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PSYC 2310 (266)
Saba Safdar (156)
Chapter 6

Chapter 6 (week 3).docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2310
Professor
Saba Safdar
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 6: Attitude Formation and Change – WEEK 3 HOW DO WE FORM ATTITUDES? - researchers today regard attitude as an abstract construct that cannot be viewed but can be inferred from people’s behaviour and their self-report - one of the most common ways in which people form attitudes is through the information they received from their social environment - negative information seems to have a stronger influence o one of the explanations for the negativity bias is that negative information should be more important to our survival than positive information – we should respond more quickly to painful stimuli than pleasant ones Classical Conditioning - attitudes that can be formed based on a simple association between an object or person and a pleasant or unpleasant even. This is called classical conditioning. o a type of learning in which a neutral stimulus is repeated paired with a stimulus that elicits a specific response, and eventually the neutral stimulus elicits that response on its own - one way attitudes can be conditioned is through mere exposure o the phenomenon by which the greater the exposure that we have to a given stimulus, the more we like it - in subliminal persuasion, the stimulus that influences the person’s attitude is presented to rapidly that it is below the person’s level of conscious awareness. o a type of persuasion that occurs when stimuli are presented at a very rapid and unconscious level Operant Conditioning - most of us have experience with conforming to the attitudes of our peers – this type of conditioning is called operant conditioning o a type of learning in which behaviour that is rewarded increases whereas behaviour punished decreases - parents initially have the power to form their children’s attitudes through operant conditioning, which is one reason why most children express attitudes that are similar to those of their parents - by adolescence, peers often reward and punish particular attitudes – which is one of the factors that lead to high levels of conformity in this age group Observational Learning/Modelling - a type of learning in which people’s attitudes and behaviour are influenced by watching other people’s attitudes and behaviours - by observing how others feel, children may learn that they should have a negative attitude toward broccoli or a positive attitude toward candy - in line with this view, children who are raised by an overweight mother have more positive attitudes toward overweight people, whereas those who are raised by a thin mother have more positive attitudes towards thin people Chapter 6: Attitude Formation and Change – WEEK 3 - similarly, researchers at UoG had found that parents who wear a seatbelt, wear a helmet, wear sunscreen, etc. heavily influence their children HOW MUCH DO ATTITUDES MATTER? - social psychologists are most interest in attitude formation as a way of predicting what people will do in the future – and as you might guess, our attitudes are not always a very good predictor of our behaviour WHEN DO ATTITUDES PREDICT BEHAVIOUR? - Richard LaPierre – Stanford U – travelled around the US with a young Chinese couple in the 1930s - Widespread prejudice against Chinese people was quite common - All accepted the Chinese couple in their facilities (restaurants, etc.) - In questionnaire after the fact months later, 91% said they would not accept such guests - STRENGTH o Attitudes vary in their strength, and strong attitudes are more likely to predict behaviour than weak ones  Importance:  Attitudes on topics that are highly important to us are more predictive of our behaviour  Direct Experience:  Attitudes that are formed on the basis of direct experience are likely to be stronger and therefore better predictors of behaviour - ACCESSIBILITY o The ease or accessibility with which one’s attitude comes to mind can also influence the attitude-behaviour link o People who are well informed about a topic are likely to have a greater attitude-behaviour consistency than those who are poorly informed, because having a lot of information about a topic increases the accessibility of attitudes about this topic. o Situational factors can also influence accessibility, and in turn the attitude-behaviour link. o Situational factors that increase self0awareness can lead people to engage in behaviour that is in line with their attitudes, perhaps in part because factors that increase elf-awareness may also increase the accessibility of one’s attitude - SOCIAL NORMS o The implicit and explicit rules that a specific group has for its members on values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours o These rules influence whether our attitudes predict our behaviour, in part because our behaviour if often heavily influenced by others in a group  Theory of Planned Behaviour Chapter 6: Attitude Formation and Change – WEEK 3  A theory that describes people’s behaviour caused by their attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control  Intentions, in turn, are influenced by a combination of attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behaviour control  Prototype/Willingness Model  A model that describes the role of prototypes in influencing a person’s willingness to engage in the behaviour in a given situation  The prototype/willingness model is a good predictor of various health-risk behaviours, including smoking, exercising and engaging in unprotected sex. THE TRANS-THEORETICAL MODEL OF BEHAVIOUR CHANGE (TTM) - a model that views a change in behaviour as a progression through a series of stages, including pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance - stages: o stage 1: pre-contemplation – people are not intending to change behaviour in near future o stage 2: contemplation – people are intending or getting ready to change behaviour in the near future o stage 3: preparation – people are ready to take action in the ne
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