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Chapter 6

Sociology 2233 Chapter 6 Textbook Notes

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Sociology 2233
Richard Sorrentino

Chapter 6 – Attitudes and Attitude Change Luc Jouret was a leader of a cult in Quebec City • Solar Temple Cult • Those people who became members had to give all their money to Jouret • He said that the world was going to be destroyed by fire and the only salvation would be to take a death voyage • The death toll was 53 • Unfortunately, over the years, many more people have tried taking death voyages and the death toll has risen (74 deaths) Attitude –An evaluation of a person, object or idea Evaluation – • An affective component, consisting of emotional reactions toward the attitude object (ex.Another person or social issue) • Acognitive component, consisting of thoughts and beliefs about the attitude object • Abehavioural component, consisting of actions or observable behaviour toward the attitude object • Not all attitudes are created equally, can be based on more than one type of experience Affectively BasedAttitude: Based primarily on people’s emotions and feelings about the attitude object • Example: falling in love with someone who has a history of being untrustworthy • Often based on one’s values and religion (i.e., death penalty, abortion etc.) • Three things in common: 1. They do not result from a rational examination of the issues 2. They are not governed by logic 3. They are often linked to peoples values Cognitively based attitudes: Based primarily on a persons beliefs about the properties of an attitude object • Example: how many km does a car have on it • Classify the pro’s and con’s of the object and decide whether it is worth it Behaviorally Based Attitudes: Based primarily on observations of how one behaves toward an attitude object • Example: when asked whether you like to go to the gym, response “I guess I like it because I seem to do it a lot” Comparing the Three Types • When attitudes are negative, they are seen as cognitively based o (Ex. Homosexuals and Pakistani’s are seen negatively) • Positive attitudes were seen as affect ExplicitAttitudes—attitudes that we consciously endorse and can easily report • Someone asking for your opinion ImplicitAttitudes—attitudes that are involuntary, uncontrollable, and at times unconscious • Acting nervous around a minority group if you are the majority Implicit Association Test (IAT): Categorizing words or pictures o Rooted in childhood experiences Attitudes Predicting Behaviour • LaPiere and 2Asian friends went on a trip acrossAmerica during a time whenAmericans did not likeAsians. • They went to 251 establishments and only 1 refused them service. • When LaPiere wrote letters to the establishments asking if they would serve anAsian person only 1 said they would, and 90% said they would not. Therefore attitude did not affect behaviour. Theory of Planned Behaviour—a theory that the best predictors of person’s planned, deliberate behaviours are the persons attitudes toward specific behaviours, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control • Only specific attitudes can be expected to predict behaviour Subjective Norms – beliefs about how the people they care about will view the behaviour in question Perceived Behavioural Control—ease to which people believe they can perform the behaviour • Implications for safer sex o People have strong positive attitudes towards condoms and birth control, but they don’t use them Persuasive Communication: Communication advocating a particular side of an issue • Carl Hovland: says a persuasive communication comes down to three things; 1. The speaker 2. Audience 3. Quality ofArgument • Since this study was done at Yale, they changed the name to YaleAttitude ChangeApproach; the study of the conditions under which people are most likely to change their attitudes in response to persuasive messages; researchers in this tradition focus on “who said what to whom”—that is, o The Source of the Communication o The Nature of the Communication o The nature of the audience Heuristic-Systematic Model of Persuasion: The theory that there are two ways in which persuasive communications can cause attitude change: 1. People either process the merits of the arguments (known as systematic processing) or 2. are swayed by factors that are peripheral to the message itself, such as “experts are always right” (known as heuristic processing) Elaboration Likelihood Model: The theory that there are two ways in which persuasive communications can cause attitude change: 1. The central route occurs when people are motivated and have the ability to pay attention to the arguments in the communication 2. The peripheral route occurs when people do not pay attention to the arguments but are instead swayed by surface characteristics FearAmong Communication—a persuasive message that attempts to change people’s -attitudes -by - arousing their fear • It is best to create fear and then give reassurance that there is a way to reduce the fear if they follow directions (ex. Smoking; movie created fear, pamphlet created direction) • • If peoples attitudes are more cognitively based towards a certain product then use utilitarian aspects • If peoples attitudes are more affectively based then use emotional aspects • American ads tend to emphasize individuality, whereas Asian ads emphasize interdependence (family) Subliminal Messages – wo
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