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Psychology 46-333 attitude formation notes

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Department
Psychology
Course
46-333
Professor
Brown
Semester
Summer

Description
Social
Psychology
 
 Attitude
Formation
 • attitudes
are
defined
as
enduring
systems
of
beliefs
that
can
be
examined
on
three
different
levels:

 – cognitive
(how
we
think
or
reason
through
an
attitude)
 – emotional
(how
we
feel
regarding
an
attitude)
 – behavioral
(how
we
act
on
an
attitude)
 
 Origins
of
Attitudes
 • research
has
indicated
there
are
several
ways
in
which
we
acquire
attitudes
 • one
of
our
earliest
agents
of
attitude
formation
are
our
parents,
later
followed
by
our
peers
and
 the
media
 • four
major
sources
of
attitude
formation
are:
 – classical
conditioning:
associating
behaviors
and
attitudes
as
"good"
or
"bad"
(i.e.
it's
good
to
 tell
the
truth,
it's
bad
to
steal)

 – operant
conditioning:
being
rewarded
or
punished
for
behavior
and
attitudes
(i.e.
being
 praised
for
telling
the
truth
or
being
punished
for
stealing
something)

 – cognitive
appraisals:
weighing
logical
arguments
in
determining
your
attitude

 – observational
learning:
learning
attitudes
through
peer
behavior
and
the
media
 
 Attitudes
and
Persuasion
 • mere
exposure
effect­­the
more
someone
is
exposed
to
an
attitude,
the
more
that
person
will
like
it
 (e.g.
buying
the
name
brand
item
because
you’ve
seen
lots
of
commercials
for
it)
 • central
route
persuasion‐‐deeply
processing
a
message’s
content
(e.g.
why
do
you
like
this
 particular
product)
 • peripheral
route
persuasion‐‐deals
with
other
aspects
rather
than
the
content
(e.g.
liking
the
 spokesperson
for
a
product)
 
 Persuasion
 • persuasion
is
an
attempt
to
change
a
person's
attitudes
 • research
has
indicated
there
are
several
key
components
that
make
messages
more
persuasive,
 the
persuasive
communicator
and
the
persuaded
audience.
 
 Persuasive
Message
 • the
persuasive
message
has
several
variables:
 – familiarity:
messages
are
more
persuasive
if
we
are
familiar
with
the
product
or
information

 – repetition:
the
more
a
message
is
repeated
(especially
if
it
is
complex),
the
more
persuasive
it
 is

 – two­sided
arguments:
both
sides
to
an
argument
are
presented

 – emotional
appeals:
commercials,
especially,
are
more
persuasive
if
they
appeal
to
the
emotions

 – arguments
that
run
counter
to
the
communicator's
interests:
messages
that
seem
to
go
against
 the
interests
of
the
person
speaking
tend
to
be
more
persuasive
 
 Persuasive
Communicator
 • the
persuasive
communicators
tends
to:
 – show
expertise

 – be
trustworthy

 – be
attractive

 – be
similar
to
the
audience

 – come
from
health
professions

 • research
has
indicated
that
when
food
and
music
are
added
to
messages,
their
persuasiveness
 increases.
 
 
 
 Persuaded
Audience
 • the
persuaded
audience
tends
to
have
two
characteristics:
 – low
self‐esteem:
low
sense
of
self‐worth

 – high
social
anxiety:
a
high
need
to
fit
into
society

 
 Compliance
Strategies
 • foot­in­the­door
effect‐‐after
getting
someone
to
agree
to
a
small
request
you
follow
up
with
a
 larger
request
 • foot­in­the­face
effect‐‐after
having
someone
deny
a
large
request,
you
follow
up
with
a
smaller
 request
 • norms
of
reciprocity‐‐after
doing
something
nice
for
someone,
you
expect
them
to
reciprocate
 
 Leon
Festinger:
Cognitive
Dissonance
 • the
theory
of
cognitive
dissonance
is
proposed
by
Leon
Festinger
 • Festinger
states
that
when
we
have
two
contradictory
beliefs
we
feel
anxiety
 • for
example,
we
know
how
to
fix
our
car
but
we
bring
it
to
a
mechanic
to
fix‐‐we
will
attempt
to
 reduce
our
anxiety,
called
dissonance
reduction,
by
coming
up
with
a
reason
for
our
actions
 • we
might
justify
the
mechanic
working
on
our
car
because
we
"don't
have
the
proper
tools"
or
 "don't
have
the
time
to
fix
it"
 
