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Q3 L02 Attitude Formation and Measurement


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Q3 L02 Attitude Formation and Measurement

  2. 2. Behavioural approaches<br />Belief that one’s attitudes are the products of direct experience with attitude objects.<br />Explanations include:<br />Mere exposure, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, social learning theory and self-perception theory.<br />
  3. 3. Task:<br />The next slide shows photos of four young people... <br />
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  12. 12. Out of these people,<br />which of the following do you like most? Which would you trust most? Which do think would be your friends?<br />
  13. 13. Mere Exposure<br />The idea that repeated exposure to an object results in a strengthened response.<br />However, the effect diminishes.<br />Mere exposure has most impact when we lack information about an issue.<br />E.g. Elections<br />
  14. 14. Classical Conditioning<br />Evaluative conditioning – a stimulus will probably become more liked or less liked when consistently paired with a +ve or –ve stimuli.<br />E.g. Soft drinks + Persuasive messages = more persuaded<br />Spreading attitude effect…<br />
  15. 15. Enrique and Leon<br />Mary<br />Barely knows either…<br />Meh!<br />Marek<br />
  16. 16. Enrique and Leon<br />Mary<br />Barely knows either…<br />Meh!<br />Enrique is now less likeable…<br />(evaluative conditioning)<br />Leon is also less likeable <br />(spreading attitude effect)<br />Marek<br />Enrique seen talking to Marek!<br />Mary dislikes Marek very much…<br />
  17. 17. Instrumental Conditioning<br />Behaviour that is followed by positive consequences is reinforced and is more likely to be repeated, whereas behaviour that is followed by negative consequences is not.<br />When parents reward or punish their children, they are shaping their attitudes on many issues, including religion or political beliefs and practices.<br />Adults’ attitudes can also be shaped by verbal reinforcers.<br />
  18. 18. Social Learning theory<br />The view that attitude formation is a social learning process that does not depend on direct reinforcers.<br />Based on modelling. Sources include: parents and media.<br />Bandura.<br />Children see, Children do<br />
  19. 19. Self-Perception Theory<br />Bem (1972) – idea that we gain knowledge of ourselves only by making self-attributions.<br />That is, examining your own behaviour and asking ‘Why did I do that?’.<br />E.g. if you often go for long walks, you may conclude that ‘I must like them, as I’m always doing that’. <br />Bem’s theory suggests that people act, and form attitudes, without much deliberate thinking.<br />
  20. 20. Measuring attitudes<br />
  21. 21. Explicit or Implicit?<br />
  22. 22. Explicit<br />Explicit: people simply asked to agree or disagree with various statements about their beliefs.<br />Assumed in 1930s that explicit measures would get at people’s real beliefs and opinions  Gallup Polls, attitude questionnaires on host of social issues.<br />Sophisticated scales created...<br />
  23. 23. Attitude Scales – Thurstone Scale<br />Thurstone (1928) collected more than 100 statements of opinion ranging from extremely favourable to extremely hostile. <br />Participants classified statements into eleven categories on a favourable-unfavourable continuum. <br />Responses narrowed items down to twenty-two items (two for each of the eleven points)<br />A person’s attitude score is calculated by averaging the scale values of the items endorsed.<br />
  24. 24. Likert scale<br />Likert (1932) asked respondents to use a five-point response scale to indicate how much they strongly agree (5) – strongly disagree (1) with each of a series of statements.<br />Score = total sum across the statements<br />
  25. 25. Guttman Scale<br />Guttman (1944) used a set of statements ordered along a continuum ranging from least extreme to most extreme.<br />Items are cumulative; acceptance of one item implies acceptance of the others that are less extreme. <br />EgI would accept aliens (1) into my country (2) into my neighbourhood (3) into my house<br />
  26. 26. Osgood<br />Osgood (1957) avoided opinion statements and focused on the connotative meaning of words/concepts.<br />E.g. Nuclear power is ‘good/bad’, ‘nice/awful’, ‘pleasant/unpleasant’, ‘fair/unfair’, ‘valuable/worthless’<br />
  27. 27. Scales<br />
  28. 28. Physiological measures<br />Advantage over self-report measures: people may not realise their attitudes are being assessed or alter their responses.<br />Disadvantages: most are sensitive to variables other than attitudes and provide little information (indicates intensity, but not direction)<br />Facial expressions: Facial muscle movements linked to underlying attitudes. <br />Social neuroscience: measuring brain activity. Levin (2000) investigated racial attitudes by measuring event-related brain potentials that indicate electrical activity when we respond to different stimuli.<br />
  29. 29. Levin<br />White participants viewed a series of white and black faces, and ERP component indicated that white faces received more attention <br />Suggesting participants processed their racial ingroup more deeply and the racial outgroup more superficially.<br />
  30. 30. Measures of overt/covert behaviour<br />Overt - Unobtrusive measures: dustbins, prints on display cases, book/DVD withdrawals, etc.<br />Covert- bias in language, priming, Implicit association test<br />
  31. 31. Write a few sentences about a sibling<br />
  32. 32. Linguistic intergroup bias: Maass and colleagues found:<br />
  33. 33. GROUP 1<br />
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  35. 35. NASTY<br />BAD<br />GOOD<br />
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  37. 37. GRAND<br />BAD<br />GOOD<br />
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  39. 39. FILTH<br />BAD<br />GOOD<br />
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  41. 41. SMART<br />BAD<br />GOOD<br />
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  43. 43. MESSY<br />BAD<br />GOOD<br />
  44. 44. GROUP 2<br />
  45. 45. NASTY<br />BAD<br />GOOD<br />
  46. 46. GRAND<br />BAD<br />GOOD<br />
  47. 47. FILTH<br />BAD<br />GOOD<br />
  48. 48. SMART<br />BAD<br />GOOD<br />
  49. 49. MESSY<br />BAD<br />GOOD<br />
  50. 50. PRIMING…<br />Kawakami, ,Young and Dovidio (2002): Primed vs Control (non-primed) group. 1) Primed group was shown a random series of photos of two different age sets (older and university-age) for 250 milliseconds. Each followed by the word ‘old?’ and participants responded yes/no on keyboard.2) Both groups shown a list of strings of words and non-words and asked to respond Y/N if the word string was a real word or not. Real words were either age-stereotypic or not age-stereotypic. (serious, distrustful, elderly, pensioner vs. practical, jealous, teacher, florist)<br />
  51. 51. Results<br />Primed group (but not the control group) were a little quicker in responding to age-stereotypic words.<br />Primed group took longer overall to respond than the control group. Possible reason: the concept elderly activated a behavioural representation in the memory of people who are mentally and physically slower than the young. The participants may have unwittingly slowed down when they responded.<br />
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  53. 53. In Sum…<br />Attitudes can be formed from mere exposure, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, social learning theory and/or self-perception theory.<br />Attitudes can be measured through explicit means (agree or disagree with various statements about their beliefs) as well as implicitly (scales, connotative meanings)<br />Scales include Thurstone, Likert, Guttman and Osgood’s semantic differential.<br />Attitudes can be measured using physiological techniques (facial muscle movements, brain activity)<br />Measurements of covert attitudes include language bias, priming and IAT<br />