Textbook Notes (368,720)
Canada (162,105)
Psychology (1,418)
PSYC 215 (296)
John Lydon (79)
Chapter 7

Chapter 7.docx

7 Pages
Unlock Document

PSYC 215
John Lydon

Chapter 7 - Attitudes, Behavior, and Rationalization  Influence of attitudes on behavior is weaker than most people believe, and influence of behavior on attitudes is stronger  When people are made to behave in a particular way, their attitudes typically follow  3 Components of Attitudes  Attitude = an evaluation of an object along a positive-negative dimension  Involves:  Affect - how much people like or dislike an object  Cognitions - thoughts that typically reinforce a person's feelings; include knowledge and beliefs about object and the associated memories  Associated behaviors - ex. Affective evaluation of good is associated with approaching the "good" object; attitudes are associated with intentions and actions  Measuring Attitudes  Usually use attitude questionnaires  Likert scale = a numerical scale; includes a set of possible answers with labeled anchors on each extreme  Ex. 1=never, 7=always  Sometimes fail to differentiate people with stronger or weaker attitudes  To solve Likert scale problem, measure accessibility of attitude (how easily it can be brought to mind and used to guide behavior)  Response latency = the time it takes for individual to respond to attitude question  If latency is small, the attitude is strong and can be brought to mind faster  Can also determine centrality of attitude to person's belief system  Measure variety of attitudes within a domain and calculate how strongly each one is connected to the others  If attitude is important, it will correlate with your other attitudes Implicit attitude measures = indirect measures of attitudes that don't involve self reports   Used when people are unwilling/unable to report true attitudes  Use affective priming or implicit association test (IAT)  Allow to see automatic attitudes - people might not be conscious of them or they might conflict with endorsed explicit attitudes  Can also measure nonverbal expressions (ex. smiling) or physiological indicators (ex. heart rate)  Predicting Behavior from Attitudes  Attitudes don't predict behavior very well but they do go together  Usually people behave is certain way and so have a positive attitude towards it, but doesn't mean that people always act consistently with their attitudes  People may have many reasons for failing to act on their attitudes  Attitudes sometimes conflict with other determinants of behavior  "situationist" approach  Person's understanding of prevailing norms of appropriate behavior can greatly weaken relationship between attitude and behavior  Attitudes are sometimes inconsistent  They may conflict with one another  Different components of attitude may not always align  Particularly how we feel about something and what we think about it  So one component might win over the other in guiding behavior  Introspecting about reasons for attitudes  Thinking about why we like someone can sometimes lead to confusion about what the true feelings are  Introspection may lead us to focus of easiest to find reasons for liking/disliking something at expense of the real reasons  Can undermine how well attitudes guide behavior  This bad effect only happens when true source of attitude is hard to pin down, like when the basis is largely affective (i.e. based on emotions)  When basis is cognitive, search for reasons is likely to yield real reasons  Attitudes are sometimes based on secondhand info  Ones that are based on direct (firsthand) experience predict behavior better than those based on secondhand info  Ex. students with direct strong attitudes about a crisis were more likely to take action than those with less strong opinions  Mismatch between general attitudes and specific targets  Consistency between attitude and behavior is higher when they're both at the same level of specificity  If you want to predict a specific type of behavior, you have to measure the person's attitude towards that specific behavior, and not just in general  Usually people express their attitude toward a prototype of a given category  When an individual of that class doesn't match the prototype, our behavior doesn't match our stated attitude toward the class -- general attitude doesn't apply  Automatic behavior that bypasses conscious attitudes  Often behavior is reflexive, not reflective; context elicits behavior automatically  But it can sometimes be caused by attitudes - they exist so that we can make fast judgments and respond quickly without having to weigh all the pros and cons  Automatic behavior that bypasses attitudes can come into conflict with them without our awareness  Predicting Attitudes from Behavior  Over time outward behavior can create inner conviction; has powerful influence on attitude  Tendency to justify and rationalize our behavior and minimize inconsistency between attitudes and actions  Balance theory = people try to maintain balance among their beliefs, cognitions, and sentiments  In a triad, things are balanced if the product of the 3 sentiments is positive (1 positive sentiment and 2 negative or all 3 positive)  Ex. a liked celebrity (+) says good things about a product (+) so you're pressured to also like it to maintain balance  People remember balanced relationships better, rate them more favorably, and fill in unspecified relationships by assuming balance  Ex. if someone you know likes basketball, you're likely to assume that their friend does too  Cognitive dissonance theory = people are troubled by inconsistency among their thoughts, sentiments, and actions and they will expend psychological energy to restore consistency  Dissonance is felt when people experience inconsistency  People sometimes change cognition to make it more consistent with behavior  A hard decision mean that there are both desirable and undesirable features in both choices  People have tendency to rationalize decision  People have greater confidence in what they bet on after placing the bet  Making hard decisions triggers dissonance, which triggers the rationalization process (dissonance reduction) to make us more comfortable about our choices  Even just after a person develops a slight preference for one option, they distort subsequent info to support initial preference  Effort justification = people's tendency to reduce dissonance by justifying time, effort, or money they've devoted to something that's turned out to be disappointing  "sweet lemons justification" - "it's really not so bad"  Ex. someone is put through a rigorous initiation process to get into a group, the group was boring and uninteresting - created dissonance - reduced it by convincing themselves that it wasn’t that bad and later rated the group more favorably  Induced (forced) compliance = induced to behave in a manner that is inconsistent with their beliefs, attitudes, or values  People will change their original attitudes!  If people were given $1 to tell a lie (something at odds with their beliefs), they experienced dissonance and changed their original attitude  $1 was not enough justification  Those given $20 did not experience dissonance because the money was enough justification and the lie was of little consequence  To persuade someone and make them internalize the broader message behind the behavior, use the smallest amount of incentive (or coercion) to get them to do it  If the incentive is too substantial, people will justify their behavior by the reward and they won't rationalize it by changing their previous attitude  "forbidden toy" paradigm - children told not to play with second favorite toy; severe threat condition - all the toys will be taken away and experimenter will be and angry; mild threat condition - the experimenter will be annoyed  None of the children played with forbidden toy - but only those in mild threat condition experienced dissonance and convinced themselves that toy wasn't that great anyways  Not playing with the toy was justified by the harsh punishment for the kids in the severe threat condition  Later on, the kids in severe punishment condition may like the toy even more than they previously did  Kids in mild threat condition, changed their opinion about toy and didn't like it anymore  Mild punishment can bring about psychological change  When does inconsistency produce dissonance?  Aronson - inconsistency will arouse dissonance if it implicates our code sense of self  People like to think that they're rational, moral, and worthy; anything that challenges this is likely to arouse dissonance  When other people do something questionable - do we judge them  Wouldn't blame the person if they could not have acted in a different way, if they could justify their actions, or if they had no way for foreseeing the harm they might cause  Judge them more harshly in rough proportion to how much harm resulted  We should also experience dissonance if our conflicting behavior was freely chosen, the behavior is not sufficiently justified, has negative consequences , and negative consequences were foreseeable  Dissonance can be experienced even in free choice conditions  If we are paid well enough to do something that is inconsistent with our attitudes, we don't need to justify it  People experie
More Less

Related notes for PSYC 215

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.