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Chapter 6

PSY220 Chapter 6.docx

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Jennifer Fortune

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PSY220 Chapter 6: Attitudes and Social Behaviour Attitude: individuals evaluation of a target (always towards a target) Attitudes separated into three elements: o Affect: how the object makes the person feel o Cognition: persons beliefs about the object o Past Behaviour: persons previous actions towards the object Targets that arouse negative feelings and emotions are more likely to generate unfavourable attitudes than targets that arouse positive feelings and emotions. Past behaviours influence current attitudes, and current attitudes influence future behaviour Ambivalent attitudes: attitudes containing conflicting positive and negative elements (Eg. he is nice but he can be selfish) o Can lead to different behaviour over time if the positive or negative becomes dominant o Low in ambivalence will not produce variable responses Explicit attitude: conscious and controlled Implicit attitude: non-conscious and automatic Object appraisal function of attitudes: when attitudes provide evaluations of objects, people, and issues to see if the targets to helpful or hurtful. Value-expressive function: allow people to convey an identity that connects them to some groups and makes them distinct from other groups o Adopting attitudes to express their underlying values o Attitudes serve as the symbolic function for the holder o Eg. Religious people may not agree with gay marriage to display their support for their faith Shavitt experiment on the above functions: o Compare coffee and perfume Attitudes toward coffee usually object-appraisal (like or dislike) Attitudes towards perfume usually value-expressive function because it projects a desired image o Study 1: Ps write down thoughts about attitude towards particular targets and explain why they felt that way. When Ps describe oject- appraisal attitude, they mention + or things about the object. When Ps describe value-expressive functions, they mention values, identity. o Study 2: test implications of attitude functions for the effectiveness of persuasive messages Made ad focused on the rewards from coffee (fresh, aromatic) or on the image from coffee (rare, discriminating taste). Did similar ad for perfume Coffee ads focused on rewards generated more interest than coffee ads that focused on image. Vice versa for perfume Ads were more effective when consistent with function Object appraisal function: rewards Value-expressive function: image Self-evaluations done to measure explicit attitudes Three common types: o Likert-type scales: statement expresses a clear pro or con position on an issue. Respondant has to indicate their agreement with each statement by circle disagree strongly, disagree, undecided, agree or agree strongly. o Semantic Differential Scale: target of the attitude is written at top of page and several rating scales are presented below (Eg. Health care System with good-bad, favourable-unfavourable, etc below) o Opinion Surveys: self-report designed to asses public opinion on an issue. This is good for large population samples. Usually yes/no answers to questions. Not detailed enough for psychological research Problems with self-evaluations: o Assumes that people know what their attitudes are and that they will report those attitudes honestly. o Cannot measure implicit attitude o Ps may be influenced by socially desirable answers (more moral or ethnical). Cannot measure the ambivalence of an individuals attitude Non-verbal Measures of Attitudes do not rely on Ps ability to report attitude. This can help to measure implicit but it is still difficult to measure o Behavioural Measures: use Ps behaviour to infer their attitude towards an object. Unobstrusive: Ps does not realize their attitude is assessed Hazlewood and Olson experiment: Ps told information (positive or negative) about an individual. When Ps went into the waiting room with the individual after receiving negative information, Ps were found to sit farther away and smiled less. o Physiological Measures: Exposure to negative objects increases arousal (heart rate and blood pressure) BUT difficult to differentiate arousal from positive and negative use a Facial Electromyography to measure muscle movements in the face that respond to positive and negative things. Difficult to measure topics that arent as strong Ps can change their muscle movement accordingly. o Implicit Measures: Measure reaction times through Implicit Association Test Complete two sorting tasks for positive and negatives Considered positive implicit attitude when Ps complete targets associated with good things more quickly than targets associated with bad things. Considered negative implicit attitude when vice versa. Recall attitudes three elements: affect, cognition and past behaviour (1) Affective sources of attitudes: Evaluative Condition: an object that has no causal role in the outcome nevertheless comes to evoke positive or negative feelings simply by its association with the affect-arousing event Eg. happy feelings when listening to a song that was playing when you first met your romantic partner Eg. Pavlovs Dog: bell cause dog to salivate because it reminds them of food Cacioppo, Marshall-Goodell, et al., experiment: Ps read six letter words (reason, finger) and nonwords (petory, triwen). Some Ps receive shock for all real words and not the nonwords, or the vice versa. Ps then rated how pleasant each word was. In both cases, the words that shocked the Ps was rated more unpleasant. Mere Exposure Effect: o Exposure to an object generally leads to a more favourable attit
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