PSYC 215 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Ambivalence, Mind Control, Stanford Prison Experiment
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PSYC215 Chapter 4 Notes
Attitude: A Favourable or unfavourable evaluative reaction toward something or someone, exhibited in
one’s beliefs, feelings, or intended behaviour.
Role: A set of norms that define how people in a given social position ought to behave.
Gender Role: A set of behaviour expectations (norms) for males and females.
Foot-In-The-Door Phenomenon: The tendency for people who have first agreed to a small request to
comply later with a larger request.
Low-Ball Technique: A tactic for getting people to agree to something. People who agree to an initial
request will often still comply when the requester up the ante. People who receive only the costly
request are less likely to comply with it.
Cognitive Dissonance: Tension that arises when one is simultaneously aware of two inconsistent
cognitions. For example, dissonance may occur when we realize that we have, with little justification,
acted contrary to our attitudes or made a decision favouring one alternative despite reasons favouring
Insufficient Justification Effect: Reduction of dissonance by internally justifying one’s behaviour when
external justification is “insufficient”.
Self-perception Theory: The theory that when unsure of our attitudes, we infer them much as would
someone observing us – by looking at our behaviour and the circumstances under which it occurs.
Overjustification Effect: The result of bribing people to do what they already like doing; they may then
see their action as externally controlled rather than intrinsically appealing.
Self-affirmation Theory: A theory that people often experience self-image threat after engaging in an
undesirable behaviour, they compensate for this threat by affirming another aspect of the self. Threaten
people’s self-concept in one domain, and they will compensate either by refocusing or by doing good
deeds in some other domain.
Every year, the tobacco industry kills over 2 million customers with over half a billion people
died from smoking tobacco based on a 1994 World Health Organization report
When people question someone’s attitude, they refer to beliefs and feelings related to a person
or event and the resulting behaviour. Taken together, favourable or unfavourable evaluative
reactions – whether exhibited in beliefs, feelings, or inclinations to act – define a person’s
When we have to respond quickly to something, how we feel about it can guide how we react.
ABCs of attitudes: Affect (feelings), Behaviour (intention), and Cognition (thoughts).
The prevailing assumption is that our private beliefs and feelings determine our public
behaviour, so if we want to alter the way people act; we need to change their hearts and minds.
Leon Festinger concluded that evidence did not show that changing attitudes changes
behaviour. Festinger believed that attitude-behaviour relation works the other way around, with
our behaviour as the horse and our attitudes as the cart.
Allan Wicker concluded that people’s expressed attitudes hardly predicted their varying
behaviours. For example, student attitudes toward cheating bore little relation to the likelihood
of their actually cheating.
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