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Chapter 4

PSYCH 2B03 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Seat Belt Legislation, Implicit-Association Test, Seat Belt

Course Code
Jennifer Ostovich

of 14
-tobacco industry is responsible for fatalities equal to 14 loaded and
crashed jumbo jets a day upper executives: way for self-expression
of individuality, and to protect against society
do these statements reflect privately held attitudes?
How do they internalize these attitudes?
Does it reflect social pressure?
-Attitude: a favourable or unfavourable evaluative reaction toward
something or someone, exhibited in one’s beliefs, feelings, or intended
When we have to respond quickly, how we feel about it can guide
how we react
A person who believes a certain ethnic group is lazy and aggressive
feel dislike for such people intend to act in discriminatory
- ABC of attitudes: affect (feeling), behaviour (intention), cognition
How well do our attitudes predict behaviour?
- our private beliefs and feelings determine our public behaviour
-want to alter the way people act change their hearts & minds
Are we all hypocrites?
-beginning: to know people’s attitudes is to predict their actions later
concluded that changing attitudes does not change behaviour
- we know how to find reasons for what we do, but not good at doing
what we find reasons for
-people’s expressed attitudes hardly predicted their varying behaviours
(attitude toward cheating little relation to likelihood of actually
cheating, self described racial attitudes provided little clue to
behaviours in actual situations, church and church attendance)
- moral hypocrisy
University student presented with an appealing task (earn raffle
ticket) and a dull task (no + consequences) students had to
assign themselves to one, and other participant to the other
1/20 believed that assigning + task to themselves was the most
moral but 80% did so
Follow-up: given coin which they could flip even if they flipped the
coin 90% assigned themselves to the + task
Sticker indications: 24/28 who made the coin toss assigned
themselves the + task
-Morality + greed greed wins
-People don’t play the game they talk attempts to change behaviour
by changing attitudes often fail
- Warnings of the dangers of smoking have little effects on those who
already smoke
-Increasing public awareness of desensitizing and brutalizing effects of
prolonged diet of TV violence stimulated people to voice a desire for
less violent programming but people still watch media murder as
much as ever
- Sex education affects attitudes toward abstinence w/o long term
-Original thesis: attitudes determine actions Antithesis: attitude
determines nothing
- But convictions and feelings must sometimes make a difference
When attitudes predict behaviour
- behaviour and expressed attitudes differ because they are subject to
other influences
When social influences on what we say are minimal
-politicians who once overwhelmingly passed a salary increase for
themselves overwhelmingly defeated the same bill moments later
- fear of criticism! We say what we think others want to hear
-it’s hard to measure attitudes, we measure expressed attitudes
measure facial muscle responses to statements (subtly assessing
attitudes)- microsmile, microfrown
bogus pipeline
opeople who are first persuaded that lie detectors work may then
admit the truth
oshow Ss how well it displayed (previously obtained) attitudes
ask them new questions admitted more prejudice when
hooked up
implicit association test (IAT): use reaction times to measure how
quickly people associate concepts
oMeasure implicit racial attitudes by assessing whether white
people take longer to associate positive words with black rather
than white faces
oImplicit attitudes have correlated well with self-reported
When other influences on behaviour are minimal
- Inner attitudes guide us as well as the situation
- social influences can be enormous enough to induce people to violate
their deepest convictions
- Peter denied Jesus, prisoners may lie to placate their captors
- Can predict averages
-People’s general attitude toward religion poorly predicts whether they
will go to worship next weekend (weather, how one is feeling etc)
but religious attitudes predicts quite well the totally quantity of
religious behaviours over time
-Principle of aggregation: the effect of an attitude on behaviour
becomes more apparent when we look at a person’s aggregate or
average behaviour rather than at isolated acts
- Attitudes will predict behaviour when we minimize other influences on
our attitude statements and our behaviour
When attitudes specific to behaviour are examined
- there is little correspondence between measured general attitude
(attitude towards Asians) and specific behaviours (decision whether to
help a particular asian couple)- shouldn’t expect correspondence
between words and actions
-attitudes did not predict behaviour but attitude did predict behaviour in
which the measured attitude was directly pertinent to the situation
- attitudes toward the general concept of “health fitness” poorly predict
specific exercise and dietary practices, whether people jog is more
likely to depend on their opinions about the costs and benefits of
- relevant, specific attitudes do predict behaviour
attitudes toward condom use strongly predicts condom use
attitudes toward recycling (not general attitudes toward
environmental issues) predict participation in recycling
- best to alter people’s attitudes toward specific practices in order to
change health habits through persuasion
When attitudes are powerful
-much of behaviour is automatic/familiar scripts/mindless reaction
- frees our minds to work on other things
- when we are on automatic pilot, our attitudes are dormant
Bringing attitudes to mind
-behaviour is less automatic in novel situations think before we act
- attitudes guide our self behaviour when we think about them (people
who take a few moments to review their past behaviour express
attitudes that better predict their future behaviour)
120 students asked to indicate attitudes toward affirmative-action
employment policies invited to act as jurors in a sex-
discrimination court case
If they were first induced to remember their attitudes (organize
your thoughts and views) attitudes predicted verdicts
- Self-conscious people are usually in touch with their attitudes
Therefore making people self aware (mirror) can promote
consistency between words and deeds
Those who did an anagram-solving task (infront of the mirror)
cheated less as they were made self-aware
When people flipped the coin infront of the mirror coin flip
became scrupulously fair (half of self-conscious participants
assigned the other person to the positive task)
The power of attitudes forged through experience