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PSYC 241 Ch6 Attitudes.pdf

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PSYC 241
Roderick C L Lindsay

PSYC  241  –  Attitudes     Chapter  6   Attitudes     Attitude:  a  positive,  negative,  or  mixed  reaction  to  a  person,  object,  or  idea.  These  feelings  are   expressed  with  some  level  of  intensity.  (For  example:  like,  love,  dislike,  hate,  detest).       The  fact  that  attitudes  can  be  “mixed”  is  an  important  part  of  the  definition.  One’s  attitude  does  not   run  along  a  straight  continuum  from  positive  to  negative.  Rather,  it  can  having  varying  levels  of   both  positive  and  negative  reactions  that  make  up  either   indifference  or  ambivalence.       Indifference:  apathy  toward  a  person,  object  or  idea;   characterized  by  having  a  low  positive  and  a  low  negative   reaction.     Ambivalence:  strong  mixed  feelings  about  a  person,  object  or   idea;  characterized  by  having  a  high  positive  and  a  high  negative   reaction.       The  study  of  attitudes  is  central  in  the  field  of  social  psychology.  Many  of  the  major  phenomena  of   social  psychology  are  based  on  attitudes:   • Self-­‐esteem  is  the  attitude  we  have  toward  ourselves   • Prejudice  is  a  negative  attitude  toward  a  group   • Attraction  is  a  positive  attitude  toward  another  person     Need  for  evaluation:  the  tendency  to  have  strong,  evaluative  attitudes  and  opinions.     High  need  for  evaluation   Low  need  for  evaluation   • View  daily  experiences  in  judgmental   • Reactions  are  objective  and   terms   nonevaluative   • More  opinionated   • Do  not  easily  form  very  strong  positive   or  negative  opinions     Why  do  we  hold  attitudes  at  all?  And  why  is  it  that  we  can  make  snap  decisions  on  something  that   can  gauge  our  entire  attitude?   It  is  fairly  adaptive  that  we  can  decide  quickly  and  without  much  thought  whether  something  or   someone  is  helpful/hurtful,  safe/unsafe,  good/bad,  or  to  be  sought/avoided.  Unfortunately  it  is   maladaptive  that  preexisting  attitudes  can  create  bias  and  close-­‐mindedness.  This  makes  us  more   resistant  to  change.               1   PSYC  241  –  Attitudes       How  attitudes  are  measured   • Self-­‐report  measures   • Covert  measures   • Implicit  association  test  (IAT)     Self-­‐report  measures     Self-­‐reporting  is  a  direct  and  straightforward  measurement  of  attitude.  The  downside  is  that  many   attitudes  are  too  complex  to  be  understood  by  asking  a  single  question.  Recall  that  wording  can   affect  how  a  person  reacts  to  and  answers  a  question.       Attitude  scales  are  multiple-­‐item  questionnaires  designed  to  overcome  the  aforementioned   shortcomings  when  self-­‐reporting  attitudes.  The  Likert  scale  is  a  famous  example,  which  has   participants  rate  their  attitude  on  a  numerical  scale.       Another  downside  of  self-­‐reporting  is  that  it  assumes  participants  are  giving  honest  responses,  but   this  is  not  necessarily  true.  People  may  be  inclined  to  lie,  especially  when  it  comes  to  admitting   that  they  hold  unpopular  or  politically  incorrect  attitudes.       Bogus  pipeline  –  to  ensure  that  participants  will  answer  questionnaires  honestly  they  hook  them   up  to  a  phony  lie  detector  (the  bogus  pipeline).  When  participants  think  that  they  will  be  caught  if   they  are  deceptive  they  tend  to  answer  more  honestly  and  with  less  positive  spin.       Covert  measures     Things  like  facial  expressions,  tone  of  voice,  and  body  language  can  provide  a  clue  as  to  attitudes.   However  when  people  are  aware  of  disagreeing  with  something  they  may  demonstrate  agreement   through  these  behaviours  to  be  polite.  For  example,  students  were  observed  while  listening  to  a   speaker.  When  they  agreed  with  the  position  in  the  speech  they  made  subtle  and  unconscious   vertical  head  movements  (nodding)  but  when  they  disagreed  they  made  subtle  horizontal  head   movements.  But  it  is  also  true  that  people  will  nod  in  agreement  even  when  they  disagree  just  to   be  polite,  so  these  measures  cannot  be  the  ultimate  authority  on  understanding  someone’s   attitudes.       