PSY320H1 Chapter 3: PSY320 Textbook Notes Part 2.docx
ProfessorAshley Waggoner Denton
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PSY320 Textbook Notes Part 2
Chapter 3: The Influence of Attitudes on Information Processing and Behavior
-information processing: it is a term that refers to how our mind deals with the
information we encounter in our social world. It involves the impact that our attitudes
have on seeking out information, encoding and interpreting information, and
-Festinger believed that before we make a decision, we seek information that is used to
keep us informed, however after we reach a decision we seek out information that
prevents the formation of cognitive dissonance, therefore seeking out information that
confirms out current attitudes and beliefs.
-This was confirmed with the concept of selective attention. Studies confirming this
showed that individuals paid more attention to information in support of their attitudes,
though the magnitude of this effect depends on several factors. Some of the factors
include: •Whether the attitude is unipolar:
oWhen there is a simple range of positive and negative, people tend
to seek out information that affirms out position. However, it is not
that we do not pay attention to attitudes that are opposite to ours.
Studies show that we pay attention to extreme information about
our attitudes. Participants were more likely to remember extreme
information when presented with it and asked about it the next day.
•Whether the attitude is bipolar:
oWhen there are 2 dimensions to our attitudes, and when we feel
highly ambivalent about a topic, we tend to examine more relevant
information more carefully. However, when we have made a
decision, to reduce ambivalence we pay less attention to the
content of a message when it challenges the attitudes that we hold.
oIndividuals who considered the topic to be important were more
likely to seek out information about that topic.
oIn an experiment, they showed participants a series of images, and
were asked to remember all of them as best as they could. They
seemed to remember those that were highly accessible to them.
-attitudes influence our encoding and interpretation of information. An experiment was
conducted between rival university students about a football game. They were asked to
record how many penalties each team made. Each team concluded that the other made
-Another experiment was conducted on Middle Eastern politics between Israel and
Palestine. Each group were asked to say whether they felt that the story was biased and
against which side. The people from Israel felt that it was biased towards the Palestines,
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