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Chapter 12: social psychology
How do attitudes guide behavior?
Attitudes: the evaluation of objects, events or ideas
We form attitudes through experiences-socialization- conditioning
-The mere exposure effect: the appeal of something to which we are constantly
exposed to . like images of self with right side of face showing. Connect to
- attitudes shaped by exposure and experience to things
- attitudes can be conditioned. Classical conditioning; associations of goodness to
things. Celebrity with product
- operant conditioning, rewarded with good grades, more positive attitude to
attitudes shaped by socialization. Societies effect as a whole generating attitudes
types of attitudes:
a) explicit attitude: attitudes that people report. politics
b) implicit attitudes: attities that people keep to themselves. Racist shit. Affect
feelings at unconscious level. Accessed quickly and without conscious control
Behaviors are consistent with strong attitudes
- attitudes formed through experience tend to influence behavior more
- attitude accessibility; easy with which an attitude is pulled up. easily pulled
up attitudes are resistant to change, and predictive of behavior.
- IAT is a very good predictor of actual implicit attitudes
Discrepancies lead to dissonance
- when people have two conflicting attitudes about what they should do, they
experience cognitive dissonance
- ex. Is choosing to smke when one knows its harmful
- people will have anciety in dissonance so people will try to remove the
- dissonance in abu ghraib between how to treat a per
- having positive opions of 2 thigns and having to pick 1 causes dissoanance
post decisional dissonance: after decision is made on one of the two hoices, a
person will highlight the positive things about the decisions and seek out all the
negative things in the thing they didn’t pick. People will brain damage not even
being able to remember the decision they made can remember it was good and
the other bad.
Attitude change: festinger and carlsmith experiment; 2 groups, one given 1
dollar for job, other given 20. Job was to lie. Justification for 20 people was high,
but for 1 dollar person there was no justification. When asked how pleasureable
it was to mislead the person, the one dollar person rated very highly, to give
them selves a purpose in doing what they as they didn’t get paid a lot. so people
used dissonance to convince. *attitude changed by behavior
Justfying effort: people who do stupid things in groups like hazing feel attached
to group after because of dissonance. They convince themselves that they put
themselves through something for the purpose of being a part of the group etc.
the resolve the dissonance by inflating the importance of what they did. Aronson
and mills experiment with two groups of women reading, one crude material
that was embarrassing, and the other better showed that the first group had
better feeling towards second thing the did as they resolved their dissonance
Attitudes can be changed through persuasion
-Persuasion: active and conscious effort to change attitudes through transmission of
- persuasion leads to attitude change in 2 different way
elaborate likelihood model;
1. central route; pay attention to arguments, use rational processes, leads to
strong attitudes resistant to change.
2. Peripheral route; minimal processing leads to implulsive action, purchasing
product because celebrity told us to do it.
- the source is the cue that influences the messages persuasiveness.
Bestsource is attractive and credible
- content is what the message say
- Receiver is the person that processes the message
How do we form our impressions of others?
- we automatically classify people into social groups
Nonverbal actions expression affects our impressions
-Nonversble behavior: facial expressions, xgestures and mannerisms that
- we usually see peoples faces first.
- Face communicates a lot
- People who wear sunglasses seem aloof or cold, even thouh theyre not
Thin slices of behavior: people make accurate judgements based ona few seconds of
observation. Important for impression formation
- gait is hwo people walk. Provides information about affective state. Heavy strides
make people look angry. One could tell sexual orientation.
We make attributions about others
Attributions: peoples causal explanations for why events or actions occur. Killers
use them to explain why they killed
- just world hypothesis; victims did something wrong.
- outcome of something has many factors
a) Personal attribution: I did well on test because I studied
b) Situational attribution: I did poorly because prof is a dick
- Depressed epopel go on personal attribution rants
- we tend to overestimate the personality traits(personal attributions) and
underestimate the power of the situation (situational) in explaining behavior
- The point above is called the fundamental attribution error
- People make self serving attributions that are consistent with pre-existing
beleifs and fail to take into account social circumstances.
- When people make attributions about themselves, they tend to focus on the
situation and not on their personal disposition (why I did bad on test, NOT
- Actor / observer discrepancy (fundamental attribution error+ point above).
- Basically when judging others, we focus on there own personality in
understanding what they did but when looking at ourselves we blame the
Stereotypes are based on automatic categorizations
Sterotypes: cognitive schemas that allow for easily, quick processing of information
- they guide attention toward information that confirms sterotypes away from
disconfirming evidence thus making the sterotype fuffil itself, illusory
- Subtyping is when we experience something tht doesn’t fit sterotype so we
Self fulfilling effects
- being subject to stereotypes makes people more likely to carry out
stereotype in a self fuffiling prophecy. This confirms the expectation that
others have of them selves.
- Expectations affect performance in the form of sterotypes as well. When
women were rememinded that women were bad at math the y performed
more poorly. Stereotype threat (explains why more men in sciences than