Presentation on theme: "C82SAD: Attitudes, persuasive communication, and attitude change"— Presentation transcript:
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, 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 objectDual model. A mental state of readiness and therefore guides some evaluation or response towards and objectTripartite 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”AffectiveEmotion based e.g.“Harmful-Beneficial”“Relaxing-Stressful”“Tasty-Bitter”BehaviouralIntention 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 attitudesClassical conditioning – neutral stimuli paired with salient response results in an attitudeOperant conditioning – attitudes shaped by a reinforcement system of reward and punishmentObservational learning – modelling in vicarious experiences
9 Attitude Formation Cognitive theories Information integration theory – attitudes formed by ‘averaging’ available information on a objectSelf-perception theory – infer attitudes from own behaviour (Bem, 1960)Mood-as-information hypothesis – Emotion (mood) provides basis of evaluation of attitudes objectsHeuristic processing – decision ‘rules of thumb’ are used to make judgements and form ‘mental shortcuts’ in memoryPersuasion – 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 BreakfastTuesday, 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 reducedClassic study: LaPiere (1934) restaurateur's attitudes towards Asians in 1930’s USA- questioned validity of the attitude-behaviour linkWicker (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 consumptionStimulated study into the personality, contextual, temporal and methodological influences on the attitude-behaviour relationship
13 Attitude-Behaviour Relationship Reasons for lack of a relationship:MethodologicalUnreliability and low validity of attitude and/or behavioural measuresTime between attitude and behavioural measureModalityLack of compatibility/correspondence between attitude and behaviourTarget, Action, Context and TimeRecent 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 actualbehaviourAttitudesIntentionsBehaviourStated volitional plans“I plan…/I intend.../ I expect...”SubjectiveNormsEvaluation of others evaluation “my parents think…”,”my teacher thinks…”
16 Where do Attitudes and Subjective Norms Come From? BehaviouralBeliefsXOutcomeEvaluationsAttitudesIntentionsBehaviourNormativeBeliefsXMotivation toComplySubjectiveNorms
17 Expectancy-value Models of Attitudes and Subjective Norms Man’s belief about woman using pillMan’s belief about man using condomAttributeStrength of beliefValue of beliefResultReliability0.90X+2=+1.800.70-1-0.70Embarras-ement1.00+2.000.80-2-1.60Side effects0.10-0.10Outcome+3.70-0.30
18 The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) (Ajzen , 1989) AttitudesIntentionsBehaviourSubjectiveNormsControlBeliefsXPerceivedPowerPerceivedControlEvaluation of capacities/barriers/abilities“self-efficacy”/”easy-difficult”
19 The Effect of Including Perceived Behavioural Control Behaviour: vitaminsIntentions: vitaminsBehaviour: sleepIntentions: sleepTheorySource: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 ondata from Terry andHogg (1996)6.0Group identification:LowHigh5.5Intention to engage in regular exercise(7-point scale)5.04.54.0LowHighIngroup normativeness of own attitude
22 Protection Motivation Theory Balancing perceived threat vs. capacity to cope with healthy behaviourCognitive processesIntrinsic rewardExtrinsic rewardPerceived vulnerabilityPerceived severityThreatappraisalProtectionmotivation(Maladaptive)Response efficacySelf-efficacyResponse efficacySelf-efficacyResponse efficacySelf-efficacyPerceivedresponse-costCopingappraisal(Adaptive)Source: Floyd, Prentice-Dunn, Rogers (2000)
23 Measuring AttitudesThurstone’s (1928) equal appearing interval scale – developed from 100s of items (questions)Likert (1932) scale – 5- point scales with +ive and –ive scoringSemantic differential scale (Osgood et al., 1957) –uses word pairsScalogram (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 EAttitude towards ContraceptionHow favourable Value on 11- Itempoint scaleLeast 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 agree0 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?1234567STRONGLYAPPROVESTRONGLYDISAPPROVENEUTRAL
27 SEMANTIC DIFFERENTIAL SCALE Rating The Concept of `Nuclear Power´ on a 7-Point Semantic Differential ScaleSEMANTIC DIFFERENTIAL SCALENuclear powerGOOD BADSTRONG WEAKFAST SLOW
28 Attitude Accessibility Model Fazio (1989, 1995) proposed the attitude accessibility modelAttitude is automatically activated on presence of situational cues that have a strong effect on life outcomesAttitudes are most influential when they are relevant and importantAttitude objectin memoryEvaluation ofattitude objectNo linkAttitude objectin memoryEvaluation ofattitude objectWeak linkAttitude objectin memoryStrong linkEvaluation ofattitude 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 keyrole in the attitude-behaviour link.Source: Fazio (1989)Presentation of attitude object(activation)Strong attitudeactivated-retrievedfrom memoryEvaluation ofattitude object andsituationInformation processingand behaviour towardattitude object
30 Persuasive Communication The ‘Yale’ approach precursor and highly influential of persuasive communicationHovland and coworkers identified the features of persuasive communicationMessage (content)Source or communicatorAudience
31 Yale Approach to Persuasive Communication (Hovland et al., 1953) MessageOrder of argumentsOne- vs two-sided argumentsType of appealExplicit vs implicit conclusionOpinion changeAttentionPerception changeSourceExpertiseTrustworthinessLikeabilityStatusRaceComprehensionAffect changeAudiencePersuasibilityInitial positionIntelligenceSelf-esteemPersonalityAcceptanceAction 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.
