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PSYC 2310 (255)
Saba Safdar (145)
Chapter 6

Social Psychology: Chapter 6

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2310
Saba Safdar

attitudes: positive and negative evaluations of people, ideas, objects, and events -include 3 components: affect, cognition, behaviour -we assume that our attitudes determine our behaviour, but often changes in our behaviour can lead to changes in our attitudes How do we form attitudes? information: -e.g. children look up to parents and teachers as sources of info; can lead them to adopt their parents' and teachers' attitudes -brain scans show that negative information has a stronger influence than positive information classical conditioning: a type of learning in which a neutral stimulus is repeatedly paired with a stimulus that elicits a specific response, and eventually the neutral stimulus elicits that response on its own -e.g. someone wears the same perfume as your girlfriend, you develop a positive attitude towards them mere exposure effect: the phenomenon by which the greater the exposure we have to a given stimulus, the more we like it -e.g. hearing a song on the radio repeatedly until you find it catchy and learn to like it subliminal persuasion: a type of persuasion that occurs when stimuli are presented at a very rapid and unconscious level -one study flashed a positive image to a group of people (fast enough that they weren't aware of it) and then showed them images of a woman and they reported more positive attitudes about the woman; a second group was flashed a negative image and then shown the same pictures of the woman ad reported more negative attitudes about her -subliminal processing can strengthen already held beliefs -one study flashed words associated with either Democrats or Republicans to a group of people; those who were flashed with words connected to the group they already associated with (e.g. a Democrat flashed with names of Democratic leaders) showed higher levels of agreement of democrat policy afterwards than those who were flashed with words neutral or opposing to their political groups operant conditioning: a type of learning in which behaviour that is rewarded increases whereas behaviour that is rewarded is punished decreases -e.g. a boy who asks for a doll and is ridiculed by his parent will form a negative attitude towards dolls -can help in dating relationships; couples who reward each other often by doing small favours or giving compliments are more likely to continue dating than couples who don't do this often observational learning/modeling: a type of learning in which people's attitudes and behaviour are influenced by watching other people's attitudes and behaviour -modeling is most effective when it is done by someone similar to yourself -Bandura showed this when he presented a child playing with a dog to dog-phobic children; the dog phobic children got over thier fear and were able to play with the dog; this was even more effective when the scared children were shown video clips of children interacting with dogs -most effective when the model is someone we know, but can also work with people we don't know such as celebrities -modeling can lead to either positive or negative consequences e.g. movies show smoking as glamourous, kids develop positive attitudes towards smoking even though it is unhealthy -some studies show that genes can determine attitudes; it is thoguht that traits such as sensation seeking and cognitive reasoning are inherited leading to certain behaviours, influencing our attitudes -e.g. someone inherits a higher need for adrenaline and participates in car-racing, leading to a more positive attitude towards dangerous sports How much do attitudes matter and what are the factors that affect the attitude- behaviour link? -attitude is not necessarily strongly linked to behaviour -LePiere's study brought a Chinese couple around the US to various restaurants and hotels to observe the service they received, then went back and asked the owners if they would serve Chinese people; most of them were prejudiced and said they wouldn't serve the Chinese, but the couple in the study received good service in a majority of the establishments Strength: -stronger attitudes are more likely to predict behaviour -attitudes are strong if they are about topics that are important to us -e.g. parents of kids in school are more likely to advocate better school and engage in political behaviour to improve schools than those without kids in schools -attitudes are strong if they are based on our own direct experience -e.g. if you have been in a situation where someone has cheated from you on an exam you are more likely to report other incidents of cheating because you have experienced it Accessibility: -people who are well informed about a topic having a greater amount of attitudes, the attitudes that come to their mind first when encountering a topic will be the ones they most likely act on -people who encounter a topic without a lot of previous knowledge about it may act before they have time to assess their attitude, explaining a difference between their attitudes and behaviour -situations that increase self-awareness can increase accessibility of one's attitude and increase the likelihood their behaviour will be in line with it -e.g. participants who are given time to think about their past behaviours before expressing their attitude are more likely to show behaviour that matches that attitude later on -situations that decrease self-awareness can lead to behaviour that is not in line with previous attitudes -e.g. those who would normally oppose unsafe sex might participate in it after drinking Specificity: -attitudes toward a specific behaviour show a stronger link to behaviour than attitudes that are more general -e.g. when asked "how do you feel about using condoms?", the attitude-behaviour link is weak compared to being asked "how do you feel about using condoms every time you have sex in the next month when you are with a new partner?" Social Norms: -if a social norm contradicts our attitude, we are more likely to behave according to the norm -e.g. you don't like smoking but you still do it with your friends who all smoke theory of planned behaviour: a theory that describes people's behaviour as caused by their intentions which are formed by their attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control -good predictor of behaviour that is easy to control such as taking vitamins -bad predictor of spontaneous behaviour such as smoking a cigarette at a party prototype/willingness model: a model that describes the role of prototypes, or social images of what people who engage in the behaviour are like, in influencing their willingness to engage in the behaviour in a given situation -willingness plays a role in whether someone engages in a certain behaviour -willingness is determined by one's attitudes, subjective norms, prior experience, and prototypes -prototypes/social images are how one sees someone how engages in a behaviour e.g. drunk drivers are careless and stupid vs. daring and rebellious -good predictor of various health-risk behaviours -study shows that social images teenagers reported about peers who drink pre
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