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C82SAD: Attitude, persuasive communication and attitude change

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1 C82SAD: Attitude, persuasive communication and attitude change
“Social psychology is the study of attitudes” Allport (1935)

2 What is an Attitude? Distinction between social psychologists use of the word ‘attitude’ and the generally used term i.e. “He has an attitude problem”, “Wow, she’s got attitude” Attitude is defined as “tendencies to evaluate an entity [attitude object] into some degree of favour or disfavour, ordinarily expressed in cognitive, affective and behavioural responses” (Eagly and Chaiken, 1993).

3 Attitude: Definitions
“The concept of attitudes is probably the most distinctive and indispensable concept in contemporary American social psychology. No other term appears more frequently in the experimental and theoretical literature” (Allport, 1935, p. 798) “Attitudes are a mental and neural state of readiness, organised through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual's response to all objects and situations with which it is related” (Allport,1935, p. 810).

4 Attitude: Definitions
Attitudes involve associations between attitude objects and evaluations of these objects (Fazio, 1989) Attitudes are evaluations of various objects that are stored in memory (Judd et al., 1991) Attitude is a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluation a particular entity with some degree of favour of disfavour ... Evaluating refers to all classes of evaluative responding, whether overt or covert, cognitive, affective or behavioural (Eagly & Chaiken,1993).

5 Component Theories of Attitude
Unitary model. Attitudes are a single positive or negative evaluation of an attitude object Dual model. A mental state of readiness and therefore guides some evaluation or response towards and object Tripartite model. Include feeling (affective), action (behavioural), and thought (cognitive) components – “ABC”

6 Tripartite Model? Attitude object: Beer Cognitive Belief based e.g.
“Beer kills my brain cells” “Beer helps me to relax” “Beer tastes good after a hard days work” Affective Emotion based e.g. “Harmful-Beneficial” “Relaxing-Stressful” “Tasty-Bitter” Behavioural Intention based e.g. “I will cut down on my beer drinking” “I intend to drink beer when I’m stressed” “I plan to drink more beer after work”

7 What are Attitudes Used for?
Attitudes serve as conscious and unconscious motives and have four functions (Katz, 1960): They assist in helping us make sense of our world and to organize the information we encounter (c.f. cognitive economy) (KNOWLEDGE FUNCTION) They help us make behave in socially acceptable ways to gain positive and avoid negative outcomes (UTILITARIAN/ADJUSTIVE FUNCTION) They act as a guide to behaviour in social situations and help us in self- and social- categorization (SOCIAL IDENTITY/VALUE-EXPRESSIVE FUNCTION) They allow use to preserve a positive sense of self (EGO-DEFENSIVE FUNCTION)

8 Attitude Formation Behavioural theories
Direct experience – expectancy value model of attitudes – mere exposure can influence attitudes Classical conditioning – neutral stimuli paired with salient response results in an attitude Operant conditioning – attitudes shaped by a reinforcement system of reward and punishment Observational learning – modelling in vicarious experiences

9 Attitude Formation Cognitive theories
Information integration theory – attitudes formed by ‘averaging’ available information on a object Self-perception theory – infer attitudes from own behaviour (Bem, 1960) Mood-as-information hypothesis – Emotion (mood) provides basis of evaluation of attitudes objects Heuristic processing – decision ‘rules of thumb’ are used to make judgements and form ‘mental shortcuts’ in memory Persuasion – Attitudes formed on the basis of persuasive information

10 Attitude Formation Sources
Parents – Infer attitudes from those most closest to you (c.f. Bandura, 1965) but strength of association ranges from strong (Jennings & Niemi, 1968) to very weak (Connell, 1972) Mass media – Particularly television an important influence of attitude formation especially in children (e.g., Chaffee et al., 1977) and links between television advertisements and children’s attitude Atkin, 1980)

11 Common Sense: Attitudes and Behaviour
“You can’t stop parents feeding their kids what they are going to feed them, what you can do is try to create a situation where over time people realize that it isn’t really any good for kids to be brought up on a poor diet…It’s a question of changing attitudes over time” Tony Blair speaking on BBC Breakfast Tuesday, 10th October 2006

