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Chapter 7

PSYC 260 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Feeling, Norm (Social), Availability Heuristic

Course Code
PSYC 260
Lisa Droogendyk

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Chapter 6: Attitudes
What is an attitude?
An evaluation (of a person, object or idea)
We evaluate almost everything we encounter
Positive or negative reactions
3 components of an attitude:
1. Affect
Emotional part of evaluation
Gut feeling- automatic
2. Cognitive
Rational; thoughts and beliefs about the object
3. Behavior
How you act in relation to the object
Reflects or is consistent with cognitive and affect aspects
Affectively Based: mainly based on gut reaction and feelings
eg. Liking someone with a bad reputation
Come from people’s values (like religion)
Positive attitudes towards groups are often affect based
Social issues
Cognitively based: based on a rational approach
When attitudes are negative toward groups, often cognitively based
Behaviorally based: only know what your attitude is from observing your own behavior
Explicit vs. Implicit Attitudes
Attitudes can exist at two levels
Explicit attitude: attitudes we consciously are aware of and can report
Rooted in recent experiences
Implicit attitudes: unconscious attitudes
Biases towards members of other groups (racial bias)
Childhood experiences
Theory of Planned Behavior: A theory that the best predictors of a person’s planned, deliberate
behaviors are the person’s intention, which is determined by their attitudes towards specific attitudes,
subject norms and perceived behavioral control.
Personal attitudes are a stronger predictor for behavior in individualistic countries
Social norms stronger predictor in collectivist cultures
Specific Attitudes

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Only specific attitudes toward behavior in question can be expected to predict that behavior
The more specific the question was about the behavior, the better the reported attitudes predicted
their behavior
Don’t ask general questions
Subjective Norms
Beliefs about how the people they care about will view their behavior in question
How often your friends use condoms, or what we think our partner thinks of using condoms
Perceived Behavioral Control
The ease with which people believe they can perform the behavior
Embarrassed about buying condoms, awkward bringing up the topic
What factors might influence people’s intentions?
Mood- engage in sexual intercourse without a condom if in a bad mood
Alcohol intoxication
Persuasive Communication: Communication that advocates a particular side to an issue.
Yale Attitude Change Approach: The study of the conditions under which people are most likely
to change their attitudes in response to persuasive messages. Research focused on the source of the
communication, the nature of the communication and the nature of the audience.
The Source: credible speakers, attractive speakers
The Nature of Communication: more persuaded by messages that don’t seem designed to
influence, one sided communication, best to go first
The Nature of the Audience: distracted audience, low intelligence, 18-25
Heuristic-Systematic Model to Persuasion: Theory in which there are two ways in which
persuasive communications can cause attitude change. People either process the merits of the arguments
(systematic processing) or are swayed by factors that are peripheral to the message itself (like
“experts always right”)(heuristic processing).
Elaboration Likelihood Model: Theory in which persuasive communications can cause attitude
change: the central route occurs when people are motivated and have the ability to pay attention to the

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arguments, the peripheral route occurs when people do not pay attention to the arguments but are
swayed by surface characteristics.
Systemic Processing: When people elaborate on what they hear, carefully think and process the
communication. Uses Central route.
Motivated and have ability to listen
Truly interested in the topic
More likely to maintain attitude over time
.Heuristic Processing: If persuaded message is long or the communicator is an expert or
attractive. Uses Peripheral route.
Used when people have positive attitude toward a brand
Fear arousing Communication: A persuasive message that attempts to change people’s
behaviors by arousing their fears.
Works if moderate amount of fear is created and people believe listening to the message will get rid
of this fear
Fear + recommendations to follow
Fail if so strong that they are overwhelming- people will become defensive, deny the importance of
the threat and are unable to think rationally about the issue
Use of humor results in greater attitude change
Advertisements and People’s Attitudes
Cognitively based attitudes use rational arguments
Affectively based  use emotion
oFocus on value and social identity
Which route should a persuader appeal to?
Psychological Characteristics of audience?
Can they easily pay attention? (Peripheral if no, central if yes)
Are the facts too complicated for the audience?
How self-relevant is the topic?
Self relevant: use central route
Not self relevant: use peripheral
What attitude type are you appealing to or trying to create?
Affectively based: peripheral
Cognitively based: central route
What is the temporal nature of the attitude change you desire? Long lasting, or in the moment?
Central route: longer based attitude change
Peripheral route: short term attitude change
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