Covert  measures  of  attitudes  cannot  be  controlled  by  the  participant,  and  are  therefore  ideal  in   getting  an  honest  indication  of  attitudes.       Physiological  arousal  can  indicate  whether  someone  has  a  strong  attitude  toward  a  person,  object   or  idea,  but  it  cannot  determine  whether  the  attitude  is  positive  or  negative.             2   PSYC  241  –  Attitudes     Facial  electromyograph  (EMG):  records  facial  muscle  activity  associated  with  emotions  and   attitudes.     • Certain  muscles  in  the  face  contract  when  we  are  happy,  others  when  we  are  sad,  etc.     • When  participants  heard  a  message  they  agree  with  there  was  increased  activity  in  their   cheeks  (an  area  of  activity  associated  with  happiness)   • When  participants  heard  a  message  they  disagree  with  there  was  increased  activity  in  their   forehead  and  brow  regions  (areas  of  activity  associated  with  sadness  and  distress).     • The  increased  activity  noted  above  was  not  visible  to  the  experimenters,  but  was  recorded   on  the  EMG.       Electroencephalograph  (EEG):  machine  that  detects  electrical  activity  in  the  brain,  known  as   brainwaves.     • In  a  study,  brainwaves  changed  when  a  negative  item  was  presented  in  a  word  list  of   positive  items.     The  following  study  was  conducted  using  fMRI.  People  who  were  strongly  opinionated  about  an   upcoming  election  listened  to  one  positive  and  one  negative  message  about  their  candidate  of   choice.  The  areas  of  the  brain  associated  with  emotion  (namely,  the  amygdala)  because  active.   This  is  in  stark  contrast  to  the  areas  that  researchers  believed  would  become  active:  areas  of   cognitive  reasoning.       Implicit  Association  Test  (IAT)     There  is  a  notion  that  some  attitudes  cannot  be  detected  because  we  are  not  aware  that  we  have   them.  These  are  called  implicit  attitudes  (see  below).       Implicit  attitudes:  attitudes  we  are  not  aware  of  having.  For  example,  some  prejudices  can  be   implicit.       Implicit  Association  Test  (IAT):  a  covert  measure  of  unconscious  attitudes  derived  from  the   speed  at  which  people  respond  to  pairings  of  concepts.  For  example,  how  quickly  do  you  associate   black  or  white  with  good  or  bad?     Method  of  testing  in  the  IAT:   • Straight  items  include  photos  of  a  man  and  woman  or  words  such  as  “heterosexual”   • Gay  items  include  photos  of  two  men  or  words  such  as  “homosexual”   • Good  items  include  words  such  as  joy,  pleasure,  superb   • Bad  items  include  words  such  as  humiliate,  tragic,  anger   1. Participant  sorts  gay  or  straight  items  by  pressing  a  left  key  or  a  right  key   2. Participant  sorts  good  or  bad  items  by  pressing  a  left  key  or  a  right  key   3. The  left  key  pairs  straight/good  and  the  right  key  pairs  gay/bad.  Items  are  sorted  as   quickly  as  possible.   4. Then  the  variables  are  switched.  The  left  key  pairs  gay/good  and  the  right  key  pairs   straight/bad.   • (See  next  page)   3   PSYC  241  –  Attitudes       The  IAT  is  scored  based  on  speed  of  response  for  each  behaviour  compared  with  other   behaviours.  To  elaborate,  here  are  the  questions  to  be  asking:   • How  quickly  did  you  sort  “good”  items  into  “straight”?   • How  quickly  did  you  sort  “good”  items  into  “gay”?   • How  quickly  did  you  sort  “bad”  items  into  “straight”?   • How  quickly  did  you  sort  “bad”  items  into  “gay”?     The  IAT  measures  how  quickly  you  make  certain  associations.  For  example,  a  person  with   unconscious  prejudice  against  gay  people  might  be  slightly  quicker  to  sort  “good”  items  into   straight,  “bad”  items  into  gay,  and  slightly  slower  at  sorting  “good”  items  into  gay  and  “bad”  items   into  straight.       The  effectiveness  of  the  IAT  is  somewhat  controversial.  Can  millisecond  differences  on  a  sorting   task  really  unveil  hidden  attitudes  that  the  person  is  not  aware  of?  Perhaps,  perhaps  not.  