Act ProcessReception Habit Attitude Information Mindlessness Ability (PBC) Subjective norm A general model of attitude and behavior change Central Route Peripheral route Behavioral Intent Elaboration Likelihood Model
What is your attitude about… Fracking for shale oil? Mega-loads through Moscow?
When we ask about attitudes, we get Beliefs/ “facts” Opinions Feelings/emotions
Attitude – definition “a relatively enduring organization of beliefs around an object or situation predisposing one to respond in some preferential manner” (Stiff) –Relatively enduring –Involves a cluster of beliefs and evaluations of those beliefs
Properties of attitudes Beliefs –E.g., what do you think will happen if mega- loads go through Moscow? Evaluations –E.g., do you think those outcomes are good or bad? Valence Extremity
Can attitudes be changed? Keys: Strength of prior attitude Strong attitudes are –Durable, have impact –Fostered by Group polarization, identity Investment Elaboration
Can attitudes be changed? Keys: Strength of prior attitude –Strong attitudes… Resist change Bias information processing –Cause polarization in face of mixed evidence
A recent example Challenge of climate change communication How do people react to a ‘public health’ frame? Maibach, E. W., Nisbet, M., Baldwin, P., Akerlof, K., & Diao, G. (2010). Reframing climate change as a public health issue: An exploratory study of public reactions. BMC Public Health, 10, 299.
When are attitude NOT likely to change? High value relevance High outcome relevance High impression relevance
When are attitudes LIKELY to change? Weak attitudes or “non-attitudes” Low experience, low knowledge “Accuracy” motivation
Theory of Planned Behavior Attitude Subjective Norm Perceived behavioral control Behavioral Intention Behavior
TPB Which factor is most important? –Many studies show Attitude is more influential than SN. However, it may depend on the type of behavior and the public nature of the setting (cf. Cialdini) –PBC is strongly supported, especially for difficult behaviors
Applying Communication Theory 1.Convince people not to put trash in vault toilets at a remote dispersed campground 2.Get dog owners to keep dogs on leash in wilderness 3.Persuade people not to walk through wilderness restoration sites How will you use peripheral cues? What will be strong arguments? How can you use social influence? How will you address PBC?