ATTITUDES (Psych 201 - Chapter 7 - Spring 2014)

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ATTITUDES (Psych 201 - Chapter 7 - Spring 2014)

  1. 1. This Week’s Playlist 1. Matchbox Twenty She’s So Mean (Attitudes Not Predicting Behavior) 2. Bobby McFerrin Don’t Worry, Be Happy (Self-Perception Theory) 3. Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, The WAV.s I Like How It Feels (Affective Component of Attitudes) 4. Kate Nash We Get On (Cognitive Dissonance) 5. Good Charlotte Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous (Extrinsic Motivators; System Justification) 6. Jessie J, B.o.B. Price Tag (Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivators) 7. Kanye West, Jay Z, Big Sean Clique (Effort Justification) 8. Jason Mraz I Won’t Give Up (Effort Justification; Cognitive Dissonance)
  2. 2. Melanie B. Tannenbaum, M.A. Psych 201 Spring 2014 Attitudes, Behavior, 
 and Rationalization
  3. 3. Chapter Topics ● What is an Attitude? ! ● Predicting Behavior from Attitudes ! ● Predicting Attitudes from Behavior ! ● Self-Perception Theory ! ● Broader Rationalization
  4. 4. What is an attitude?
  5. 5. What is an attitude? ● Evaluation of an object or behavior ● Categorization of an entity along an evaluation dimension ● Association in memory between an object and an evaluation ● Affective reactions elicited by an object ● Psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor
  6. 6. What is an attitude? ● Evaluation of an object or behavior ● Categorization of an entity along an evaluation dimension ● Association in memory between an object and an evaluation ● Affective reactions elicited by an object ● Psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor ! ● BASICALLY...how much you like or dislike something.
  7. 7. What is an attitude? An attitude is an evaluation (ranging from positive to negative) of a target object (e.g. a thing, person, idea, etc.) Smoking PowerPoint slides Nicki Minaj NFL Referees Chicago Cubs Review Sheets Social Psychology Angelina Jolie Romantic Lover President Obama New York Yankees H1N1 flu Broccoli Recession
  8. 8. Attitude ABCs
  9. 9. Attitude ABCs ● Affect: How the target makes you feel
  10. 10. Attitude ABCs ● Affect: How the target makes you feel ● Behavior: How you act towards the target
  11. 11. Attitude ABCs ● Affect: How the target makes you feel ● Behavior: How you act towards the target ● Cognition: Your knowledge/beliefs about the target
  12. 12. Attitude ABCs ● Affect: How the target makes you feel ● Behavior: How you act towards the target ● Cognition: Your knowledge/beliefs about the target ! ● These three parts of attitudes are often consistent with each other, but occasionally are not ● You can know that a spider is harmless (cognition), but still feel scared (affect) and run away from it shrieking (behavior). ! ● http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA3uryDJzI0
  13. 13. Attitudes & Behavior: Two-Way Street ● Previous behavior towards a target contributes to current attitude ! ● However, current attitudes also cause future behavior
  14. 14. Predicting Behavior From Attitudes This is harder than it seems!
  15. 15. Attitudes don’t always predict behavior! ! ● Diet: ● http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51sIqzEo7h4&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PLEA12D064EFCF6DE3 ! ! ! ! ! ● Marshmallow Test: ● http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y6R5boDqh4&feature=relmfu
  16. 16. Do our attitudes predict our behavior?
  17. 17. Do our attitudes predict our behavior? ● LaPiere (1934) ● Traveling across the U.S. with a Chinese couple in the 1930s, when anti- Chinese prejudice was very high ● LaPiere contacted 250 restaurants to ask them if they would serve Chinese customers, and 90% said that they would not.
