Attitudes have two components:
1. beliefs: mental association with a
2. affect: a feeling component
We can measure the affective component of an identity on three dimensions:
good, nice -
big, powerful - little, powerless
fast, young, noisy -
slow, old, quiet
These measures of affective meaning will be referred to as EPA profiles.
"But why E, P and A?..
the most important question today, as in the day of the Neanderthal, about the
sign of a thing are:
first, is it good or bad for
me? (is it a cute Neanderthal female or a sabertooth tiger?);
second, is it strong or is
it weak with respect to me? (is it a sabertooth tiger or a mouse?);
third, is it an active or a
passive thing? (is it a sabertooth tiger or merely a pool of quicksand that I
can carefully skirt?).
Survival of the species has
depend on answers to such questions."(Osgood 1990, p. 247).
Attitudes and Behavior
Do attitudes influence behavior?
To what extend do they influence behavior?
LaPiere accompanied a Chinese couple traveling through the United States. He kept a list of hotels and restaurants that they visited. Several months later LaPiere mailed a questionnaire to all establishments and asked if they would accept Chinese guests.
LaPiere Study: Attitude => Behavior?
IV1: Behavior of visiting
· The couple was denied service only once on the whole trip
· In half of the hotels they received above of the average service.
DV2: Inquired Attitude
· 92% said they would not accept Chinese customers.
Fishbein & Ajzen saw the limitations of predicting behavior from general attitudes that were used by LaPiere.
Figure: Reasoned Action Model (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975)
1.) our own attitudes to that behavior
2.) the attitudes of others (norms) to that behavior
1. Attitude: personal attitude toward a specific behavior
a) Evaluation of outcomes
b) Likelihood that we achieve certain outcomes
c) Product of Evaluation and Likelihood
b) Importance (salience) or significance of the other
c) Product of the norm and the importance of the person who holds that norm
What is the resulting behavioral intention? Attitudes had a positive
product of evaluation and likelihood. Norms had a positive product of
evaluation and importance of the person that holds this norm. Multiple attitudes and norms can
be considered to be adding up for each behavioral intention. How can we influence
decisions? Example: anti drunk driving
What is the resulting behavioral intention?
Attitudes had a positive product of evaluation and likelihood.
Norms had a positive product of evaluation and importance of the person that holds this norm.
Multiple attitudes and norms can be considered to be adding up for each behavioral intention.
How can we influence decisions?
Example: anti drunk driving campaign.
Why do people want to follow a diet but fail?
Why do people want to quit smoking but fail?
Why do students want to study better, but fail?
=> Past behavior, self‑identity, and self-efficiency can overwrite behavioral intentions and more directly influence behavioral choice.
Ajzen and Madden (1986) found that “College student's attendance was the single best predictor of their future class attendance, no matter what their attitudes or intentions about attending class.”(Wiggins et. al., 246‑247)
Behavior is chosen to be consistent with a specific salient identity. This identity‑ behavior consistency can overwrite behavioral intentions determined by attitudes and other's norms
Self efficiency(remember last topic on identity)
Behavioral intentions better predict behavior if people feel that they can control positive outcomes.
=> people with high self-efficiency
Attitude consistency Theories
·Balance Theory (Fritz Heider 1946) is in the Gestalt Perspective Gestalt Psychology 1910: psychological phenomena can only be understood if they are organized, structured holes (Gestalten).
· Festinger's Cognitive Dissonance Theory 1957
Balance Theory (Fritz Heider 1946) Gestalt perspective
Three elements are central in attitude change
1. (P) person
2. (O) other person
3. (X) the idea or concept (e.g. behavior) both persons are concerned with
Positive or negative values between these three elements (POX)
Example in the Textbook:
O: your best friend
X: support of abortion
Cognitive Dissonance Theory (Festinger 1957)
We strive to maintain consonance, or consistency, among attitudes. For that reason we sometimes change attitudes to make them consistent with our behavior. It should be understood that we have attitude towards behaviors and identites.
1. Commitment: Attitudes have to be relevant.
2. Internal attribution: We have to have the impression of being self responsible (free choice).
Students engaged in a boring task. After the task was completed they were instructed to lie to the new students who entered that the task was interesting.
IV: In the experimental condition subjects were paid
$ 1 for their compliance
$ 20 for their compliance
Later they were asked to evaluate the task.
DV: The change of the attitude toward the task
Results: Subjects who received only $1 said that the task was fun.
Key postulates of Bem's Self Perception Theory
1. Individuals come to know their own attitudes, emotions, and other internal states partially by inferring them from observations of their own overt behavior and/or the circumstances in which this behavior occurs.
2. To the extend that internal cues are weak, or ambiguous, the individual is in the same position as an outside observer, who must rely upon external cues to infer the inner states.
Disclaimer: The documents linked to other sources on the WWW, others than http://www2.tltc.ttu.edu/Schneider/ and its subdirectories, do not necessarily express the views of Texas Tech University or Dr. Andreas Schneider. @Copyright 2009 Andreas Schneider