12 Attitude-Behaviour Relationship
Of principle concern - if attitudes don’t guide behaviour then their efficacy and utility as a construct is greatly reduced Classic study: LaPiere (1934) restaurateur's attitudes towards Asians in 1930’s USA- questioned validity of the attitude-behaviour link Wicker (1969) attitudes were very weakly correlated with behaviour across 45 studies (average r =.15) Gregson and Stacey (1981) only a small positive correlation between attitudes and alcohol consumption Stimulated study into the personality, contextual, temporal and methodological influences on the attitude-behaviour relationship

13 Attitude-Behaviour Relationship
Reasons for lack of a relationship: Methodological Unreliability and low validity of attitude and/or behavioural measures Time between attitude and behavioural measure Modality Lack of compatibility/correspondence between attitude and behaviour Target, Action, Context and Time Recent evidence: e.g. Armitage and Conner (2001) strong indirect attitude-behaviour relationships within Theory of Planned Behaviour

14 Expectancy-Value Models of Attitude
Expectancy-value models – Attitudes have two components: Expectancy: Behaviour will result in a certain outcome (e.g., studying hard will gain me good grades) Value: Outcome is highly valued (e.g., getting good grades is important to me) Each expectancy is multiplied by each value to produce attitude ‘score’ e.g. Attitude = S (expectancyi x valuei) i = 1

15 The Theory of Reasoned Action (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980)
General orientation towards the behaviour “good-bad”,“useful-useless”,“harmful-beneficial” Measure of actual behaviour Attitudes Intentions Behaviour Stated volitional plans “I plan…/I intend.../ I expect...” Subjective Norms Evaluation of others evaluation “my parents think…”,”my teacher thinks…”

16 Where do Attitudes and Subjective Norms Come From?
Behavioural Beliefs X Outcome Evaluations Attitudes Intentions Behaviour Normative Beliefs X Motivation to Comply Subjective Norms

17 Expectancy-value Models of Attitudes and Subjective Norms
‘Behavioural belief’ Man’s belief about woman using pill Man’s belief about man using condom Attribute Strength of belief Value of belief Result Reliability 0.90 X +2 = +1.80 0.70 -1 -0.70 Embarras-ement 1.00 +2.00 0.80 -2 -1.60 Side effects 0.10 -0.10 Outcome +3.70 -0.30 ‘Outcome evaluation’ Sum of ‘expectancy x value’ statements

18 The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) (Ajzen , 1989)
Attitudes Intentions Behaviour Subjective Norms Control Beliefs X Perceived Power Perceived Control Evaluation of capacities/barriers/abilities “self-efficacy”/”easy-difficult”

19 The Effect of Including Perceived Behavioural Control
Behaviour: vitamins Intentions: vitamins Behaviour: sleep Intentions: sleep Theory Source:Madden, Ellen & Ajzen (1992)

20 Factors Affecting Attitude-Intention Relationship in TPB
Generality of attitude (Davidson & Jaccard, 1979) – confirmed ‘TACT’ Attitude accessibility (Doll & Ajzen, 1992) Attitude strength (Fazio et al., 1986) Social identity as a group member (self-identity for a particular behaviour) affects intention-behaviour relationship (Terry & Hogg, 1996)

21 The role of norms and group identification in attitude-behaviour consistency Students expressed a stronger intention to engage in regular exercise when they felt their attitudes towards exercise were normative of a student peer group with which they identified strongly. Source: based on data from Terry and Hogg (1996) 6.0 Group identification: Low High 5.5 Intention to engage in regular exercise (7-point scale) 5.0 4.5 4.0 Low High Ingroup normativeness of own attitude

22 Protection Motivation Theory
Balancing perceived threat vs. capacity to cope with healthy behaviour Cognitive processes Intrinsic reward Extrinsic reward Perceived vulnerability Perceived severity Perceived vulnerability Perceived severity Perceived vulnerability Perceived severity Threat appraisal Protection motivation (Maladaptive) Response efficacy Self-efficacy Response efficacy Self-efficacy Response efficacy Self-efficacy Perceived response-cost Coping appraisal (Adaptive) Source: Floyd, Prentice-Dunn, Rogers (2000)

23 Measuring Attitudes Thurstone’s (1928) equal appearing interval scale – developed from 100s of items (questions) Likert (1932) scale – 5- point scales with +ive and –ive scoring Semantic differential scale (Osgood et al., 1957) –uses word pairs Scalogram (Guttman, 1944) – agreement with statements from single trait

24 Scale Value of Items on an 11-point Thurstone Equal-Intervals Scale
T H U R S T O N E S C A L E Attitude towards Contraception How favourable Value on 11- Item point scale Least Practising contraception should be punishable by law. 3.6 Contraception is morally wrong in spite of possible benefits. Neutral Contraception has both advantages and disadvantages. 7.6 Contraception is a legitimate health measure. 9.6 Contraception is the only solution to many of our social problems. Most We should not only allow but enforce limitation on family size.

