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Social Psychology

Social Psychology

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Social Psychology

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  1. Social Psychology Chapter 16

  2. Why Study Attitudes? Attitudes are important because they: • strongly influence our social thought • help to organize and evaluate stimuli (e.g., categorizing stimuli as positive or negative) • presumably have a strong affect on behavior • help to predict people’s behavior in wide range of contexts (e.g., voting, interpersonal relations) 4.5

  3. Attitudes • How are attitudes formed? • Do attitudes influence behavior? • How are attitudes changed? 4.4

  4. Definition • Evaluations of any aspect of our social world. • Automobiles • Abortion • President Bush

  5. Attitude Structure Gun Control Affect: “Guns make me sick!” Affect Behavior: “I vote for gun control whenever possible.” Cognition Cognition: “Guns in the house increase the likelihood of children accidentally shooting themselves.” Behavior

  6. Attitude Formation • social learning- acquire attitudes from others • classical conditioning- learning based on association • subliminal conditioning- without awareness • instrumental conditioning- learn to hold the “right” views • observational learning- learning by observing actions of others and exposure to mass media

  7. Attitude Formation (con’t) • social comparison- compare ourselves to others to determine if our view of reality is correct • attitudes are shaped by social information from others we like or respect • genetic factors- inherited general dispositions (e.g., see world in a positive or negative light) • highly heritable attitudes and gut-level preferences (music) are especially influenced

  8. Summary • Attitudes are evaluations of any aspect of our social world • Attitudes are often learned • Attitudes are also formed through social comparison • New research suggests attitudes are influenced by genetic factors

  9. Attitude-Behavior Link • Attitudes do not always predict behavior • LaPiere (1934) found that virtually all businesses served Chinese couple courteously, yet most owners held negative attitudes • Sun-worshippers know the dangers of exposure to the sun, yet they tan anyway • “looking good” attitude takes precedence over attitudes toward personal health Forward

  10. LaPiere Study Would you serve Chinese people? Back

  11. Attitude Change • Dissonance Theory • Persuasion • Elaboration-Likelihood Model

  12. Attitude Formation & Change • Cognitive Dissonance Theory • Festinger and Carlsmith study

  13. $20 Told next person tasks were fun and interesting Asked how much they enjoyed experiment Boring Tasks Told next person tasks were fun and interesting $1

  14. Festinger & Carlsmith Study Results

  15. Cognitive Approach to Attitude Change • Persuasion • efforts to change attitudes through various kinds of messages. • Early persuasion research focused on: • The communicator (source) • What they said (message) • How they said it (channels) • Who was listening (audience) • Research suggests there are two routes through which information is processed • The Elaboration-Likelihood Model

  16. Nonverbal cues important Argument strength unimportant Nonverbal cues unimportant Argument strength important Elaboration-Likelihood Model Message unimportant, uninteresting Heuristic processing Peripheral Route Message important, interesting Systematic processing Central Route

  17. Figure 16.10 Overview of the persuasion process

  18. Factors Influencing Information Processing • We tend to use systematic processing when: • we are strongly motivated • accuracy motivation • impression motivation • defensive motivation • we have a high ability to do so • We tend to use heuristic processing when: • we are unmotivated • we lack the ability to systematically process info

  19. Competing Collaborating Integrative Dimension Compromising Accommodating Avoiding High Distributive Dimension Concern for Your Goals Low Low High Concern for Other’s Goals

  20. Factors That Influence Strategy Selection • Skills • Willingness of other participant • Perception of future relationship • Attributions about others’ behavior

  21. Person Perception:Forming Impressions of Others • Effects of physical appearance • Cognitive schemas • Stereotypes • Prejudice and discrimination • Subjectivity in person perception • Evolutionary perspectives

  22. Attribution Processes: Explaining Behavior • Attributions • Internal vs. External • Kelley’s covariation model • Biases in attributions • Fundamental attribution error • Defensive attribution • Self-serving bias • Cultural influences