Attitudes Overview Definitions Attitudes predicting behavior? Persuasion Behavior predicting Attitudes? Attitude Development Take a moment and write down your attitude about Coke or Pepsi. Why do you have these preferences? What do you like and why? What people and experiences contributed to the development of this attitude? * I. What are “attitudes”? Summary evaluations of targets/objects Attitude objects can be abstract or concrete Attitude objects can be general or specific “Attitude” Object Attitude Formation: Personal experience Social Learning Social Comparison Genetic Factors * Olson, Vernon, Harris, & Jang (2001) Tested 195 monozygotic (“identical”) twin pairs and 141 dizygotic (“fraternal”) twin pairs Assessed attitudes toward a variety of objects, ideas, and behaviors (e.g., smoking, sweets, roller coaster rides, playing chess, public speaking, death penalty, etc.) Found that attitudes were generally more similar in MZ pairs than in DZ pairs However, non-shared environmental experiences accounted for the most variance in each attitude Functions: Knowledge function Identity function Self-esteem function Behavioral guide function Attitude Structure: Affect Cognitions Behaviors how we feel about people or social objects generalized beliefs about people and social objects behavior directed at people and social objects ABCs * Components of Attitudes Three components (or bases): Affective (feelings) Behavioral (past actions and future intentions) Cognitive (thoughts) Following this tripartite model, Breckler (1984) showed existence of separate components Not all components are present in all attitudes Attitudes Overview Definitions Attitudes predicting behavior? Persuasion Behavior predicting Attitudes? attitudes behaviors ? II. Attitudes Predicting Behavior Fundamental Issue of this area: as typically stated: attitude-behavior consistency LaPierre and couple refused 1 x . What percentage of respondents SAID they would NOT serve a Chinese couple? 0-10% 11-25% 26-75% 76-100% General Attitudes Do Not Predict Specific Behaviors Very Well Based on positive responses to the question, "Do you favor a strong military?", the U.S. Government spent $3.3 billion dollars on Trident submarines. They should have asked taxpayers the question, "Do you favor spending billions of dollars on Trident submarines?" Attitudes Behaviors Do attitudes lead to behavior? research results: Attitudes Behaviors Do attitudes lead to behavior? Simple answer: NO, not as expected Real answer: Depends what you look at Moderators Situational factors origins strength specificity Constraints Situation selection Attitudinal factors What Attitude Component is the Best Predictor of Behavior? It depends…. Consummatory behavior is intrinsically motivated Instrumental behavior is extrinsically motivated What Attitude Component is the Best Predictor of Behavior? Affective Attitude Cognitive Attitude consummatory instrumental Theory of Planned Behavior Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975; Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980; Ajzen, 1991 Attitude towards tattoos TATTOO Intentions Subjective Norm Perceived Behavioral Control How do attitudes lead to behavior? Attitudes Overview Definitions Attitudes predicting behavior? Persuasion Behavior predicting Attitudes? III. Persuasion Central Vs. Peripheral Routes to Persuasion Elaboration Likelihood Model Central Route to Persuasion (p. 190) Definition: The process by which a person thinks carefully about a communication & is influenced by the strength of its arguments. Systematic processing: careful consideration of message content and ideas effortful requires cognitive capacity Peripheral Route to persuasion (p.190) Definition: The process by which a person does not think carefully about a communication & is influenced instead by superficial cues. Heuristic Processing Use rules of thumb or mental shortcuts Not attending to content of message Swayed by surface characteristics Not effortful Examples of Peripheral Cues “Experts know best.” “The more arguments, the better.” “Good products are more expensive.” “What is beautiful is good.” Peripheral Routes: Affective Approaches Classical conditioning Classical Conditioning Proposed by Ivan Pavlov. Awarded a Nobel Prize in 1904. Developed the concept of the conditioned reflex, as demonstrated in his classic dog experiments. Classical Conditioning in Advertising Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) People can’t evaluate all messages. Two factors influence whether people “elaborate” on a message. Motivation: Is there a reason for me to pay attention to this message? Ability: Am I able to evaluate this message? * Elaboration Likelihood Model Persuasive Message Careful Processing Central Route Superficial Processing Peripheral Route Attitude Change (if any) Argument Quality “Cues” in Message Central or Peripheral? Motivation personal relevance need for cognition Ability to pay attention Preferred route? better for long-lasting attitude change more likely to behave consistently with attitude more resistant to counter-persuasion * Possible response under low elaboration “She recommends Maybelline, and she’s attractive. Therefore, I feel good about Maybelline cosmetics.” * Possible response under high elaboration “She recommends Maybelline, and she’s attractive. Using Maybelline products probably contributes to her attractiveness. Therefore, I feel good about Maybelline cosmetics.” * Attitudes Overview Definitions Attitudes predicting behavior? Persuasion Behavior predicting attitudes?? * IV. Behavior => attitudes Cognitive Dissonance—The Phenomenon Insufficient justification Insufficient deterrence Justification of effort Spreading of alternatives Cognitive Dissonance—The Theories * When does induced compliance lead to attitude change? Likely conditions: Insufficient Justification * Thought Experiment: Work for $ Suppose you need someone to do a boring, menial job. Should you pay them $8/hour or $20/hour? [Vote!] Answer: paying them less may make them think they enjoy it more! * Insufficient justification (p. 209) A condition in which people freely perform an attitude-discrepant behavior without receiving a large reward. * $1-$20 Study: Liking (Festinger & Carlsmith, 1959) Less liking More liking * $1-$20 Study: Behavioral Intention (Festinger & Carlsmith, 1959) Dislike to participate in future Like to Participate in future * When does induced compliance lead to attitude change? Likely conditions: Insufficient Justification Insufficient Deterrence * 2. Insufficient Deterrence (p. 209) A condition in which people refrain from engaging in a desirable activity, even when only mild punishment is threatened. Results in devaluing forbidden activity or object * Your 5-year old nephew loves to play with your CD player. How can you stop him? Threaten with mild punishment Threaten with severe punishment A: (b) works, but only when you’re around; (a) is actually better for affecting behavior & intentions! Ex: Forbidden toy study (Aronson & Carlsmith, 1963; ) milder threat => attitude changes persist longer * When does induced compliance lead to attitude change? Likely conditions: Insufficient Justification Insufficient Deterrence Justification of Effort * 3. Justification of effort To harder we suffer and work for something, the more we like it. * Greek Hazing – Why Does It Persist? Michael Kalogris spent three weeks in the hospital recovering from injuries suffered during a Hell Night initiation at his high-school fraternity, Omega Gamma Delta. He received the "atomic bomb" by his prospective brothers, who told him to protect his head while they gathered around to slam fists into his stomach and back. Go to film example * Spreading of Alternatives: Brehm's (1956) Free-Choice Paradigm Approached women: “Test our products” Rank products by desirability (#1 - #10) Decision difficulty manipulation Group 1: Easy decision (e.g., product #2 vs. product #8) Group 2: Difficult decision (e.g., product #5 vs. product #6) => Greater “spreading of alternatives” when difficult decision * Also called “Spreading of Alternatives” Effect* “spreading of alternatives” Festinger’s original model Attitudes toward Options Product #5 Product #6 DECISION Time More recently… Product #5 Product #6 DECISION already some spreading! * Induced Compliance vs. Free-Choice Paradigm Induced compliance: specific behavior is induced in the subject Free-Choice paradigm: subject makes own choice among options Both involve comparing behavior to attitudes about that behavior/choice * IV. Behavior => Attitudes Cognitive Dissonance—The Phenomenon Cognitive Dissonance—The Theories Cognitive Dissonance Theory Self-Perception Theory Self-Affirmation Theory Impression Management Theory * 1. Cognitive Dissonance Theory* (p. 207) The theory that holding inconsistent cognitions arouses psychological tension that people become motivated to reduce. * 1 2 3 4 5 World hunger is a serious problem that needs attention. Our country needs to address the growing number of homeless. The right to vote is one of the most valuable rights of American citizens. Our government should spend less money on nuclear weapons and more on helping citizens better their lives. Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree Recall the Survey You Took Earlier… * How often have you personally done things to lessen world hunger (e.g., donate money or food or write your representative)? How often have you personally done things to help the homeless (e.g., volunteer at a homeless shelter or donate money)? Did you vote in the last election for which you were eligible? How often have you personally conveyed your feelings to the government (e.g., by writing your representative or by participating in protests/marches)? Answer Yes or No: Do you perform each of the following behaviors on a regular basis?* * Relationships between Cognitions Consonant: “I believe safer sex is important, and I always use condoms.” Dissonant: “I believe safer sex is important, and I rarely use condoms.” Irrelevant: “I believe safer sex is important, and I like horror movies.” * Cognitive Dissonance Occurs when thoughts (cognitions) are in conflict with each other (dissonance) Causes unpleasant tension/arousal How do we reduce dissonance, and what are the consequences? * Resolving Cognitive Dissonance Changing behavior to bring it in line with dissonant cognition: “I’m going to start using condoms!” Justifying behavior by changing one of the dissonant cognitions: “Having safer sex really isn’t all that important to me.” Justifying behavior by adding new cognitions: “I’m in a committed relationship, so there is no need.” * Resolving Cognitive Dissonance It is often hard to change our behavior -- especially after the fact! -- so we tend to change our cognitions instead Examples: Abusive domestic relationships The Fox and the Grapes (Aesop) * Cognition 1 Cognition 2 CONFLICT I advocated helping the poor How Would Cognitive Dissonance Theory Explain? But I do not always do it! Psychological tension: I don’t want to be a hypocrite! Let’s reduce the tension by changing Cognition 1! * IV. Behavior => Attitudes Cognitive Dissonance—The Phenomenon Cognitive Dissonance—The Theories Cognitive Dissonance Theory Self-Perception Theory * 2. Self-Perception Theory (Bem) When our attitudes and feelings are ambiguous, we infer our attitudes by observing our own behavior We are all “amateur psychologists” * Cognition 1 Cognition 2 CONFLICT I advocated helping the poor How Would Self-Perception Theory Explain? But I do not always do it! I must not care about the poor so much after all => update Cognition 1! Puzzle: Why is there a discrepancy? * Cognitive Dissonance vs. Self-Perception Theory? When you are sure about your attitude => cognitive dissonance When you are not very certain about your attitude => self-perception theory * IV. Behavior => Attitudes Cognitive Dissonance—The Phenomenon Cognitive Dissonance—The Theories Cognitive Dissonance Theory Self-Perception Theory Self-Affirmation Theory * 3. Self-Affirmation Theory (Steele) Dissonance situations create a threat to the self. Attitude change is just one of many ways to affirm the self If given alternative ways to bolster self-esteem (e.g., did well on test) => no need to reduce dissonance People high in self-esteem => less attitude change! * Cognition 1 Cognition 2 CONFLICT I advocated helping the poor How Would Self-Affirmation Theory Explain? But I do not always do it! Let’s bolster positive self-image by changing Cognition 1! Threat to Self-Esteem: Inconsistency…I don’t want to be irrational, incompetent,…! * IV. Behavior => Attitudes Cognitive Dissonance—The Phenomenon Cognitive Dissonance—The Theories Cognitive Dissonance Theory Self-Perception Theory Self-Affirmation Theory Impression Management Theory * 4. Impression Management Theory What matters is not a motive to be consistent but rather a motive to appear consistent in public. Concern with public image Consistency is socially desirable * Cognition 1 Cognition 2 CONFLICT I advocated helping the poor How Would Impression Management Theory Explain? But I do not always do it! Let’s repair public image by changing Cognition 1! Threat to public image: Inconsistency…I don’t want to look bad to others! * “psychological discomfort” “amateur psychologist” “positive self-image” “public image” Cognitive dissonance Self-perception Self-affirmation Impression management Consistency is desirable? NO Change must be directly related to the attitude-discrepant behavior? NO Private or public change? NO Comparing Theories Debate still unresolved!