25 An Example of a Likert-Scale Item to Measure Attitudes Towards Nuclear Power Plants
`I believe that nuclear power plants are one of the great dangers of industrial societies´ +2 Strongly agree +1 Moderately agree 0 Neutral or undecided -1 Moderately disagree -2 Strongly disagree

26 A 7-Point ‘Likert-Type’ Self-Rating Scale
Are you favour of having nuclear power plants in Britain? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 STRONGLY APPROVE STRONGLY DISAPPROVE NEUTRAL

Rating The Concept of `Nuclear Power´ on a 7-Point Semantic Differential Scale SEMANTIC DIFFERENTIAL SCALE Nuclear power GOOD BAD STRONG WEAK FAST SLOW

28 Attitude Accessibility Model
Fazio (1989, 1995) proposed the attitude accessibility model Attitude is automatically activated on presence of situational cues that have a strong effect on life outcomes Attitudes are most influential when they are relevant and important Attitude object in memory Evaluation of attitude object No link Attitude object in memory Evaluation of attitude object Weak link Attitude object in memory Strong link Evaluation of attitude object

29 Fazio’s Automatic Activation Model
According to the attitude accessibility model (Fazio, 1989), attitude accessibility — the ease with which attitudes can be retrieved from memory — plays a key role in the attitude-behaviour link. Source: Fazio (1989) Presentation of attitude object (activation) Strong attitude activated-retrieved from memory Evaluation of attitude object and situation Information processing and behaviour toward attitude object

30 Persuasive Communication
The ‘Yale’ approach precursor and highly influential in persuasive communication Hovland and coworkers identified the features of persuasive communication Message (content) Source or communicator Audience

31 Yale Approach to Persuasive Communication (Hovland et al., 1953)
Message Order of arguments One- vs two-sided arguments Type of appeal Explicit vs implicit conclusion Opinion change Attention Perception change Source Expertise Trustworthiness Likeability Status Race Comprehension Affect change Audience Persuasibility Initial position Intelligence Self-esteem Personality Acceptance Action change

32 The Source or ‘Communicator’
Experts more persuasive (and credible) than non-experts (Hovland & Weiss, 1952) Popular and attractive communicators are most effective (Kiesler & Kiesler, 1969) People speaking more quickly are more effective than slow speakers (Miller et al., 1976), conveys expertise in subject matter. George Best and ‘Cookstown’ sausages

33 Source Credibility * Hours of sleep advocated by source * 8 7 6 5 4 3
2 1 Bochner & Insko (1996) Low credibility (YMCA instructor) High credibility (Nobel prize winner) * Hours of sleep advocated by source  Discrepancy from modal student opinion *

34 The Message Persuasion is more effective if the message is not perceived to be deliberately intending to manipulate opinions Persuasion is enhanced using evaluatively-biased language – information vs. evaluation e.g. price, contents, offer etc. vs. value for money Can persuasion be enhanced using messages that arouse fear in the audience?

35 Does Fear Work? Fear messages pervasive in advertising and communication But how fearful can a message become and still be effective?

36 Does Fear Work? Early research suggested low-fear was optimal (e.g., dental hygiene, Janis & Feshbach, 1953) Leventhal et al. (1967) found high-fear message promoted greater willingness to stop smoking McGuire (1969) suggested an ‘inverted-U’ hypothesis Messages with too little fear may not highlight the potential harm of the targeted act Very disturbing images may distract people from the message itself or may evoke an ‘avoidance’ reaction (Keller & Block, 1995)

37 Does Fear Work? High Amount of attitude change Low High
Increase in fear McGuire’s (1969) ‘Inverted-U’ hypothesis

38 Does Fear Work? Recent fear appeals
Department for transport advertisements THINK! Teenager road campaign THINK! Drink driving campaign Department of health anti-smoking campaigns

39 The Medium and the Message
Source: Eagly and Chaiken (1983)

40 The Audience Self-esteem
Hovland et al. suggested that people with low self-esteem were more susceptible to persuasion and attitude change McGuire (1968) suggested that this also followed an inverted-U relationship

