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PY 372 Week 5 Notes

by: Jordana Baraad

PY 372 Week 5 Notes PY 372

Jordana Baraad
GPA 3.9

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About this Document

This covers the notes from this week's T/R classes 9/13 and 9/15, covering the topics Attitude and Conformity.
Social Psychology
William Peter Hart
Class Notes
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jordana Baraad on Thursday September 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PY 372 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by William Peter Hart in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychology at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.


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Date Created: 09/15/16
9/13/16 When will attitudes predict behavior?  • 4. When the attitude is personally relevant—based in experience – ex. drugs—told they might be bad for you v. having a bad personal experiment I have to learn the hard way. Another, Related Idea… Attitudes sometimes “mixed review” (complex) “ABC’s” factor in ex. “How do you feel about Dad?” mixed feelings complicate the prediction When will attitudes predict behavior?  • 5. When the cognitive (C) and affective (A) components of attitude match.  – Example: Attitude towards a guy after a date  – COGNITIVE: Is he right for me?  N  N – AFFECTIVE: Am I attracted to him?  N  Y – BEHAVIOR: Run Away?    N ? Another Idea… Technical measures: we need to consider the concreteness  of measures used to consider  attitude measured relative to what you’re trying to predict Measure attitude and behavior w/ same level specificity Ex. measuring attitude toward “religion” not a good correlation to Church Attendance, and vice versa When will attitudes predict behavior?  • 6. When appropriate measures are used.  – Measure at the same level of specificity • Action, target, context  – Use “multiple act criterion”  • Your attitude toward religion may predict religious behavior, generally  When will behavior affect attitudes?  • 1. Foot­in­the door effect: Tendency for people who have complied with a small  request to be more willing to comply with a larger request later. Often times, wouldn’t have agreed to the larger request if asked initially Similar to “reciprocity effect” (give someone something “for free,” then solicit a “donation”) dramatic manipulation—ex. Ugly Sign  1. people asked to put ugly sign on lawns—7% yes 2. people asked to put small ugly sticker in window a. THEN to put larger version on lawn—67% 3. huge increase ex. March of Dimes When will behavior affect attitudes?  • 2. Low­ball technique: Tendency to comply with a large, unexpected request after  having committed to an earlier request.  SAME request, but the price changes v. (1) request is upped Ex. agree to pay $3k for car; price raised to $3.5 k Wouldn’t have paid originally BUT… Feel like you already committed Why does behavior affect attitudes?  1. motivational reason—people prefer consistency btwn Behavior (B) & Attitudes  a. cognitive dissonance theory b. self­presentation c. self­affirmation 2. people infer their attitudes from their behavior d. self­perception Why?... 1. Consistency Theories a. Cognitive Dissonance Theory – people motivated by need to be consistent  consistency desirable btwn thoughts/ theories/ behavior – Festinger (1957) ­ Dissonance is a tension that arises when one is simultaneously aware of two inconsistent cognitions.  – to relieve the tension, must  either change our attitude or our behavior.  – Dissonance is unsettling   motivation to relieve it o similar to urge to relieve hunger by eating • Research example:– Festinger & Carlsmith (1959) ???? • Insufficient justification: Reduction of dissonance by internally justifying one’s behavior when the external justification is “insufficient” ex. cog dissonance and tobacco smoking—conflict is… a. believe smoking is unhealthy  b. want to be healthy  BUT c. you’re a smoker minimize importance/ reality of one or more to resolve dissonance • Major assumptions of dissonance theory:  – People have many pre­existing attitudes.  – People prefer consistency among attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors  – Inconsistency creates an aversive state of arousal  – People may resolve the dissonance by changing their attitudes  • Ways to reduce dissonance:  – 1. Change your cognitions. – 2. Add new cognitions.  – 3. Change the importance of relevant cognitions.  • Post­decisional dissonance (a.k.a. “buyer’s remorse”): A state of psychological  dissonance that often occurs after making an important decision.  – Brehm (1956) ­ First published dissonance experiment.  o Studied postdecisional change in the ranking of products.  o Once decision is irreversible, want to believe it’s a good decision  Done to resolve conflict btwn self­concept as rational person and  possibility that made an irrational purchase • When does postdecisional dissonance occur?  