  18. 18. Do our attitudes predict our behavior? ● LaPiere (1934) ● Traveling across the U.S. with a Chinese couple in the 1930s, when anti- Chinese prejudice was very high ● LaPiere contacted 250 restaurants to ask them if they would serve Chinese customers, and 90% said that they would not. ● However... When they actually visited these restaurants, they were only denied service at 1 of the 250 restaurants! ! ● Attitudes did not predict behavior.
  19. 19. Do our attitudes predict our behavior? ● LaPiere’s study shook up the landscape of attitude research ● How can attitudes be bad at predicting behavior?! Sometimes expressed attitudes don’t predict actual behavior at all!
  20. 20. Do our attitudes predict our behavior? ● LaPiere’s study shook up the landscape of attitude research ● How can attitudes be bad at predicting behavior?! Sometimes expressed attitudes don’t predict actual behavior at all! ● In a review of the existing literature on the link between attitudes and behavior, they found very weak evidence for any connection ● People might be anti-Walmart but shop there anyway ● People might have a positive attitude towards doctors, but skip their yearly check-ups
  21. 21. Do our attitudes predict our behavior? ● LaPiere’s study shook up the landscape of attitude research ● How can attitudes be bad at predicting behavior?! Sometimes expressed attitudes don’t predict actual behavior at all! ● In a review of the existing literature on the link between attitudes and behavior, they found very weak evidence for any connection ● People might be anti-Walmart but shop there anyway ● People might have a positive attitude towards doctors, but skip their yearly check-ups ! ● Can you think of a time when your attitude didn’t predict your actual behavior? ! A. Yes B. No
  22. 22. Predicting Behavior ● Nowadays, we’re pretty good at using attitudes to predict behavior with strong results
  23. 23. Predicting Behavior ● Nowadays, we’re pretty good at using attitudes to predict behavior with strong results ! ● However, attitude research has historically struggled to reliably predict behavior. Why?
  24. 24. Predicting Behavior ● Nowadays, we’re pretty good at using attitudes to predict behavior with strong results ! ● However, attitude research has historically struggled to reliably predict behavior. Why? ! ● Five Reasons: ● 1. Other powerful determinants ● 2. Attitudes can be inconsistent ● 3. Attitudes are sometimes based on secondhand information ● 4. Mismatch between specific and general ● 5. Automatic behavior can bypass conscious attitudes
  25. 25. #1: Other Powerful Determinants ! ● There are often other factors in our environment that shape our behavior other than our attitudes. ! ! ● Attitudes can be thought of like personality traits (stable) ! ! ● Social psychology is all about the power of the situation and how situational factors can overwhelm people’s dispositions!
  26. 26. #1: Other Powerful Determinants ● Darley & Batson (1973): “Good Samaritan Study” ● Those participants would have expressed attitudes that it is important to help people in need, but the time pressure made this attitude irrelevant ! ● LaPiere (1934) ● Social norms against “causing a scene” ! ● Milgram Study ● Most people probably would have expressed an attitude that they would never shock somebody ● The powerful determinant of the authority figure (and obedience) had a strong situational effect
  27. 27. #2: Attitudes Can Be Inconsistent ● People can hold ambivalent attitudes ! ● What does ambivalent mean? ● It does NOT mean neutral! ● It means you both like AND dislike something. ! ● Ambivalence = Ambi (both) + Valence (feelings)
  28. 28. #2: Attitudes Can Be Inconsistent ● Affective and cognitive components of attitudes may conflict Affective: Positive! ☺ Cognitive: Negative ☹ Affective: Negative ☹ Cognitive: Positive! ☺
  29. 29. #2: Attitudes Can Be Inconsistent ● Affective and cognitive components of attitudes may conflict Affective: Positive! ☺ Cognitive: Negative ☹ Affective: Negative ☹ Cognitive: Positive! ☺
  30. 30. #2: Attitudes Can Be Inconsistent ● True attitudes are not always accessible to conscious introspection; we don’t always know why we feel some way ! ● When asked, we can come up with plausible responses, but they may or may not predict actual behavior very well ● Why do you love your boyfriend/girlfriend? ● Why do you like this song? ! ● Introspection leads us to focus on the easiest-to-identify or easiest-to-verbalize reasons for liking/disliking something, possibly at the expense of identifying the real reasons ! ● Friends: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfuNqKhfin0
  31. 31. #2: Attitudes Can Be Inconsistent ● LaPiere (1934) ! ! ● The restaurant owners might have been focusing on their cognitions (negative) when answering the surveys. ! ! ● However...when the couple was actually in front of them, they might have been overwhelmed by their affective reactions (positive), wanting to be compassionate and help others.