41 The Audience Gender effects
Women more easily persuaded than men (Cooper, 1979; Eagly, 1978) Reasons suggested are: Socialisation into cooperative roles (Eagly et al., 1981) Only when women less familiar with subject matter (Sistrunk & McDavid, 1971) Carli (1990) suggested that men more persuaded by ‘tentative’ female communicator but women equally persuaded by both Covell et al. (1994) female participants found to prefer image-related marketing of tobacco and alcohol over quality- or attribute-oriented advertising

42 Dual Process Models of Persuasion
Elaboration-likelihood model (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986) Two ‘routes’ to persuasion Central route = when message is followed closely, considerable cognitive effort expended Peripheral route = Superficial processing of peripheral cues, attraction rather than information

43 Elaboration-Likelihood Model (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986)
Information processing Attitude change Elaboration Route HIGH LEVEL CENTRAL CAREFUL Depends on Quality of Arguments Persuasive message LOW LEVEL PERIPHERAL NOT CAREFUL Depends on Presence of Persuasion cues

44 Dual Process Models of Persuasion
Heuristic-systematic model (Chaiken, 1987) Contrasts ‘systematic’ and ‘heuristic’ processing Systematic = careful, deliberative scanning and processing of available arguments/information Heuristic processing = people use ‘cognitive heuristics’ or ‘shortcuts’/’rules of thumb’ to make judgements Heuristic processing involves using ‘mental shortcuts’ like a ‘cognitive miser’: ‘longer arguments are always convincing’ ‘statistics don’t lie’ ‘you can’t trust a lawyer’

45 Dual Process Models of Persuasion
When is heuristic processing used? Petty and Wegener (1998) suggest a ‘sufficiency threshold’ – as long as heuristics produce an attitude that we are confident with Of not, systematic processing may be used Use of systematic processing also halted by: Mood –people in good moods tend to use heuristics (Gorn, 1982; Bohner et al., 1994) Emotion – high-fear messages tend to be processes peripherally while low-fear more centrally.

46 Background to Cognitive Dissonance Theory
Framework for explaining the effect of behaviour and experience on formation and change in attitudes Festinger (1954) examined how attitudes, behaviour and self-esteem (self-image) are linked Any inconsistency may motivate change Recall ideas of cognitive imbalance (Heider, 1958) and cognitive incongruence (Osgood & Tannenbaum, 1955)

47 Cognitive Dissonance Theory
Key concept: Dissonance – an unpleasant feeling of anxiety and of ‘disequilibrium’ Premise 1: If a person does something (behaviour) OR is presented with counter-attitudinal information that is in contrast to his or her personal opinion (attitude) an internal conflict (dissonance) arises Premise 2: Dissonance motivates people to make alterations to their behavioural or internal states to restore the equilibrium between their attitudes and their behaviour Premise 3: Dissonance can be attenuated (reduced) using 3 means (1) reducing the importance of one of the dissonant elements (attitude change) (2) adding a ‘consonant’ element (cognitive re-appraisal) (3) changing one of the dissonant elements (behaviour change)

48 Examples of Cognitive Dissonance Theory
Attitudes Dissonant Element Source of Dissonance Strategy A student believes he’s intelligent and that intelligent people perform well at school He gets bad grades all the time Discrepancy between belief in intelligence and performance Behavioural: Tries harder to get good grades Attitudinal: “Believes he’s not that intelligent” Add consonant elements: “I don’t have time to study”; “My teacher is rubbish and unfair”; “Grades aren’t a good indicator of intelligence, anyway” You believe that Britney Spears is the best pop artist since Take That and you buy a her latest masterpiece Your best friend says Britney is rubbish, has no talent and all her songs sound the same Discrepancy between your attitudes and behaviour towards Britney and someone else’s attitudes Behavioural: Sell Britney single on EBay recouping most of your losses Attitudinal: “I guess she’s not that good” Add consonant elements: “It said she was the ‘queen of pop’ in Heat magazine, how can they be wrong”; “What do they know about music anyway? They like Westlife”

49 Induced Compliance Rating of Liking for the Task Payment
Source: Festinger, L. & Carlsmith, J.M. (1959). Cognitive consequences of forced compliance. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58,

50 Effort Justification More interesting More boring
Source: Aronson & Mills (1959)

51 Induced Compliance Source: Croyle, R.T. and Cooper, J. (1983). Dissonance arousal: Physical evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45,

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