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Social psychology

Social psychology

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Social psychology

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  1. Social psychology Attitudes psychlotron.org.uk

  2. what is your attitude towards… psychlotron.org.uk

  3. Attitude “A learned predisposition to think, feel and behave toward a person (or object) in a particular way.” Allport (1954) “A person’s evaluation of any psychological object.” Azjen & Fishbein (1980) psychlotron.org.uk

  4. Questions about attitudes • What do attitudes consist of? • Structure • What are attitudes for? • Function psychlotron.org.uk

  5. Structure of attitudes Cognition (thinking) Behaviour (action) Affect (emotion) attitude psychlotron.org.uk Based on Allport (1954)

  6. Function of attitudes • Attitudes mediate between inner needs and the outside world • Katz (1960); four functions of attitudes: • Adaptive • Knowledge • Value-expressive • Ego-defensive psychlotron.org.uk

  7. Adaptive function • Help people achieve goals, avoid bad things e.g. • Gain membership of a social group (as in normative conformity) • Obtain approval from others (e.g. a parent) psychlotron.org.uk

  8. Knowledge function • Help structure & organise our understanding people & world e.g. • Directing info processing towards important data • Simplifying complex objects & situations psychlotron.org.uk

  9. Knowledge function • Martin & Halverson (1983) • Gender-consistent images were remembered more confidently • Gender inconsistent images were mis-remembered to make them consistent • Martin (1987) • Used videos; got similar results

  10. Value-expressive function • Help us express ourselves and communicate with others e.g. • Political & other value-based attitudes • Membership-based attitudes • Attitudes that emphasise non-membership & distinctiveness psychlotron.org.uk

  11. Ego-defensive function • Help to protect us from psychological harm e.g. • Help us feel good about ourselves • Provide protective ‘explanations’ for negative events (e.g. prejudice) psychlotron.org.uk

  12. Another question When might it be more useful to focus on the structure of attitudes & when might it be better to focus on their function? psychlotron.org.uk