  32. 32. #3: Attitudes sometimes based on secondhand information ● Attitudes based on firsthand information predict behavior better than attitudes based on secondhand information ● You probably have an attitude towards Miley Cyrus, but you probably haven’t met her. ! ! ● If you’ve actually experienced something before, your attitude will be a better predictor of behavior than if your attitude is not based on personal experience
  33. 33. #3: Attitudes sometimes based on secondhand information Attitudes towards participation in research predict actual rates much more strongly among previous participants Attitudes towards flu shots are a better predictor of vaccination behavior in people who have actually gotten flu shots before
  34. 34. ● Regan & Fazio, 1977: The Cornell Housing Study ● There was a housing shortage at Cornell, and many students had to sleep on cots in the common areas of their dorms for months ● Some students had firsthand experience (they had to sleep on the cots) whereas others did not ● Students were asked about their attitudes about the housing crisis and were given an opportunity to write a letter to the administration ● Did their attitudes predict their behavior (letter-writing)? #3: Attitudes sometimes based on secondhand information
  35. 35. ● Regan & Fazio, 1977: The Cornell Housing Study ● Results ● For the students with firsthand experience (those who slept on the cots), those with stronger attitudes were more likely to write a letter ! ● For the students with secondhand experience (did not have to sleep on the cots), much weaker relationship between attitudes and letter-writing #3: Attitudes sometimes based on secondhand information
  36. 36. ● LaPiere (1934) ! ● Restaurant owners who had never encountered Chinese patrons were probably much more likely to say they would refuse service; those who had met Chinese patrons before probably knew that they were no different than themselves ! ● The more experience that you have with a target, the more “solidified” your attitude becomes ● More experience = You know how you actually feel about it #3: Attitudes sometimes based on secondhand information
  37. 37. #4: Specific vs. General ! ● Typically, attitudes are pretty broad, but behaviors are specific. ! ! ● When attitudes and behavior are at the same level of specificity, attitudes are better predictors of behavior.
  38. 38. #4: Specific vs. General ● Which attitude would best predict what you do with your old keyboard when you buy a new computer? ! ● A. What is your attitude toward the environment? ● B. What is your attitude toward recycling? ● C. What is your attitude toward recycling your old electronics?
  39. 39. Davidson & Jaccard, 1979
  40. 40. #4: Specific vs. General ● This was probably the biggest problem with old behavioral predictions (mismatch between attitudes and behaviors) ! ! ● UIUC to the rescue!! ● Fishbein & Ajzen (1975) ! ! ● If you want to predict a specific behavior, you need to ask for respondents’ attitudes toward that specific behavior, not their general attitudes towards a larger domain of interest.
  41. 41. #4: Specific vs. General ● If you want to predict a specific behavior, ask a question about the specific attitude! ! ● If you want to match specificity, make sure that the behavior is at the same level of specificity! ! ● Examples of matching: ● How likely are you to watch TV in the next month/How often did you watch TV in the last month? ! ● What is your attitude towards dark chocolate?/How often do you eat dark chocolate?
  42. 42. #4: Specific vs. General ● Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) ● Ajzen & Fishbein (2005) ● The currently accepted “best model” for predicting behavior ● It was developed here at UIUC!
