CH 7: ATTITUDES AND ATTITUDE CHANGE
Oct /27/11 – Pg. 191-223
1. The Nature and - Attitudes are evaluations of people, objects or ideas and are made up of 3 parts:
Origin of 1. Affective component: your emotional reactions toward the attitude object
Attitudes 2. Cognitive component: thoughts and beliefs about the attitude object.
3. Behavioral component: actions or observable behaviour toward the attitude object.
Where do attitudes come - Some attitudes come from our genes, that‟s why identical twins share more attitudes than
from? fraternal twins.
- Attitudes are indirectly related to our genetic makeup because they‟re related to temperament
and personality, which are directly related to your genes.
o Ex. People inherited a temperament and personality from their parents that made
them like jazz more than rock-and-roll.
Cognitively Based Attitudes
- Cognitively based attitudes are based primarily about the properties of an attitude object
Cognitively based attitudes o Ex. How many miles to the gallon of a car
Affectively based attitudes
- Affectively based attitude is based more on emotions and values than on objective appraisal of
Affectively based attitudes pluses and minuses.
o Ex. Liking a car regardless of how many miles it has.
o People‟s feelings about abortion, death penalty, and premarital sex are often based
more on their values than on a cold examination of the facts.
o Liking the taste of chocolate even though it has a lot of calories.
- Classical conditioning has a stimulus eliciting an emotional response is paired with a neutral
Classical conditioning stimulus that doesn‟t until eventually the neutral stimulus elicits the emotional response by
- Operant conditioning: behaviours that we freely choose to perform become more or less
Operant Conditioning frequent depending on whether they‟re followed by a reward or punishment
o Ex. A 4-year old white girl goes to the playground and plays with an African girl, her
father tells her „we don‟t play with that kind of child‟ the girl will associate
interacting with Africans with disapproval
- Affectively based attitudes:
1. Don‟t result from a rational examination of the issues
2. Not governed by logic
3. Linked to people‟s values so trying to change them challenges those values.
Behaviorally based attitudes
- Behaviorally based attitude comes from people‟s observations of how the behave toward an
Behaviorally based attitude object
- People sometimes don‟t know how they feel until they see how they behave.
o Ex. If you ask a friend how much she likes to exercise and she says she likes it
because she‟s always seems to be going for a run attitude based on observation of
Explicit vs. Implicit Attitudes - Explicit attitudes are ones we consciously endorse and can easily report
- Implicit attitudes are involuntary, uncontrollable and unconscious
- The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is when people categorize good and bad words with black
or white faces. How do attitudes change? - Attitudes change in response to social influence
Changing Attitudes by - When you can‟t find external justification for your behaviour, you attempt to find internal
Changing Behavior: justification, by bringing the two cognitions (attitude & behaviour) closer together.
Cognitive Dissonance - Counterattitudinal advocacy: saying is believing
Revisited - To change the attitudes of a mass of people, you need persuasive communication which is a
communication such as a speech or ad that advocates a particular side of an issue
and Attitude Change - Hovland et al. conducted many studies on conditions under which people are most likely to be
influenced by persuasive communications.
Yale attitude change - Yale attitude change approach: Study source of communication, nature of communication
approach and nature of audience
The Central and Peripheral Routes to Persuasion
- When is it best to stress factors central to the communication? (i.e. strength of arguments)
- When is it best to stress peripheral factors to arguments‟ logic? (i.e. credibility or attractiveness
of person delivering speech)
Elaboration Likelihood - Elaboration likelihood model: under certain conditions, people are motivated to pay attention
model to the facts, taking the central route to persuasion. Or they are persuaded if the surface
Central Route to Persuasion characteristics of the message - i.e. if delivered by an expert – they‟re using the peripheral
Peripheral Route to route to persuasion.
The Motivation to Pay Attention to the Arguments
- Personal relevance of the topic determines whether people are motivated to pay attention to a
o Ex. College students were asked to listen to a speech arguing that all college seniors
should be required to pass a comprehensive exam before they graduate
o Half were told the university was seriously considering these exams, the other half
were told these exams wouldn‟t be implemented until another 10 years.
o 2 variables were introduced: strength of the arguments and prestige of the speaker
o If issue was highly relevant, students were vastly influenced by the quality of the
arguments, prestige didn‟t matter much
o In low relevance, strength of the arguments didn‟t matter, but the speaker mattered.
- People‟s motivation for a speech depends on their personality, some people enjoy thinking
Need for Cognition things through more than others – high in the need for cognition
- Central route persuasion had longer lasting effects.
Emotion and Attitude change Fear Arousing Communications
- Fear arousing communication: attempting to change people‟s attitudes by stirring up their
- Does this work? It depends on whether the fear influences people‟s ability to pay attention to
and process the arguments in a message
o Ex. Group of smokers watched a lung cancer film, watched film and read pamphlet
on how to quit smoking, or none.
o The film & pamphlet condition did the best in reducing smoking because the film
scared people but pamphlet reassured them that there was away to reduce this fear.
Emotions as a Heuristic
- Heuristic-Systematic model of persuasion : when people take the peripheral route to
persuasion, they use heuristic (mental shortcuts – ex. Experts are always right)
- Emotions and moods can determine our attitudes. If we feel good, we have a positive attitude
about the product. Emotions and Different Types of Attitudes
- Not all attitudes are created equally, some are based on beliefs about the attitude object whereas
others are based more on emotions and values
- Fight fire with fire: if an attitude is cognitively based, try to change it with rational arguments;
if it‟s affectively based, try to change with emotional appeals.
o Ex. To find out about which kind of ad – affectively based or cognitively based – is
o If ad was about a utilitarian product (air conditioner or vacuum), people‟s attitudes
tend to be formed after an appraisal about the utilitarian (energy efficiency) aspects
of the products.
o People‟s attitudes about „social identity products‟ such as perfume or greeting cards
reflect a concern with how they appear to others and are more affectively based.
o People reacted most favourably to the ads that matched the type of attitude they had.
If their attitude was cognitively based, the ads that focused on the utilitarian aspects
were most successful.
Culture and Different Types of attitudes
- People in Western cultures base their attitudes more on concerns about individuality and self-
improvement, whereas people in Asian cultures base their attitudes more on concerns about
their standing in their social group.
o Ex. Researchers created different ads for the same product that stressed independence