Some   psychologists  attack  the  predictive  validity  of  IAT,  citing  that  more  behaviour  evidence  is  needed   to  determine  whether  the  results  of  the  IAT  are  representative  of  the  individual.  A  meta-­‐analysis   of  IAT  scores  confirms  that  they  are  less  predictive  of  behaviour  than  explicit  attitudes.  It  also   found  that  the  IAT  is  more  accurate  when  measuring  attitudes  of  a  socially  sensitive  topic  such  as   race.       How  attitudes  are  formed     Twin  studies  have  found  heritability  in  attitudes.  Therefore  there  is  some  component  of  attitudes   that  comes  from  genetic  makeup.       The  following  features  can  determine  attitude  formation:   • Physical,  sensory,  and  cognitive  skills   • Temperament   • Personality  traits     One  study  found  that  people  who  believed  in  capital  punishment,  spending  money  on  the  war,  and   the  right  to  bear  arms  had  a  higher  startle  response.  Could  it  be  that  these  individuals  held  these   pro-­‐protection  attitudes  based  on  their  own  genetic  startle  responses?     Despite  the  above  theory,  our  most  cherished  attitudes  generally  come  from  the  following:   • Exposure  to  attitude  objects   • History  of  rewards  and  punishments   • Attitudes  that  out  friends,  parents,  and  enemies  express   • Social  and  cultural  context  in  which  we  live     4   PSYC  241  –  Attitudes     Attitude  formation  is  also  associated  with  learning.  We  can  develop  an  attitude  toward  a  neutral   object  if  it  is  tied  to  an  emotionally-­‐charged  stimulus.  This  is  the  basis  of  evaluative  conditioning,   when  we  evaluate  something  based  on  the  associated  emotion  it  elicits  (see  next).   Evaluative  conditioning:  explicit  and  implicit  attitudes  toward  neutral  objects  can  form  by  their   association  with  positive  and  negative  stimuli.     • This  is  often  used  in  advertising  –  pairing  attractive  models  or  portraying  happy  lives   because  of  a  product  can  create  a  positive  attitude  towards  the  product.     The  link  between  attitudes  and  behaviour     People  assume  that  attitudes  predict  behaviour,  but  the  correlation  is  far  from  perfect.  Examples:   • Prejudiced  attitudes  do  not  necessarily  predict  acts  of  discrimination   • A  positive  attitude  about  a  product  does  not  necessarily  predict  its  purchase   • A  positive  attitude  about  a  candidate  does  not  necessarily  mean  you  will  vote  for  them     Correspondence:  a  similarity  between  attitude  measures  and  behaviour.     Attitude  can  predict  behaviour.  The  correlation  often  occurs  under  specific  circumstances  due  to   specific  factors.  The  factors  that  predict  correspondence  are:   • Context   • Strength  of  attitude     Attitudes  in  context     A  study  found  that  attitude  correlates  with  behaviour  only  when  the  attitude  measures  closely   match  the  behaviour  in  question.       Fishbein  created  a  theory  of  reasoned  behaviour,  and  Ajzen  expanded  on  this  to  create  the  theory   of  planned  behaviour  (see  below).  According  to  these  theories,  specific  attitudes  come  from  social   factors  to  produce  behaviour.         Theory  of  planned  behaviour:  attitudes   influence  behaviour  through  a  process  of   deliberate  decision-­‐making.  See  below.       Attitude  toward  a  behaviour  –  behaviour  is   less  influenced  by  general  attitudes  than   specific  behaviour.       Subjective  norm  –  our  behaviour  is   influenced  by  our  beliefs  of  what  others  think  we  should  do.     Perceived  behaviour  control  –  attitudes  give  rise  to  behaviours  only  when  we  see  the  behaviours  as   being  within  our  control.     5   PSYC  241  –  Attitudes       In  summary  of  the  theory  of  planned  behaviour:  our  attitudes  toward  a  specific  behaviour   combined  with  subjective  norms  and  perceived  control  influence  a  person’s  actions.     Strength  of  the  attitude     Sometimes  attitudes  have  more  influence  on  behaviours,  and  other  times  the  attitude  has  less   influence  on  behaviour.  It  comes  down  to  the  strength  of  the  attitude.       Factors  that  determine  the  strength  of  an  attitude  (according  to  Boninger  et  al.):   • Relates  to  self-­‐interests   • Related  to  deeply  held  values   • Of  concern  to  close  family,  friends,  and  social  ingroups.         