Textbook Notes (362,858)
Canada (158,079)
Psychology (1,390)
PSYC 215 (296)
Chapter 7

Textbook Chapter 7.docx

14 Pages
Unlock Document

McGill University
PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

Chapter 7: Attitudes, Beliefs and Consistency What are Attitudes and Why do People Have Them? Attitudes are ideas that often determine how people will act. Attitudes vs. Beliefs They are not the same thing. Beliefs are pieces of information (facts and opinions) about something. Attitudes are global evaluations towards some object or issue. Logically, beliefs are for explaining while attitudes are for choosing. They both serve interpersonal functions. Dual Attitudes Different evaluations of the same attitude object: an implicit attitude and an explicit attitude. This is based on the theory that a person can have different, competing attitudes in the conscious as opposed to the automatic parts of the mind. Implicit attitudes are automatic and non-conscious evaluative responses. Explicit attitudes are controlled and conscious evaluative responses. These two attitudes may conflict. Research has suggested that the two attitudes can be unrelated to each other and can serve different functions. Instead of realizing that there is conflict, most people are not even aware of it. They think that their only attitude is the conscious one, since this is the one that comes to mind. There are some private attitudes that often we would rather not share with others. Also, we might not even be aware of all of our own attitudes. There are several measures of implicit attitudes: o Most involve measuring reaction times to stimuli Implicit Association Test (IAT): measures attitudes and beliefs that people are either unwilling or unable to report. Eg: the elderly are a stigmatized group; both young and old tend to have a preference for young people over old people. o Stigma: an attribute that is deeply discrediting, perceived by others as broadly negative. Eg: elderly, sick people, poor people, obese people, the mentally ill. This test is also a measure of prejudice. o Another test: Greek and non-Greeks (sorority/fraternity members vs. non-members; each had a preference for their own group). It is suggested that the IAT test is tainted by other factors, such as cognitive control capabilities. So the IAT test might measure personal attitudes, perceived societal views or a combination of both. Why people have attitudes Attitudes help humans to cope with the complexity of life. Attitudes are necessary and adaptive for humans. They help us adjust to new situations, and can even be a matter of life or death. Attitudes are mainly used to sort things into good or bad categories. Understanding information is not enough; you can only make it through a complicated world if you can sort between good and bad. These are among the most basic categories of thought. The categories are abstract, but even children understand them very early on. o In children 2-6 years old, bad was more readily identified than good. This occurs at all ages beyond 2 years, 5 months. This reflect the psychological principle that bad is stronger than good. As soon as you know what something is, you start to know whether you like it or dislike it. The initial evaluation is immediate and unconscious, and can even occur for things that we have never encountered before (eg: nonsense words). o Basically, people have attitudes about everything. Attitudes are helpful in making choices. o Research has shown that possessing an attitude increases the ease, speed and quality of decision making. Therefore attitudes have great functional value. o Study showed that college students with attitudes concerning academically relevant issues experienced better mental and physical health than other students. QUIZ: 1. Which concept can be defined as pieces of information (facts or opinions) about something? a. Attitudes b. Beliefs c. Intentions d. Values 2. Which concept can be defined as a global evaluation? a. Attitude b. Belief c. Intention d. Value 3. Conscious is to unconscious as ______ is to ______. a. Explicit attitude, implicit attitude b. Implicit attitude, explicit attitude c. Primacy effect, recency effect d. Recency effect, primacy effect 4. Dual attitudes refer to ______ and ______ attitudes. a. Implicit, explicit b. New, old c. Private, public d. Rewarded, unrewarded How Attitudes are Formed Formation of Attitudes Mere Exposure Effect o The tendency for novel stimuli to be liked more after the individual has been repeatedly exposed to them. o 1968: social psychologist Robert Zajonc proposed that mere repeated exposure of the individual to the stimulus is a sufficient condition for the enhancement of his attitude towards it. o BUT if you initially dislike something, being exposed to it repeatedly will not make you like it more, it will actually make you like it less. Three studies done to test this: Participants were exposed to Turkish words, Chinese-like characters, and yearbook photographs. The more frequently participants saw these stimuli, the more they liked them. o The mere exposure effect also occurs with animals and crickets, and also chickens. o This effect can also influence attitudes towards the self. Study: female college students chose a close friend to participate in the study. The researchers took a photograph and made two prints: a normal one and a reversed (mirror) one. Participants liked the mirror print more than the normal one, while friends liked the normal one more than the mirror one. This is because they both liked what they were exposed to more frequently. Classical Conditioning o Both implicit and explicit attitudes can be formed through classical conditioning. o Ivan Pavlov (Russian scientist): Meat powder (unconditional stimulus) makes the dogs mouth water (unconditional response). The first time a researcher rings a bell (neutral stimulus), the dogs mouth does not water. But if the researcher rings the bell each time the dog gets meat powder, the dog begins to expect that every time it hears the bell it will be fed, and the bell becomes a conditioned stimulus. Eventually, the sound
More Less

Related notes for PSYC 215

Log In


Don't have an account?

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.