6 The study of attitudes

6 The study of attitudes - Sociale psychologie hoofdstuk 6...

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The study of attitudes Attitudes: A positive, negative, or mixed reaction to a person, object, or idea. See figure 6.1 How Attitudes are measured Self-Report Measures Self- report measures are direct and straightforward. A problem is: responses to attitude questions can be influenced by their wording. Attitude scales: A multiple-item questionnaire designed to measure a person’s attitude toward some object. The most popular is the Likert Scale . In this technique, the statements can be answered with a multiple point scale how strongly they agree or disagree. The problem with self-reports, people do not always tell the truth. Bogus pipeline: A fake lie-detector device that is sometimes used to get respondents to give truthful answers to sensitive questions. Covert measures Facial electromyography (EMG): an electronic instrument that records facial muscle activity associated with emotions and attitudes. The changes cannot be seen with the naked eye. See figure 6.2 The e lectroencephalograph or EEG provides information that takes the form of line tracings called brain waves . They respond on stimulus. The implicit association test (IAT) Implicit attitudes: an attitude – such as prejudice – that one is not aware of having Implicit association test (IAT): a covert measure of unconscious attitudes, it is derived from the speed at which people respond to pairings of concepts – such as blacks or whites with good or bad. See figure 6.3 The link between attitudes and behavior Attitudes do not necessarily correlate with behavior. Attitudes in context Theory of planned behavior: the theory that attitudes toward a specific behavior combine with subjective norms and perceived control to influence a person’s actions. First, behavior is influenced less by general attitudes than by attitudes toward a specific behavior. Second, behavior is influenced not only by attitudes but by subjective norms (our beliefs about what others think we should do) Third, according to Ajzen, attitudes give rise to behavior only when we perceive the behavior to be within our control . Fourth, although attitudes (along with subjective norms and perceived control) contribute to an intention to behave in a particular manner, people often do not or cannot follow through on their intentions. Strength of the attitudes If an attitude influence behavior depends on the strength of the attitude. A provocative hypothesis by Abraham Tesser (1993), is that strong likes and dislikes are rooted in our
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This note was uploaded on 02/04/2011 for the course PSYCH 212 taught by Professor Dansullivan during the Spring '11 term at NYU.

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6 The study of attitudes - Sociale psychologie hoofdstuk 6...

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