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C82SAD: Attitudes, persuasive communication, and attitude change.

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1 C82SAD: Attitudes, persuasive communication, and attitude change

2 What is an Attitude? Social psychology is the study of attitudes (Allport, 1935) Distinction between social psychologists use of the word attitude and the generally used term i.e. He has an attitude problem, Wow, shes 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? Cognitive Belief based e.g. Beer kills my brain cells Beer helps me to relax Beer tastes good after a hard days work Attitude object: Beer 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 Im 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 childrens attitude Atkin, 1980)

11 Common Sense: Attitudes and Behaviour You cant 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 isnt really any good for kids to be brought up on a poor diet…Its a question of changing attitudes over time Tony Blair speaking on BBC Breakfast Tuesday, 10 th October 2006

12 Attitude-Behaviour Relationship Of principle concern - if attitudes dont guide behaviour then their efficacy and utility as a construct is greatly reduced Classic study: LaPiere (1934) restaurateur's attitudes towards Asians in 1930s 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 = (expectancy i x value i ) i = 1

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

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

17 Expectancy-value Models of Attitudes and Subjective Norms Mans belief about woman using pillMans belief about man using condom AttributeStrength of belief Value of belief Resul t Strength of belief Value of belief Resul t Reliability0.90X+2= X=-0.70 Embarras- ement 1.00X+2= X-2=-1.60 Side effects 0.10X= X+2=+2.00 Outcome

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

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

20 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) Factors Affecting Attitude- Intention Relationship in TPB

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 LowHigh Ingroup normativeness of own attitude Intention to engage in regular exercise (7-point scale) Group identification: Low High Source: based on data from Terry and Hogg (1996)

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

23 Measuring Attitudes Thurstones (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 favourableValue on 11-Item point scale Least 1.3Practising contraception should be punishable by law. 3.6Contraception is morally wrong in spite of possible benefits. Neutral 5.4Contraception has both advantages and disadvantages. 7.6Contraception is a legitimate health measure. 9.6Contraception is the only solution to many of our social problems. Most10.3We 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´ +2Strongly agree +1Moderately agree 0Neutral or undecided -1Moderately disagree -2 Strongly disagree

26 A 7-Point Likert-Type Self-Rating Scale Are you favour of having nuclear power plants in Britain? STRONGLY APPROVE NEUTRAL STRONGLY DISAPPROVE

27 Rating The Concept of `Nuclear Power´ on a 7-Point Semantic Differential Scale GOODBAD STRONGWEAK FASTSLOW SEMANTIC DIFFERENTIAL SCALE Nuclear power

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 Attitude object in memory Evaluation of attitude object Attitude object in memory Evaluation of attitude object No link Weak link Strong link

29 Fazios 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 of 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 Source Expertise Trustworthiness Likeability Status Race Audience Persuasibility Initial position Intelligence Self-esteem Personality Attention Comprehension Acceptance Action change Affect change Opinion change Perception change

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

33 Source Credibility * Hours of sleep advocated by source Discrepancy from modal student opinion * Bochner & Insko (1996_ Low credibility (YMCA instructor) High credibility (Nobel prize winner)

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

35 Fear Communication There is now a danger that is a threat to us all. It is a deadly disease and there is no known cure. The virus can be passed during sexual intercourse with an infected person. Anyone can get it... If you ignore AIDS it could be the death of you. So don't die of ignorance

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

37 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)

38 Does Fear Work? Amount of attitude change Increase in fear Low High McGuires (1969) Inverted-U hypothesis

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

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

41 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

42 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

43 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

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

45 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 dont lie –you cant trust a lawyer

46 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.

47 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)

48 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)

49 Examples of Cognitive Dissonance Theory AttitudesDissonant Element Source of Dissonance Strategy A student believes hes intelligent and that intelligent people perform well at school He gets bad grades all the time Discrepancy between belief in intelligence and performance 1.Behavioural: Tries harder to get good grades 2.Attitudinal: Believes hes not that intelligent 3.Add consonant elements: I dont have time to study; My teacher is rubbish and unfair; Grades arent 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 elses attitudes 1.Behavioural: Sell Britney single on EBay recouping most of your losses 2.Attitudinal: I guess shes not that good 3.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

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

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

52 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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