The  attitude  directly  relates  to  self-­‐interests.  Those  who  are  personally  vested  in  something  are   more  likely  to  have  a  strong  attitude  toward  it.     The  attitude  is  related  to  deeply  held  values  such  as  politics,  philosophy,  and  religious  beliefs.       The  attitude  is  of  concern  to  close  family,  friends,  and  social  ingroups.  The  social  factor  of  attitude   strength  is  especially  important.  This  factor  is  a  predictor  of  how  strong  an  attitude  will  be  and   how  much  it  is  resistant  to  change.       Note:  these  three  factors  are  indicated  in  the  book  as  the  three  major  consistent  factors  in   determining  the  strength  of  an  attitude.  There  are  more  factors  that  are  apparent,  but  since  they   were  kept  separate  in  the  book  I  am  keeping  them  separate  here.       More  factors  that  determine  the  strength  of  an  attitude:   • Based  on  a  wealth  of  information  (from  personal  experience)   • Attitude  has  been  attacked  by  an  opposing  attitude   • Attitude  is  salient  and  therefore  quickly  and  easily  brought  to  mind     The  attitude  is  based  on  a  wealth  of  information  on  the  subject.  For  example,  people  who  knew   more  about  political  platforms  or  climate  change  were  more  likely  to  vote  for  their  favourite   candidate  or  volunteer  for  environmental  initiatives,  respectively.  It  is  important  to  factor  in  the   amount  of  knowledge  on  the  subject  and  how  that  knowledge  was  acquired.  If  the  information  is   based  on  personal  experience  then  the  attitude  will  be  stronger  and  more  stable  than  if  the   information  is  based  on  second-­‐hand  sources.       The  attitude  has  been  attacked  by  an  opposing  attitude.  Think  about  this  logistically;  when   attacked,  one  is  more  likely  to  get  defensive  and  seek  the  strongest  salient  points  of  one’s  attitude.   Therefore  by  defending  your  attitude  you  are  making  it  stronger  in  your  own  mind  while  shutting   out  the  opposing  idea.  This  is  not  always  the  case,  however.  When  someone  is  presented  with  a   strong  argument  for  an  opposing  idea  their  own  attitude  is  strengthened  because  they  feel  as   though  even  a  strong  argument  could  not  persuade  them  otherwise.  When  they  are  presented   6   PSYC  241  –  Attitudes     with  a  weak  argument  or  a  strong  argument  that  they  disagree  with  “by  the  skin  of  their  teeth”,   they  become  less  certain  of  their  initial  attitude  and  are  more  vulnerable  to  future  attack.           The  attitude  is  highly  salient  –  that  is  to  say  there  is  a  strong  awareness  of  the  attitude  so  that  it  is   easily  and  quickly  brought  to  mind.  This  can  act  by  causing  us  to  behave  in  a  quick,  spontaneous   way  or  to  think  carefully  and  deeply  about  our  attitude  to  form  a  behaviour.       Persuasion  by  communication     Persuasion:  the  process  by  which  attitudes  are  changed.       Persuasive  communication  is  a  specific  form  of  persuasion  in  which  appeals  are  made  in  person   and  through  mass  media.       Two  routes  to  persuasion     Below,  the  two  routes  to  persuasion  (central  and  peripheral)  are  described.  What  route  you  take  is   based  on  whether  someone  is  willing  to  scrutinize  the  information  in  the  message.       Central  route  to  persuasion:  method  of  persuasion  based  on  strong  arguments  causing  critical   thinking  about  the  subject.       Must  learn  the  contents  of  a  message  and  be  motivated  to  accept  it.  You  can  only  do  this  if   the  message  is  one  that  you  are  attending  to,  comprehend,  and  retain  in  memory.       Step  1:  Reception  (learning  of  the  message)   Step  2:  Acceptance     Both  steps  are  needed  to  persuade  a  change  in  attitude.  For  example,  studies  have  shown   that,  when  presented  with  a  message  designed  to  lower  self-­‐esteem,  those  who  were  smart   learned  the  message  but  did  not  accept  it;  and  those  who  were  not  as  smart  would  accept   the  message  but  were  less  able  to  learn  it.       