 • cognitive
dissonance
also
occurs
when
our
thoughts
and
behaviors
are
inconsistent
 – a
person
knows
smoking
cigarettes
is
bad
for
his
health
but
smokes
them
anyway;
he
may
 rationalize
this
by
saying
"he's
not
smoking
that
much"
or
"evidence
is
contradictory
on
the
 effects
of
smoking
on
health"
 
 • cognitive
dissonance
also
operates
on
the
idea
that
"you
get
what
you
pay
for"

 – the
thinking
that
something
that
costs
more
must
be
of
higher
quality
explains
this
 – the
idea
behind
this
is
the
more
you
must
give
up
for
something
(money)
the
more
valuable
it
 must
be
(higher
quality)
 • patrons
at
a
movie
matinee
will
more
likely
rate
the
movie
as
moderately
entertaining
whereas
 patrons
at
an
evening
performance
will
rate
it
significantly
higher
or
lower
because
they've
paid
 more
for
the
movie
 
 Balance
Theory
 • balance
theory
is
also
used
to
explain
our
attitudes
and
anxiety
related
to
people
we
know.
There
 are
three
possible
states
in
balance
theory:
 – balance:
when
someone
we
like
holds
the
same
attitudes
as
we
do

 – imbalance:
when
someone
we
like
holds
a
contradictory
attitude
to
ours

 – nonbalance:
when
someone
we
don't
like
holds
a
contradictory
attitude
to
ours

 
 In­Group/Out­Group
Dynamics
 • In­group
and
out­group
dynamics
are
tied
to
discrimination
 • People
tend
to
see
members
of
their
own
group
(in­group)
as
more
diverse
than
members
of
other
 groups
(out­group)
 • Out­group
homogeneity—out­group
members
are
seen
as
essentially
all
the
same
 • In­group
bias—people
prefer
members
of
their
own
group;
they
see
themselves
as
basically
good
 people
 
 Interpersonal
Attraction
 • studies
conducted
among
college
students
have
indicated
that
the
number
one
thing
males
look
 for
in
a
long‐term
interpersonal
relationship
is
looks
 • the
number
one
thing
females
look
for
is
personality
 • proximity,
or
the
physical
closeness
of
one
person
to
another,
is
the
most
important
characteristic,
 according
to
research
 
 Other
Factors
in
Attraction
 • there
are
several
other
factors
involved
in
interpersonal
attraction:
 – attitudinal
similarity:
research
suggests
we
are
more
attracted
to
people
who
share
the
same
 attitudes
as
we
do

 – the
"Romeo
and
Juliet"
effect:
early
in
a
relationship,
parental
disapproval
can
actually
intensify
 feelings
of
interpersonal
attraction

 – propinquity:
attraction
is
likely
to
develop
between
people
in
close
proximity
because
they
will
 see
more
of
the
other
person's
inner
qualities

 – playing
hard
to
get:
playing
hard
to
get
is
actually
seen
as
an
undesirable
attitude;
devotional
 behavior,
or
channeling
attention
to
only
one
person,
is
seen
as
most
desirable
 
 Body
Language
 • body
language
has
been
studied
with
varying
results
 • most
research
indicates
that
the
eyes
can
express
when
someone
is
paying
attention
or
lying
 • crossed
arms
and
legs
can
be
signs
of
defensiveness
 • rapporting
is
the
unconscious
act
of
mirroring
the
body
posture
of
someone
you're
talking
to;
if
 you
cross
your
arms,
the
person
talking
to
you
may
do
the
same
thing
 
 Personal
Space
 • personal
space
is
the
imaginary
area
we
keep
around
ourselves
to
be
comfortable
in
varying
social
 situations
 • there
are
four
levels
to
personal
space:
 – intimate
distance:
contact
to
18
inches,
the
space
we
reserve
for
intimacies
and
loved
ones

 – personal
distance:
18
inches
to
4
feet,
the
space
we
have
around
us
in
most
social
settings
at
 school
(e.g.
the
distance
between
a
student
and
the
student
sitting
next
to
them)

 – social
distance:
4
to
7
feet,
the
space
we
have
around
us
when
we're
out
in
public
places,
like
 the
mall