  43. 43. Question! ● You have been hired by Netflix to do market research. Netflix is interested in finding out how many people will watch the second season of their show House of Cards. ● Which question should best predict that behavior? ! ! ! ! ! ● A. What is your attitude towards Kevin Spacey? ● B. What is your attitude towards Netflix? ● C. What is your attitude towards watching House of Cards? ● D. What is your attitude towards TV political dramas?
  44. 44. ● Automatic behavior often bypasses conscious attitudes ! ! ● Think about priming! ● Priming “elderly” makes people walk slower ● Priming “rudeness” makes people more likely to interrupt ! ! ● Elderly Priming: ● http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g4_v4JStOU #5: Automatic Behavior
  45. 45. #5: Automatic Behavior ! ● Elderly Priming Study, Revisited ● Bargh, Chen, & Burrows, 1996 ● Participants were given a sentence completion task ● Half of them had to complete sentences that had words pertaining to elderly people (Florida, gray, old, etc.) ! People who were primed with “elderly” words walked slower as they were leaving the study!
  46. 46. ● Dijksterhuis & van Knippenburg (1998) ! ● Priming “professor” (relative to “supermodel”) makes people perform better on Trivial Pursuit ! ● Priming specific smart people or supermodels (e.g. “Albert Einstein” or “Claudia Schiffer”) makes people perform worse (they are contrasting themselves with the super-dumb/smart exemplars) #5: Automatic Behavior
  47. 47. ● Explicit Attitude Measures ● Attitudes that you verbally state out loud ● “I like puppies.” ● Example: Likert scales (scales from 1 to 7) ! ! ! ● Implicit Attitude Measures ● Unconscious attitudes ● Might be based on accessibility, response time, etc. ● Example: Implicit Association Test ● http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5Q5FQfXZag #5: Automatic Behavior
  48. 48. ● Automatic behavior can be predicted by implicit attitudes ! ! ● The very simplified take-home point: ● Explicit measures of attitudes predict deliberate behavior ● Implicit measures of attitudes predict automatic behavior ! ! ● Explicit measures (“What’s your attitude toward ____?”) don’t do a great job of predicting automatic behavior #5: Automatic Behavior
  49. 49. ! ● Implicit Measures ● Usually some sort of reaction-time task ● Example: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/ ! ! ! ● Implicit measures index schema activation ● Many people think the results actually represent “cultural/norm knowledge” rather than “hidden” personal attitudes #5: Automatic Behavior
  50. 50. ● Non-RT implicit measures exist, but they aren’t as strong ! ● Example: You walk into a room and someone is sitting at a table. The distance you put between yourself and the other person changes depending on your implicit attitude toward the target. ! ● In the mimicry video from the last chapter, the dependent variable (how far Alan Alda sat from the chair) was an implicit measure. #5: Automatic Behavior
  51. 51. Predicting Behavior ● A politician recently proposed a bill that would give young people a tax break and impose a tax increase on the elderly. Your friend asks you what you think of this bill. Your response to your friend will most likely be determined by... A. Explicit Attitudes B. Implicit Attitudes
  52. 52. Predicting Behavior ● You walk into a crowded movie theater and can’t find an open row. You have to sit directly next to someone; you can either sit directly next to a young person or an old person. Who you sit next to will most likely be determined by... ! A. Explicit Attitudes B. Implicit Attitudes
  53. 53. Remember! ! ● Explicit Attitudes (those attitudes you verbalize) best predict explicit, controlled behavior, like your responses to policies or the things you express to your friends. ! ● Implicit Attitudes (those attitudes that are subconscious and you can’t control) best predict automatic, uncontrolled behavior, like body language.
