PSY320H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1,2,5,6: Tom Hanks, Externalization
ProfessorAshley Waggoner Denton
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PSY320 Textbook notes
Chapter 1: What Are Attitudes and How Are They Measured?
-Attitudes are very hard to measure, as they are not directly observable.
-Measures of attitudes can be classified as explicit or implicit. Explicit methods are those
that the participants are aware of (ex. asking them how they feel about a certain attitude
object) while implicit measures are those that the participant is not aware of (ex.
measuring their skin conductivity in response to exposure to an attitude object).
-Thunderstone invented this method of measuring attitudes. He developed a series of
statements that were related to a particular attitude object. He created an interval scale
that represented the degree to which the statement was related to the attitude object, and
then the participants were asked to see to what degree they agreed with these statements.
-Likert developed another scale which was much more simple. This was called the Likert
scale. In his approach, belief statements are written to indicate a varying degree of
favouring or unfavourable attitudes towards the attitude object.
-There has to be an equal amount of positive and negative statements so that participants
do not simply agree with every statement. This requires statements that have to be
reverse scored. This is when there are negative statements that require a reversed score
in order to find the average score of all statements.
-However, comparing this scale for different attitude objects is not as effective because
you are using different overall judgments of that attitude object. You need to find a fair
way to evaluate all of these different objects and a way to do so is by the semantic
differential approach. In this approach, all attitude objects are evaluated on a bipolar
adjective scale (ex. Good-------bad, like------dislike, etc.).
-some issues with explicit attitude measuring are that people may not be conveying their
attitudes correctly in order to be seen in a positive light, or simply just expressing what is
the social norm. They also not know what their attitude is about a certain object. Also,
simple differences in wording can change a person’s attitude about something.
-the evaluative priming technique: this theory is based on the idea that when you have
attitudes towards something, you will have stronger ties to memories and therefore will
be able to access that information faster. When you are presented with an attitude object,
they measure the time it takes for you to respond by pressing one of 2 buttons that
indicates positive or negative feelings towards it. The older it takes to react, the less
strongly you feel.
-another form of experiment involves showing a word after a priming image and ask the
participants to classify the word. The presentation of like objects should result in a slower
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response times than an object and a word that represent different things. Ex. A positive
word and a positive priming image should result in less time than a positive word and a
•Fazio did an experiment where he primed people with either a black or a white
face and then showed them a positive or negative series of words. For those
shown the black face, there was a faster response to negative words. This shows
the negative feelings that people tend to have towards Black people.
-The Implicit Association Test: This test is very similar to that of the evaluative priming
technique, except that it asks the participants to evaluate both the adjective word as well
as the priming image. They have 5 trials of tests that associate the keys to objects, then to
evaluate the adjectives. The third trial they are asked to associate the words to an object,
so if you see a male object or positive word to press one key and a female object or
negative word to press another key. In the fourth and fifth trials they change the
conditions to make it fair (instead of the s key as positive, it is negative now). The third
and fifth trials are the important ones, identifying the strength of associations between the
object and negative or positive words.
-This test can be done with any number of different objects.
•Tests were done on black and white faces. Particularly there was a experiment that
was conducted, showing participants liked black people (like will smith) and
disliked white people (like Charles Manson), and in another condition participants
were shown disliked black people (mike Tyson) and liked white people (tom
hanks). In this experiment, there was less prejudice against black people in the
first condition and more prejudice in the second.
-the IAT represents an implicit measure of attitude which may or may not be entirely
-another problem with the IAT test is that extrapersonal associations like the knowledge
of what others think about an attitude object can sometimes affect your results. A way
around this would be to make it more personal by using the word “I”.
-They have adapted the IAT test for children, also adapting it to make it a single category
tests (when usually it is a comparative test between two different objects). This will
create a more fair and relative understanding of a person’s attitude towards something.
-They have also adapted a means of completing this test on paper by creating a sheet that
has the objects in the center of a page with the categories on either side of the object.
They are asked to categorize these objects in either column as fast as they can. It seems
that the less mistakes that are made categorizing the objects, the more distant the
association it is for that individual. If they had a hard time categorizing women in a
positive column, they probably do not feel positively about women.
-Some other forms of implicit attitude measuring are measuring galvanic skin response,
pupillary dilation, and facial electromyographic (EMG) activity. The first to are not
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entirely reliable because they do not detect valence (whether the attitude is positive or
negative if there is a reactions identified by the participant). EMG can detect valence by
measuring patterns of facial expressions in response to an attitude object, but again it is
not the best form of attitude measurement because of a lack of depth.
-Explicit measures tend to me more consistent over time, although implicit measure are
useful in determining attitudes towards things that are sensitive or that have a large social
relevance (ex. Prejudice against races or genders) may invoke skewed results.
Chapter 2: The Three Witches of Attitudes
-The multicomponent model attitudes are summary evaluations of an object that have
cognitive, affective and behavioural components (CAB).
-The cognitive component relates to your thoughts, beliefs, and attributes that are
associated with the object. The affective component of attitudes relates to how that object
makes you feel. Finally, the behavioural component has to do with your experiences and
past behaivours in relation to that object.
-The different components of CAB can conflict with each other making it hard to predict
future behaviours from the multicomponent model.
-You can use the semantic differential approach to analyze the multicomponent model.
You can either develop a generic semantic differential dimension to assess the cognition
and affective components of this model, or come up with a single test that would evaluate
both the cognitive and affective components.
•Using a generic method, you could come up with 2 separate evaluations where
you use dimensions that evaluate the cognitive components (gauging if they are
useful—useless, wise—foolish, valuable—worthless, etc.). Then you can do a
separate test for emotional components of your evaluations (ex. happy—sad, calm
—tense, excited—bored, relaxed—angry, etc.)
•In the evaluation that covers both cognitive and affective in the same test, you can
have participants reply to word stems such as “this object makes me feel…” or
“this object is…”.
-Using the second method, you can compare different objects using the same standard
test. Using the semantic differential approach, you can easily administer them and gather
information to evaluate attitudes. However, using this method, behaviours are hard to
- A second way to evaluate the CAB model would be to use open ended questions. This
method gives experimenters a chance to evaluate behavioural components of CAB, and
also lets the participants fell more free about answering their questions. However,
participants may not know how to convey their thoughts, feelings and past experiences in
words, and it also requires more time for the experimenter and the participant to
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