UC Davis - COM 152 - functional theory of attitudes

UC Davis - COM 152 - functional theory of attitudes - CMN...

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CMN 152 Functional theory of attitudes Basic notions of the theory The attitudes people form serve functions o Meet a psychological need…different kind of psychological needs or functions… Katz’s functions are utilitarian, ego-defensive, value-expressive, and knowledge Attitudes can serve more than one function Persuasion takes place when the message “matches” the function of the underlying attitude o Match their function in a person, you’re more likely to persuade someone Katz’s functions Utilitarian o Use of attitude object to satisfy needs o Can change by creating new needs, shifting rewards and punishments, and/or emphasizing new or better means for needs satisfaction Ego-defensive o Protects against internal and external conflicts Avoid anxiety o Can change by removing threats and the development of self-insight o Examples of ego defense Denial – disputing information or experiences and refusing to accept their implications Isolation – disregarding atrocious behavior as anomalous and irrelevant to the concept of self Reaction formation – defense of the self-concept by displaying exaggerated reaction in the opposite direction Value-expressive o Person gains satisfaction from expressing attitudes appropriate to personal values and self-concept o Can change by associating some degree of dissatisfaction with self and the attitude o Can change by making a new aspect of self appear more appropriate o Can change by altering all environmental supports to undermine old values Knowledge o Facilitates understanding, meaningful cognitive organization, consistency, and clarity In other words schemas and generalization in order to do the above o Can change by creating ambiguity with new information, changing the environment, or providing more meaningful information
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Smith, Bruner, and White’s typology Object appraisal o Combination of knowledge and utilitarian o Externalization o Ego defense Social adjustive o Either maintain/create social relationships. .. o
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UC Davis - COM 152 - functional theory of attitudes - CMN...

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