  54. 54. Predicting Attitudes From Behavior Balance Theory Cognitive Dissonance Theory
  55. 55. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. - Maya Angelou
  56. 56. Behavior Can Influence Attitudes! ● Why? ! ● People need to bring their attitudes in line with behavior ! ● We need to justify or rationalize our behavior to reduce inconsistencies between our attitudes and our behaviors
  57. 57. Behavior Can Influence Attitudes! ! ● This is the basis of cognitive consistency theories ! ● Cognitive Consistency: The idea that people are motivated to maintain consistency between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors ! ● When inconsistency is detected, we change something to get consistency back, and we look for easy-to-change options ! ● Two Main Consistency Theories ● Balance Theory ● Cognitive Dissonance
  58. 58. Heider’s Balance Theory ● People try to maintain balance among their beliefs, cognitions, and feelings. ! ● Imbalanced systems are unstable; they tend to change toward balanced ones (usually by the path of least resistance) ! ● Think of a triangle; you fill in each side with a “+” or a “-,” and if one side is blank, you “fill in” that side to make sure that the product of all three sides is positive.
  59. 59. If you multiply all three signs together, you want the product to be POSITIVE − ✚ − − − ✚ ✚ ✓× × =
  60. 60. Heider’s Balance Theory ● What does this mean? ● Imagine three people, and each one is a point on the triangle ● The three people’s feelings towards each other should be balanced Robert NathanJames
  61. 61. Heider’s Balance Theory ● Let’s say that Robert doesn’t like James, but Nathan likes Robert. How will Nathan feel about James? ● In order to balance the triangle, the third side needs to be NEGATIVE ( – x – x + = +) ● Therefore, Nathan won’t like James. Robert NathanJames − ✚
  62. 62. Question ● You’re hanging out with your friend Lauren. ● Lauren tells you about a movie that she really loved. ● According to Balance Theory, how should you feel? # A. You’ll like the movie B. You’ll dislike the movie C. Can’t be predicted
  63. 63. You Movie Lauren ✚ ✚ ✚
  64. 64. Balance Theory and Advertising
  65. 65. Balance Theory and Advertising ● 3 years ago, Abercrombie & Fitch publicly announced they would pay “The Situation” from Jersey Shore to stop wearing their clothes # ● Why? Balance Theory!
  66. 66. Balance Theory and Advertising Customer The “Situation” A & F
 A&F Saw This
  67. 67. Balance Theory and Advertising A&F Wanted This Customer The “Situation” A & F

  68. 68. Balance Theory and Advertising So A&F Could Avoid This Customer The “Situation” A & F

  69. 69. Balance Theory Examples ● Gossip ● If your friend (+) tells you something negative about someone else (-), you will probably also dislike this person (-). ● Partisan Politics ● If your chosen political party’s platform (+) has a negative attitude (-) towards an issue, you will probably adopt this same negative attitude (-).
  70. 70. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” You Enemy Enemy’s Enemy ✚ −−
  71. 71. Balance Theory ● Draw a triangle. # ● Multiply the signs. # ● If the product is negative, it’s imbalanced and something will need to change to restore balance. # ● If the product is positive, it’s balanced.
  72. 72. Cognitive Dissonance Theory ● Proposed by Leon Festinger ● Remember him? Social comparison theory! ● This is another “cognitive consistency” model # ● Inconsistency between thoughts, feelings, and actions creates an aversive state known as dissonance. # ● This feeling leads people to put effort into restoring consistency. # ● We will change whatever is easiest in order to reduce dissonance and restore consistency.
