Attitudes and Behavior

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Attitudes and Behavior Chapter 6: 

Attitudes and Behavior Chapter 6

Announcements: 

Announcements Extra credit due by end of class today! Chapters covered so far: Chapter 3, 4 & 5. This week – chapter 6. Questions? Please come see me or James during office hours or make an appointment.

Why do people like some things and dislike other things?: 

Why do people like some things and dislike other things? Attitude: an enduring evaluation – positive or negative – of a person, object, or an idea.

Three components (the ABC’s) of attitudes : 

Three components (the ABC’s) of attitudes Cognitions (thoughts): what do I believe about the object Affect (feelings): emotional reaction to the object Behavior (intentions): behavioral response to object

Do attitudes predict behavior? : 

Do attitudes predict behavior? There is evidence that attitudes DO NOT predict behavior very well! LaPierre Chinese Couple/Hotel Study (1934) Other recent examples Are attitudes useless? NO! Situation may influence link between attitude and behavior

WHEN will attitudes predict behavior?: 

WHEN will attitudes predict behavior? When attitude and behavior are measured at the same level of specificity Predict jogging behavior? Measure attitude toward jogging not attitude toward health and fitness

WHEN will attitudes predict behavior?: 

WHEN will attitudes predict behavior? When attitude is more immediate or salient (self-awareness) Cheating study – all said cheating is wrong No mirror – 71% cheated Mirror – 7% cheated Affirmative action study

WHEN will attitudes predict behavior?: 

WHEN will attitudes predict behavior? Minimize other influences on behaviors and expressed attitudes (reduce social desirability) Bogus pipeline studies When attitude is personally relevant Housing shortage study

WHERE do attitudes come from?: 

WHERE do attitudes come from? Attitudes can follow from (or are the result of) behavior – we are motivated to justify ourselves Zimbardo Prison Study (1971)

Why does behavior influence attitudes?: 

Why does behavior influence attitudes? COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: the feeling of discomfort that arises from holding two or more inconsistent cognitions (Festinger, 1957) We have a need to be consistent!

How can we reduce discomfort caused by dissonance? : 

How can we reduce discomfort caused by dissonance? Change the behavior Change the attitude Add new cognitions

Why does behavior influence attitudes?: 

Why does behavior influence attitudes? We may generate attitudes that make our behaviors seem rational and justified. Cult Observation Study

Classic Study of Cognitive Dissonance: 

Classic Study of Cognitive Dissonance Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) Boring Task Study After boring task, all asked to lie and tell next person task was fun ½ paid $1 to lie; ½ paid $20 to lie How much did you like task? Those paid $1 changed attitude more!

Why did this happen? : 

Why did this happen? Insufficient justification: if individuals do something for no reason (no external attribution to make), they will make up an internal attitude

More Cognitive Dissonance: 

More Cognitive Dissonance Counter-attitudinal essay paradigm Read essay against your attitudes for an audience Given little money or lots of money If given little money – attitude change occurs AND IT LASTS OVER TIME

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