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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Attitudes and Attitude Change

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PSYC 260
Janelle Jones

PSYC 260 – Fall 2012 Book Notes: Chapter 6 – Attitudes and Attitude Change Even intelligent, rational people can be swayed by appeals to their hopes, fears, and desires. Attitude – an evaluation of a person, object, or idea - Consist of a positive or negative reaction toward someone or something - Made up of three components o An affective component – consisting of emotional reactions toward the attitude object o A cognitive component – consisting of thoughts and beliefs about the attitude object o A behavioral component – consisting of actions or observable behavior toward the attitude object - People’s attitudes are poor predictors of their behavior Affectively Based Attitude – based primarily on people’s emotions and feelings about the attitude object rather than an objective appraisal of pros and cons - i.e. falling in love with someone who has a history of being untrustworthy - come from people’s values, such as their religious and moral beliefs - do not result from a rational examination of the issues - not governed by logic (e.g. persuasive arguments about the issues seldom change an affectively based attitude) - often linked to people’s values, so trying to change them challenges those values Cognitively Based Attitude – based primarily on a person’s beliefs about the properties of an attitude object - classify the pros and cons of an object so we can quickly tell whether it is worth our while to have anything to do with it Behaviorally Based Attitude – based primarily on observations of how one behaves toward an attitude object - under certain circumstances people don’t know how they feel until they see how they behave (self- perception theory) Explicit Attitudes – attitudes that we consciously endorse and can easily report Implicit Attitudes – attitudes that are involuntary, uncontrollable, and at times unconscious The Theory of Planned Behavior – best predictors of planned behavior are… - Attitudes toward the specific behavior – people’s specific attitude toward the behavior, not their general attitude o Specificity i.e. birth control vs. birth control pill use within the next two year - Subjective norms – people’s beliefs about how other people they care about will view the behavior in question - Perceived behavioral control – the ease with which people believe they can perform the behavior The Theory of Planned Behavior: Implications for Safer Sex - Subjective norms: 65% of high school students believed that their sexually active friends use condoms o Condom use could depend on the importance of condom use in one’s social group o Students less likely to use condoms on “break loose vacations” i.e. spring break, o Belief about how our sexual partner feels about condom use - Perceived Behavioral Control: if people think it is difficult performing a behavior, they will not form strong intentions to do so o Those who were embarrassed about buying condoms bought them less often than those who were not embarrassed - Behavioral Intentions o Factors that affect people’s intentions to use condoms: women’s moods, those with low- self-esteem, alcohol intoxication Attitude Change Persuasive Communication – communication advocating a particular side of an issue i.e. ads Yale Attitude Change Approach – the study of conditions under which people are most likely to change their attitudes in responses to persuasive messages - Who: source of the communication o Credible speakers or experts persuade people more than non-experts o Attractive speakers (whether because of physical or personality attributes) persuade people more than unattractive speakers - Says what: the communication itself o People are more persuaded by messages that do not seem to be designed to influence them o Two-sided messages work better if you are sure to refute the arguments on the other side o Primacy effect: if the speeches are given back to back and there will be a delay before people have to make up their minds, it is better to go first o Recency Effect: if there is a delay between the speeches and people will make up their minds right after hearing the second one, it is better to go second, wherein people remember the second speech better than the first one - To whom: nature of the audience i.e. which kinds of appeals work with hostile versus friendly audiences o An audience that is distracted during the persuasive communication will often be persuaded more than one that is not o People low in intelligence tend to be more influenceable o People with moderate self-esteem tend to be more influenceable than people with low or high self-esteem o People are particularly susceptible to attitude change during the impressionable ages of 18- 25 Heuristic-Systematic Model of Elaboration Likelihood Model Similarities Persuasion Systematic processing – people Cen
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