Ch.+12--Social+Psychology - Chapter 12Social Psychology HOW...

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Chapter 12—Social Psychology HOW DO ATTITUDES GUIDE BEHAVIOR? Concept Summary We Form Attitudes through Experience and Socialization: Opinions, beliefs, and feelings are called attitudes. In general, people develop negative attitudes about new objects more quickly than they do positive attitudes. The mere exposure effect demonstrates that the more we are exposed to something, the more likely we are to like it. Attitudes can be conditioned—advertisers take advantage of this phenomenon— and are shaped through socialization—parents, teachers, peers, and so forth. Discrepancies Lead to Dissonance: Leon Festinger proposed that cognitive dissonance occurs when there is a contradiction between two attitudes or between an attitude and a behavior. A basic assumption of dissonance theory is that dissonance causes anxiety and tension and therefore motivates people to reduce the dissonance and relieve displeasure. Generally, people reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes or behaviors; they sometimes also rationalize or trivialize the discrepancy. Postdecisional dissonance occurs when forced to choose between two or three attractive options; once the choice is made, negative qualities of the non-chosen options are emphasized. Researchers have found that people are likely to change their attitudes as a result of dissonance and to provide justifications. Attitudes Can Be Changed through Persuasion: Dissonance is not the only possible factor in operation when people change their attitudes. In the elaboration likelihood model, persuasion leads to attitude change in two fundamental ways: the central route to persuasion—in which people pay attention to arguments, consider all the information, and use rational cognitive processes—leads to strong attitudes that last over time and are resistant to change; and the peripheral route to persuasion— in which people minimally process the message, as when a person decides to purchase a new type of bottled water because an advertisement for it features his or her favorite movie star. Three critical factors influence the extent to which a message is persuasive: source (who delivers it), content (what the message says), and receiver (who is processing the message). Strong arguments that appeal to our emotions are the most persuasive. HOW DO WE FORM OUR IMPRESSIONS OF OTHERS? Concept Summary Nonverbal Actions and Expressions Affect Our Impressions: First impressions are greatly influenced by nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, gestures, walking style, and fidgeting. Facial expression, especially eye contact, is one of the first things people notice. Interpreting facial expression may vary by culture. Researchers have found that accurate judgments can be made based on only a few seconds of observation, what is referred to as thin slices of behavior. Interestingly, happiness, hostility, anger, and sexual orientation have been accurately predicted by observing a few seconds of how a person walks. We Make Attributions about Others:
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course PSY 111 taught by Professor Cooper during the Fall '08 term at Miami University.

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Ch.+12--Social+Psychology - Chapter 12Social Psychology HOW...

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