Social psyc textbook summary chap 6, attitudes

Social psyc - Section 1 177-185 Chapter 6 The Study of Attitudes Attitude A positive negative or mixed reaction to a person object or idea o The

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+ Attitude toward a behaviour Subjective norm Perceived behaviour control Behaviour Intention Section 1: 177-185 Chapter 6 The Study of Attitudes Attitude: A positive, negative, or mixed reaction to a person, object, or idea. o The study of what they are, where they come from, how they can be measured, what causes them to change, and how they interact with behaviour is central to the whole field of social psychology. o Cannot be represented along single continuum ranging from wholly positive to wholly negative (like lever on thermostat ranges from higher to lower temp.). Rather can vary in strength along both positive and negative dimensions. Can react to something with positive or negative affect, with ambivalence (strong but mixed emotions), or with apathy and indifference. Fig. 6.1. Can have both positive and negative reactions to same attitude object with no conflict o Ex: Macdonald and Zanna found that men with ambivalent attitudes towards feminists indicated admiration for them but no affection. o Everyone routinely forms evaluations to people, places, etc like a reflex. Now appears people differ in extent to which they react to stimuli in strong positive or negative terms. People who are high rather than low in need for evaluation more likely to view their daily experiences in judgmental terms, and also more opinionated on whole range of social, political, and moral issues. o Why do we bother to have attitudes? Researchers found they serve important functions enable us to judge, quickly and without much thought, whether something we encounter is good or bad, helpful or hurtful, to be sought or avoided. o Problem: Having pre-existing attitudes can cause us to be close-minded, bias in our interpretations, and resistant to change. Ex: Study found that people who were more focused on their positive or negative attitudes towards computerized faces, compared to those who were not, were slower to notice when the faces were “morphed” and no longer the same. How Attitudes are Measured Attitudes can be difficult to measure; one review of research uncovered over 500 different ways. Self-Report Measures Easiest way to assess a person’s attitude is by asking. Ipsos-Reid polls in 2006 found that majority of Canadians prefer public vs. private health care, believe gun violence result of drugs, gangs, and lenient judges, and Canadian children prefer grilled cheese to peanut butter and jelly just by asking. Sometimes attitudes are too complex to be measured by single question, and can be influenced by their wording, context in which they are asked and other factors. To avoid this often use attitude scales : Multiple-item questionnaire designed to measure person’s attitude towards some object.
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o Come in different forms, most popular of them Likert Scale named after its inventor Rensis Likert .
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PSYC 215 taught by Professor Michaelsullivan during the Spring '08 term at McGill.

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Social psyc - Section 1 177-185 Chapter 6 The Study of Attitudes Attitude A positive negative or mixed reaction to a person object or idea o The

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