Another  researcher  offers  that  there  is  a  third,  intermediate  step:   Step  1:  Reception  (learning  of  the  message)   Step  2:  Elaboration   Step  3:  Acceptance     Elaboration  –  When  we  are  listening  to  a  message  we  are  not  just  taking  in  information  but   are  thinking  critically  of  the  implications  and  using  this  active  thought  process  to  generate   more  questions  and  subsequent  understanding.  This  helps  us  see  all  the  positive  or  all  the   negative  in  a  message.       7   PSYC  241  –  Attitudes     It’s  important  to  note  that  people  can  take  the  central  route  to  persuasion  but  still  hold   incorrect  or  biased  attitudes.  Others  may  be  afraid  of  this  and  undergo  the  phenomenon  of   overcorrection  in  which  they  avoid  biased  attitudes  by  taking  a  biased  stance  in  the   opposite  direction.  For  example,  after  being  told  people  tend  to  agree  with  speakers  they   like,  participants  were  most  receptive  to  a  speaker  that  was  clearly  unlikeable.     Peripheral  route  to  persuasion:  method  of  persuasion  based  on  superficial  cues  that  do  not   cause  critical  thinking  about  the  subject.     Those  who  use  this  method  will  often  rely  on  simple-­‐minded  heuristics  (rules-­‐of-­‐thumb).   People  using  the  peripheral  route  to  persuasion  will  take  a  message  at  face-­‐value  if:   • The  speaker  is  likeable  (generally  well  spoken,  seems  honest,  seems  intelligent)   • There  are  supporting  statistics  and  experts   • If  the  message  is  familiar   • If  the  speaker  seems  to  be  supporting  something  against  their  own  interests  (for  the   greater  good)   • The  message  has  a  majority  support     A  series  of  studies  looked  to  see  if  body  movements  could  be  part  of  the  peripheral  route  to   persuasion  –  they  found  the  answer  was  yes:   • Participants  listened  to  a  message  either  while  nodding  or  shaking  their  head.  Those   who  had  been  nodding  tended  to  agree  with  the  message  and  those  who  shook  their   head  tended  to  disagree   • Participants  were  shown  nonsense  words  while  exercising.  Some  participants  were   pushing  on  a  bar  (the  action  we  make  when  pushing  something  away)  and  some   were  flexing  on  a  bar  (the  action  we  make  when  pulling  something  in)  while   studying  the  words.  Later,  the  people  who  had  been  pushing  rated  the  words  as   more  negative  and  the  people  who  had  been  flexing  rated  them  more  positive     Route  selection   Factors  that  influence  route  selection   • Source  –  the  speaker   • Message  –  is  it  important  or  trivial,  well  presented  or  difficult  to  follow?   • Audience  –  ability  and  motivation  to  take  the  central  route     The  audience’s  ability  and  motivation  to  take  the  central  route  really  depend  on  the  source  and  the   message.       High  Ability,  High  Motivation   Low  Ability,  Low  Motivation       The  message  is  clear,  important  (and/or)   The  message  is  difficult  to  understand  or   personally  relevant.   unclear  and  is  not  important  or  personally     relevant.      High  Ability,  Low  Motivation   Low  Ability,  High  Motivation       8   PSYC  241  –  Attitudes     The  message  is  clear  but  not  important  or   The  message  is  difficult  or  unclear  though  it  is   personally  relevant.   important  (and/or)  personally  relevant.     Note  that  the  source  determines  whether  the  message  is  clear  and  easy  to  understand  and  the   message  itself  relates  to  importance  or  personal  interest.          The  Source     The  source  influences  persuasion  based  on  the  following  factors:   • Credibility  –  competence  and  trustworthiness     • Likability  –  similarity  and  likability     Credibility  boils  down  to  competence  and  trustworthiness.     • Competence  –  a  speaker’s  ability   • Trustworthiness  –  the  speaker’s  willingness  to  report  the  truth  without  compromise     People  are  more  likely  to  find  a  message  persuasive  if  they  feel  as  though  they  were  not  supposed   to  hear  it  or  it  was  not  directed  at  them.  In  advertising  this  is  called  the  overheard   communicator  trick  –  they  show  a  person  telling  a  friend  about  a  product  that  really  works.       