1. affect  how object makes the person feel 2. cognition  person’s beliefs about object 3. past experiences  previous actions towards object  past behav influence current attitudes  current attitudes influence future behav  ambivalent attitudes  evaluation of targets that include both pos and neg elements  ambivalent attitudes can lead to diff behaviour over time b/c either the pos or neg elements about target may come to mind at particular point and whichever type of element is dominant will drive behaviour Explicit vs Implicit Attitudes  explicit attitudes  conscious evaluative attitudes  implicit attitudes  automatic evaluative attitudes  can occur without awareness  implicit conforms explicit  automatic response parallels conscious eval. of target Perception of other’s attitudes  common structure to people’s structure of others’ attitudes  2 imp dimensions  liberal vs conservative and traditional vs novel (radical)  guided by dimensions Assessing Objects  object-appraisal function  function of attitudes which attitudes provide rapid evaluative judgment of targets, facilitating approach or avoidance   basically attitudes that provide rapid evaluations of objects, people, issues Expressing Values  values  broad, abstract standards/goals considered as imp guiding principles   values related to attitude towards specific issues  value-expressive function  attitudes communicates indiv’s identity + values   allow to convey identity to connect to one group[ and distinct from other Testing the function of attitudes  Study: coffee  object appraisal func  perfume  value-expressive  Study: describe object appraisal  use pos/neg features  Value-expressive  mention values, identity and what object comm to others Self-reporting measures of attitude  Likert-type scales  attitude measurement technique  requires respondents to indicate extent of agreement/disagreement with several statements/issues  Conducted to ensure all items are valid reflections of target attitude  Semantic differential scales  respondents rate target on several evaluative dimensions (good-bad, favourable-unfavourable)  Opinion surveys  assess public opinion about issue, event or group Problems with self-reporting measures  Self-report techniques rest on 2 measures 1. People know what their attitudes are 2. Will report attitudes honestly Non-verbal measures of attitudes  Behavioural measures  use participants overt behav to infer attitude  Eg. willingness to approach snake – not willing – neg att  willing – pos att  Hazlewood and olson  given info about  participants in negative attitude condition sat further away from indiv and smiled less often than positive condition  Unobtrusive measures  participants do not realize attitude being assessed   reduce problems of self presentation and social desirability Physiological measures  exposure to neg objects increases arousal  if seen as threat  prepare individual for positive flight or fight  study: some study found arousal poor at distinguishing b/w pos and neg attitude  facial electromyography  measure muscle contractions in face that may be sensitive to pos vs neg responses to stimulus Implicit measures  automatic evaluative responses to a target  implicit associate test (IAT)  reaction time procedure – sort target into good and bad category  speed measures implicit attitude towards object  If complete task associated with good more quickly  positive implicit attitude  If complete task associated with bad more quickly  negative implicit attitude How do attitudes form? – Affective sources of attitudes Evaluative conditioning  Evaluative conditioning  process by which objects come to evoke pos or neg affect simply by association with affect-inducing events  STUDY: Pavlov  bell rung provide food to dog many times  eventually just bell ringing causes dog to salivate (conditioned response)  Study: conditioning stronger for non words  b/c never seen before Mere exposure effect  Tendency for repeated contact w/ object even w/o reinforcement to increase liking for object  Study: more favourable ratings to faces see more often  Study: people like letters that appear in own name Cognitive sources of attitudes  Evaluate things based on perception  positive if we believe have pos char.  STUDY: priming schema caused attitude ratings to move in direction of schema Behavioural sources of attitude  Self perception theory  if can’t directly access internal state  infer from actions  Attitudes based on behavioural info  especially past behaviour Physiological (biological) processes and attitudes Alcohol Myopia  Alcohol myopia  intoxication reduces cognitive capacity which results in narrowing of attention  Study: video  experimental realism  couple poss
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