33 Source Credibility * Hours of sleep advocated by source * 8 7 6 5 4 3 21Bochner & Insko (1996_Low credibility(YMCA instructor)High credibility(Nobel prize winner)*Hours of sleep advocated by source Discrepancy from modal student opinion*
34 The MessagePersuasion is more effective if the message is not perceived to be deliberately intending to manipulate opinionsPersuasion is enhanced using evaluatively-biased language – information vs. evaluation e.g. price, contents, offer etc. vs. value for moneyCan 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 communicationBut 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 smokingMcGuire (1969) suggested an ‘inverted-U’ hypothesisMessages with too little fear may not highlight the potential harm of the targeted actVery disturbing images may distract people from the message itself or may evoke an ‘avoidance’ reaction (Keller & Block, 1995)
38 Does Fear Work? High Amount of attitude change Low High Increase in fearMcGuire’s (1969) ‘Inverted-U’ hypothesis
39 Does Fear Work? Recent fear appeals Department for transport advertisementsTHINK! Teenager road campaignTHINK! Drink driving campaignDepartment 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 changeMcGuire (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 bothCovell 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 persuasionCentral route = when message is followed closely, considerable cognitive effort expendedPeripheral route = Superficial processing of peripheral cues, attraction rather than information
45 Dual Process Models of Persuasion Heuristic-systematic model (Chaiken, 1987)Contrasts ‘systematic’ and ‘heuristic’ processingSystematic = careful, deliberative scanning and processing of available arguments/informationHeuristic processing = people use ‘cognitive heuristics’ or ‘shortcuts’/’rules of thumb’ to make judgementsHeuristic processing involves using ‘mental shortcuts’ like a ‘cognitive miser’:‘longer arguments are always convincing’‘statistics don’t lie’‘you can’t 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 withOf not, systematic processing may be usedUse 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 attitudesFestinger (1954) examined how attitudes, behaviour and self-esteem (self-image) are linkedAny inconsistency may motivate changeRecall 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) arisesPremise 2: Dissonance motivates people to make alterations to their behavioural or internal states to restore the equilibrium between their attitudes and their behaviourPremise 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 ElementSource of DissonanceStrategyA student believes he’s intelligent and that intelligent people perform well at schoolHe gets bad grades all the timeDiscrepancy between belief in intelligence and performanceBehavioural: Tries harder to get good gradesAttitudinal: “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 masterpieceYour best friend says Britney is rubbish, has no talent and all her songs sound the sameDiscrepancy between your attitudes and behaviour towards Britney and someone else’s attitudesBehavioural: Sell Britney single on EBay recouping most of your lossesAttitudinal: “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”
50 Induced Compliance Rating of Liking for the Task Payment Source: Festinger, L. & Carlsmith, J.M. (1959). Cognitive consequences of forcedCompliance. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58,
51 Effort Justification More interesting More boring Source: Aronson & Mills 1959)
52 Induced ComplianceSource: Croyle, R.T. and Cooper, J. (1983). Dissonance arousal: Physicalevidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45,