Likability  boils  down  to  similarity  and  physical  attractiveness.   • One  study  found  that  university  students  were  swayed  by  a  strong  argument  when  they   thought  a  student  from  their  own  school  had  written  it,  but  were  not  swayed  by  the  same   argument  when  they  thought  it  was  written  by  a  student  from  another  school.       Factors  that  make  us  less  likely  to  be  persuaded:   • When  the  speaker  is  getting  paid   • When  the  speaker  has  an  axe  to  grind  (they  need  something  done  and  the  ends  justify  the   means)   • When  the  speaker  is  telling  us  just  what  we  want  to  hear   • The  speaker  is  taking  a  stance  that  directly  relates  to  their  own  personal  interest     What  determines  whether  the  source  is  more  important  than  the  message  or  vice  versa?   • Level  of  involvement  –  If  the  message  has  personal  relevance  you  are  more  likely  to  think   about  it  critically.     9   PSYC  241  –  Attitudes     o When  involvement  is  high,  people  follow  the  message.  When  involvement  is  low,   people  follow  the  source.  This  is  true  for  both  credibility  and  likability.       Sleeper  effect:  when  people  are  not  persuaded  because  the  source  is  not  credible  they  may   become  persuaded  at  a  later  time.  This  delayed  increase  in  the  persuasive  impact  of  a  noncredible   source  is  known  as  the  sleeper  effect.     Discounting  cue  hypothesis:  over  time  we  remember  information  but  forget  the  source,  and  this   explains  why  the  sleeper  effect  occurs.  To  elaborate,  if  you  immediately  discredit  a  message   because  it  comes  from  a  noncredible  source,  when  you  hear  the  message  later  it  is  familiar  and  no   longer  associated  with  the  original  source,  and  thus  it  is  more  persuasive.       The  Message     In  the  central  route  to  persuasion,  the  message  is  the  most  important  factor  in  persuasion.   However  when  you  are  only  exposed  to  the  message  through  a  particular  medium,  what  the   message  says  can  matter  as  much  as  how  it  is  said.     • Length   • Order  of  presentation   • Discrepancy   • Fear  appeals   • Positive  emotions   • Subliminal  messages     Length  of  the  message  impacts  the  central  route  and  the  peripheral  route  in  different  ways.  Those   who  choose  the  peripheral  route  and  are  not  thinking  critically  of  the  message  are  more  likely  to   think  that  longer  message  =  more  valid  points  =  truth.  Those  who  choose  the  central  route  and  are   actively  listening  to  the  message  will  be  more  persuaded  if  the  length  comes  from  testimonials  and   statistics  and  less  persuaded  if  it  comes  from  weak  or  redundant  points.       Order  of  presentation  of  the  messages  is  important  because  it  can  cause  the  primacy  effect  or  the   recency  effect  (or  neither).           Condition       Results   Message  1   Message  2   One  week   Decision     Primacy   Message  1   One  week     Message  2   Decision     Recency   Message  1   Message  2   Decision       None   Message  1   One  week   Message  2   One  week   Decision   None     Message  discrepancy:  the  degree  to  which  a  persuasive  message  is  different  from  existing  beliefs.   Before  putting  a  message  out  there  speakers  always  ask  themselves  how  far  are  they  trying  to   persuade  the  audience  from  their  current  beliefs.       It  has  been  found  that  modest,  cautionary  discrepancy  is  the  most  effective.  If  you  are  too  extreme   in  advocating  for  a  discrepant  idea,  people  aren’t  likely  to  be  receptive.  If  you  provide  a  message   10   PSYC  241  –  Attitudes     that  is  similar  to  their  existing  beliefs  so  that  it  will  not  be  immediately  cast  aside  but  is  discrepant   enough  to  convey  the  message  people  tend  to  be  more  receptive.         Fear  can  be  an  effective  tool  in  persuasion:  the  more  vulnerable  people  feel  toward  a  threatened   outcome,  the  more  attentive  they  are  to  the  message  and  the  more  likely  they  are  to  follow  the   recommendations  contained  within  it.     Positive  emotion  can  trigger  us  to  agree  more  and  be  more  receptive  to  a  message.  