1) Important decisions arouse more dissonance than unimportant  2) more equal attractiveness of the alternatives  harder decision  3) The less similar the alternatives, the more dissonance  Why?... 1. Consistency Theories b. Self­presentation: the need to maintain a desired self­image – We want to appear consistent to others and ourselves in our attitudes and behaviors   Maintaining self­esteem is key.   NOT appear hypocritical, fake, etc. – Steele (1988) – Lab coat study  Why?... 1. Consistency Theories • c. Self­affirmation (the need to assert self­adequacy)  – People do not have a need for consistency  – Inconsistency feels foolish – restoring self­ image eliminates need to change attitude  – a lot like self­presentation, but more inward—perception of self, by self o not perception of self, by others Test­Q Cognitive dissonance: inherently bothered by inconsistency Must handle the actual inconsistency  v. self­affirmation: bothered by meaning of the inconsistency address the feeling it creates, not necessarily an element of inconsistency Comprehension Check Q: Carl is pro­recycling, and he believed people should recycle.  He cannot find a  recycling bin, so he throws his coke can in the trash and feels foolish and guilty.  Later, a  pretty girl compliments him, and he feels good and forgets the coke can.  This is an  example of… self­affirmation: bothered by meaning of the inconsistency affirmation from another source negates the feeling no need to address the actual inconsistency to change the feeling NOT cognitive dissonance: inconsistency not addressed to change feeling NOT self­preservation: no outward behavior change Why does behavior affect attitudes?  We simply interpret our attitudes from our behavior.  d. Self­perception Theory: (Bem, 1972) ­ Primarily a theory of attitude formation  – whereas Cognitive dissonance is primarily a theory of attitude change.   Major assumptions of self­perception theory:  o People do not have lots of pre­existing attitudes  o We infer other people's attitudes by perceiving their behavior  Treat our own attitudes the same way Related… • Overjustification effect­ People view their behavior as caused by compelling extrinsic  reasons, making them underestimate the extent to which their behavior was caused by  intrinsic reasons  – Greene, Sternberg and Lepper (1976)  o Kids’ interest in a task and how they are rewarded  o The extrinsic rewards undermined their intrinsic motivation  Comparative Summary • Cognitive Dissonance Theory – People need to be consistent.  consistent in words and deeds.  • Self­Presentation Theory– People want to maintain an image of consistency  • Self­Affirmation Theory– People want to feel good about themselves  (not necessarily different from s­p theory).  • Self­Perception Theory – Interpret attitudes from own behavior.  9/15/16 Discussion  Class attendance policy?  Good or bad? Self­perception theories indicate that intrinsic motivation is better Class attendance policy is counter­productive (extrinsic motivation) We want to believe that we’re acting on our own will • Experiences of conformity (doing something or not doing something because of the  influence of others)  ex. clothing, speech, vody language • What situational or personal factors make people conform?  Inconsistency with the norms we see are disconcerting; we avoid them Sometimes consciously, sometimes not People like people who are similar to them We know this and try to be similar, bc we want to be liked  What about “nonconformists”? Powerful people make rules, rather than following them Some like to give the impression of power in self­determination May appear attractive Sometimes bc of strongly held conviction (i.e. MLK) Definitions and Concepts ­­ 3 types of social influence :  • Conformity ­ A change in behavior or beliefs to agree with others.  NOT  a spoken request; no explicit pressure • Compliance ­ Yielding to a request for certain behaviors or agreement to a particular point of view while privately disagreeing.  • Obedience ­ change in behavior or beliefs as a result of the commands of others in authority.  Comprehension Check: which is which? Following the speed limit?  ­­obeying (law is a command) Buy shoes you see worn all around campus?  ­­conformity (no one told/ asked you to) Give money to charity when asked? –compliance (request, not command or impulse) Conformity: 2 types 1. Informational social influence – Conform bc accepting evidence provided by others  Motivated by… need to be right  Ex. Sherif (1936) ­ Study on formation of group norms using autokinetic effect o Autokinetic effect: stationary light on wall appears to be moving  Really a result of movement of eyes in head o Effect varies person by person; each person gages “motion” differently o Negotiation in groups  consensus about false realist 2. Normative influence ­ Conformity based on a desire to fulfill others’ expectations.  NEXT CLASS Asch (1955) Studies of group pressure “The line judging studies”  X% conformed to the group’s blatantly incorrect guess. 


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