Social Judgment Theory


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Social Judgment Theory

  1. 1. SOCIAL JUDGMENT THEORY Muzafer Sherif
  2. 2. Attitudes <ul><li>Attitudes are “predispositions to respond” made up of what people think, feel, and intend to do” </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes can be positive or negative towards given issues but </li></ul><ul><li>not all issues are of equal importance to people, </li></ul><ul><li>and attitudes are not always reflected in behavior </li></ul>
  3. 3. Three Attitude Zones <ul><li>For Shafic, attitudes are clusters of beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>People compare messages with their present point of view, and their existing points of view are greatly influenced by group membership </li></ul><ul><li>Messages fall into ranges of attitude or latitudes of: Acceptance Rejection or Non-commitment (undecided, no opinion) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Ego-Involvement <ul><li>The more that one has invested in an issue, position, stand, opinion etc. the more “ego-involved” one is, and the more one’s attitude is ANCHORED. </li></ul><ul><li>Ego-involvement refers to how crucial an issue is in our lives, central to our well-being, a preoccupation in our thoughts, defining who we are </li></ul>
  5. 5. High Ego-Involvement <ul><li>People who have high ego-involvement in an issue tend to have: </li></ul><ul><li>nonexistent latitude of non-commitment </li></ul><ul><li>wide latitude of rejection </li></ul><ul><li>black and white views about the issue </li></ul><ul><li>extreme positions, passionately held </li></ul><ul><li>little tolerance for diversity </li></ul>
  6. 6. Being Persuaded <ul><li>Involves </li></ul><ul><li>(1) hearing the message and evaluating where it falls in relation to one’s own (ANCHORED) position (judgment) </li></ul><ul><li>(2) adjusting one’s attitude toward or away from the message </li></ul>
  7. 7. CONTRAST AND ASSIMILATION <ul><li>Contrast occurs when one sees a message in the latitude of rejection as falling further away from one’s anchored position than it really is. A persuasive message that falls into the latitude of rejection, therefore, “boomerangs.” </li></ul><ul><li>Assimilation occurs when one sees a message in the latitude of acceptance as falling closer to one’s anchored position than it really is. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Maximum Influence <ul><li>Max influence achieved when persuasive message falls just within receiver’s latitude of acceptance. </li></ul><ul><li>Effective persuasion is often a gradual process consisting of small movements. </li></ul><ul><li>It is also social . Messages from highly trusted, credible people stretch latitude of acceptance. </li></ul><ul><li>Ambiguous messages may have more chance of falling into latitude of acceptance </li></ul><ul><li>Most dramatic/enduring attitude changes occur with changes in reference group </li></ul><ul><li>Some people are dogmatic on most issues </li></ul>
  9. 9. Critique <ul><li>Ethical issues </li></ul><ul><li>Most research fails to find boomerang effect and suggests simply that as messages fall more into latitude of rejection they become less persuasive </li></ul><ul><li>Strong implications for public speaking </li></ul><ul><li>Theory does not deal much with people with low involvement other than to say they have high latitude of non-commitment and see more grays. </li></ul><ul><li>Other sources suggest that they may be more open to persuasion on issues about which they do not know much </li></ul>