When  we  are   in  a  positive  mood  we  are  more  likely  to  make  quick  decisions  based  on  little  information  –  in   other  words  we  are  more  likely  to  take  the  peripheral  route.       Subliminal  messages  are  a  controversial  form  of  persuasion.  Many  psychologists  offer  that  they   do  not  impact  persuasion.  How  does  this  differ  from  priming,  which  has  been  demonstrated  to   have  effects  time  and  again?  Priming  works  in  a  lab  setting  under  which  you  have  guaranteed   exposure  to  the  stimulus,  and  testing  of  perception  occurs  quickly  after  the  presentation.  Priming   does  not  impact  long-­‐term  decisions  and  behaviours  as  subliminal  messages  claim  to  do.  Another   difference  is  that  in  the  lab  people  perceive  the  stimulus  and  only  act  on  it  because  the  researcher   prompts  them  to,  not  because  they  have  been  persuaded  to  by  the  stimulus.  For  example,  if  the   word  “robin”  is  flashed  and  the  experimenter  says  nothing,  the  person  won’t  suddenly  bring  up   birds  or  want  to  go  bird  watching.  The  effects  of  the  priming  are  only  seen  when  the  researcher   asks  them  to  name  a  bird.  Some  subliminal  message  effects  have  been  demonstrated  in  the  lab,  but   they  all  follow  a  common  theme:  you  need  to  strike  while  the  iron  is  hot.     • Of  a  group  of  thirsty  participants,  half  were  given  water  and  half  were  not.  Half  of  each  of   these  groups  was  exposed  to  neutral  subliminal  cues  (pirate,  flower)  and  half  were   presented  with  thirst-­‐related  subliminal  cues  (dry,  thirst).  There  was  little  difference  in  the   amount  drank  by  the  group  that  had  been  given  water,  but  the  group  that  had  been  denied   water  and  had  seen  the  thirst  subliminal  cues  drank  significantly  more  than  any  other   group.   • Participants  were  subliminally  shown  the  name  Lipton  Ice.  Later  they  claimed  that  they   would  choose  this  brand  over  others,  but  only  if  they  were  asked  when  they  were  thirsty   • Participants  were  subliminally  shown  the  logo  for  a  particular  sugar  pill.  They  then  had  to   do  an  intense  cognitive  task.  They  were  offered  sugar  pills  and  only  the  people  who  were   mentally  strained  were  more  likely  to  choose  the  primed  sugar  pill.       The  Audience   • Personality     • Expectations     Strategies  for  resisting  persuasion   Attitude  bolstering   -­‐Reassuring  yourself  of  the  facts  that  support  the  validity  of   your  belief   Counterarguing   -­‐Anticipate  what  the  opposition  will  argue  and  come  up   with  points  to  counter  these  facts   Social  validation   -­‐Remember  examples  of  other  people  having  the  same   belief   11   PSYC  241  –  Attitudes     Negative  affect   -­‐Getting  angry  when  someone  tries  to  change  your  belief   Assertions  of  confidence   -­‐Going  in  with  a  closed  mind  that  no  one  can  sway  your   beliefs   Selective  exposure   -­‐Ignoring  messages  that  aim  to  persuade  you  against  your   beliefs   Source  degradation   -­‐Look  for  faults  in  the  speaker       Need  for  cognition  (NC):  personality  variable  that  distinguishes  people  on  the  basis  of  how  much   they  enjoy  effortful  cognitive  activities.  People  who  are  high  in  their  need  for  cognition  like  ...   • Working  on  hard  problems   • Making  fine  distinctions   • Analyzing  situations     Information-­‐based  messages  are  best  for  people  with  high  NC  and  peripheral  cues  are  best  for   people  with  low  NC.       Self-­‐monitoring:  regulating  behaviours  from  one  situation  to  the  next  out  of  concern  of  public   self-­‐presentation.  People  who  are  low  in  self-­‐monitoring  tend  to  choose  stable  behaviours  that   match  their  beliefs.  Therefore,  high  self-­‐monitors  are  more  receptive  to  messages  that  convey  a   positive  increase  in  self-­‐image.     • Participants  were  asked  to  decide  between  two  perfumes,  one  of  which  was  in  a  fancy   bottle  and  the  other  in  a  less  attractive  bottle.  High  self-­‐monitors  preferred  the  perfume  in   the  fancy  bot
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