 – public
distance:
7
feet
and
greater,
the
space
between
us
and
performers
at
public
events
(e.g.
 concerts,
lectures)

 • research
had
indicated
there
are
both
cultural
and
gender
differences
in
the
parameters
of
 personal
space
 
 Attribution
Theory
 • dispositional
(or
person)
attribution‐‐attributing
actions
to
personal
factors
 • situational
attribution‐‐attributing
actions
to
external
or
environmental
factors
 • stable
attribution‐‐conditions
that
are
always
present
 • unstable
attribution‐‐conditions
that
are
not
stable
and
may
be
occasional
or
intermittent
 • these
may
be
combined:
 – situation­stable‐‐a
class
is
considered
hard
 – person­unstable‐‐a
classmate
may
have
gotten
a
good
grade
on
an
exam
because
they
studied
 extra
hard
for
it
 
 • attribution
theory
examines
how
we
attribute
the
source
of
our
actions
 – defensive
attribution
is
the
tendency
to
attribute
our
successes
to
our
own
efforts
 (dispositional)
and
our
failures
to
external
factors
(situational)
 – fundamental
attribution
error
is
the
tendency
of
people
to
overemphasize
personal
causes
for
 other
people’s
behavior
(dispositional)
and
underemphasize
personal
causes
for
their
own
 behavior
(dispositional)
 – fundamental
attribution
error
is
less
likely
to
occur
in
collectivist
cultures
than
in
individualist
 cultures
 
 Additional
Factors
in
Attribution
Theory
 • false­consensus
effect­­the
tendency
to
overestimate
the
number
of
people
who
agree
with
you
 • self­serving
bias‐‐the
tendency
to
take
more
credit
for
good
results
than
bad
results
 • just­world
bias‐‐the
tendency
to
believe
that
good
things
happen
to
good
people
and
bad
things
 happen
to
bad
people
 – the
assumption
is
that
bad
things
happening
to
people
are
deserved
because
they
must
be
bad
 people
 
 Harold
Kelley
 • believes
people
make
attributions
based
on
three
kinds
of
information
 • consistency‐‐how
an
individual
acts
in
the
same
situation
over
time
 – important
in
determining
whether
to
make
a
stable
or
unstable
attribution
 • distinctiveness‐‐how
the
situation
the
individual
is
placed
in
is
different
from
more
common
 situations
 • consensus‐‐how
similar
others
would
respond
in
the
same
situation
 – important
in
determining
whether
to
make
a
dispositional
or
situational
attribution
 
 Attribution
and
Prejudice
 • based
on
attribution
theory,
individuals
may
develop
preconceived
ideas
about
someone
else
 • this
may
affect
the
way
they
view
or
act
toward
the
other
person
 • these
expectations
may
cause
individuals
to
change
the
way
they
act
 • the
self­fulfilling
prophesy
is
this
change
in
behavior
due
to
the
influence
of
how
others
view
the
 individual
 
 Stereotypes
 • stereotypes
are
defined
as
a
collection
of
ideas
someone
has
about
another
individual
or
group
 that
influences
how
they
interact
with
them
 – stereotypes
can
be
both
positive
and
negative
 • cognitive
psychologists
believe
stereotypes
are
schemata
we
develop
regarding
groups
 
 Prejudice
and
Discrimination
 • prejudice
is
defined
as
an
unwarranted,
usually
negative
attitude
toward
a
group
 • stereotyping
can
lead
to
prejudice
 • ethnocentrism‐‐the
belief
that
one’s
own
culture
is
better
than
others
 • discrimination‐‐acting
on
one’s
prejudice
 
 • individuals
see
their
own
group
(in‐group)
as
being
more
diverse
than
other
groups
(out‐groups)‐ ‐called
out­group
homogeneity
 • individuals
will
prefer
members
of
their
own
groups
than
those
of
other
groups‐‐called
in­group
 bias
 
 • individuals
may
exercise
two
different
types
of
aggressive
behaviors
in
response
to
prejudice
and
 discrimination
 – instrumental
aggression‐‐directed
to
secure
some
purpose
or
particular
end
 – hostile
aggression‐‐has
not
clear
objective
 
 • there
are
various
theories
about
the
origins
of
aggression:
 – Freud‐‐linked
to
the
thanatos
 – Sociobiologists‐‐an
adaptation
to
certain
circumstances
 – Frustration­aggression
theory‐‐a
response
to
inc
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