  73. 73. Cognitive Dissonance Theory ● Example: You are pro-environment, but you just dropped a piece of trash and did not pick it up. # # # ● Your behavior is now inconsistent with your attitude, so you will experience discomfort (dissonance). # ● To reduce dissonance, you could: ● Try to convince yourself that it’s not a big deal (cognition) ● Go back and pick up the trash (behavior) ● Decrease your pro-environment attitude (affect)
  74. 74. One Of This Week’s Readings ● Feedback About “Ecological Footprint” # ● If your “green” attitudes are important to you and you think you’re wasteful, you’ll change your behavior. # ● If your “green” attitudes are not important to you and you think you’re wasteful, you’ll change your attitude. # ● People change whatever is easiest to change. ● If your attitude is strong, it’s easier to change your behavior ● If your attitude is weak, it’s easier to just change the attitude
  75. 75. Cognitive Dissonance Theory
  76. 76. Cognitive Dissonance Theory
  77. 77. Cognitive Dissonance Theory # ● There are three main times when people experience CD: # ● 1. After deciding between two (or more) alternatives # # ● 2. After undergoing a lot of effort to do something # # ● 3. After engaging in behavior that doesn’t match your attitude
  78. 78. 1. Post-Decision Dissonance # ● Where should I go to college? # ● Which sorority/fraternity should I pledge? # ● What major should I pick? # ● We rationalize our decisions to reduce dissonance and restore consistency
  79. 79. 1. Post-Decision Dissonance # ● Bettors waiting in line at a horse track were more likely to say their horses had a fair chance of winning when they were waiting in line, but a great chance of winning after they had purchased their tickets (Knox & Inkster, 1968) # ● Other examples: ● Voter confidence in a candidate ● Product choice # # ● Why? ● It’s pretty impossible to change these behaviors! ● You will pick the easiest target for consistency.
  80. 80. 1. Post-Decision Dissonance ● Spreading Of Alternatives Paradigm ● Participants were asked to rank 8 CDs in order of preference # ● Experimenter said that as a gift for participation, each person could pick one CD...but the only two available were the 4th and 5th choices # ● Finally, participants were asked to rank all 15 CDs again
  81. 81. 1. Post-Decision Dissonance ● What Happened? ● The CD that participants picked (either #4 or #5) was ranked higher the second time around # ● The CD that participants did not pick (either #4 or #5) was ranked lower the second time around # ● Why? ● After the decision, participants find flaws in what they didn’t pick and hidden bonuses in what they did pick # ● The alternatives are “spread” to help justify their decision
  82. 82. 1. Post-Decision Dissonance
  83. 83. 1. Post-Decision Dissonance
  84. 84. 2. Effort Justification ● When you have devoted time, effort, or money to something that has turned out to be unpleasant or disappointing, you tend to justify why you spent all that time, effort, and money # # ● Examples ● Pet lovers ● Parents # # Both groups may exaggerate the joy they get to justify all of the effort they have to put into parenting/pet ownership.
  85. 85. 2. Effort Justification ● Aronson & Mills, 1959 # ● Female undergraduates thought that they were joining an ongoing discussion group about sex # ● Participants were told that not everyone is good at speaking openly about sex, so they would have to pass a test before joining # ● Three Conditions ● Control (No Test) # ● Mild (Had to read aloud a list of mildly embarrassing words) # ● Severe (Had to read aloud a list of really obscene words and a passage from a novel describing graphic sexual intercourse)
  86. 86. 2. Effort Justification ● Aronson & Mills, 1959 # ● Participants were told that for the first session, they would just be listening to the conversation on headphones # ● The group discussion was crafted to be incredibly boring (the sex lives of invertebrates) # ● Participants were then asked... “How interesting was it?”
  87. 87. 2. Effort Justification ● Aronson & Mills, 1959 ● Women who had gone through the severe initiation rated the group significantly more favorably than the other 2 conditions
  88. 88. 2. Effort Justification ● Fraternities/Sororities and hazing ● Hazing can (and does) increase commitment to the group through effort justification (have to justify why you went through so much humiliation) ●Qualifying exams, MCATs, LSATS, etc. ● After going through so much effort, you will justify it by saying that you “really learned a lot” or by being super committed to your career path (maybe less likely to drop out or switch careers even if you don’t like it?)
  89. 89. 2. Effort Justification
  90. 90. 3. Attitude-Discrepant Behavior ● Behaving in a way that’s not in line with your attitudes (attitude-discrepant behavior) can also induce dissonance # ● This is typically relieved by changing the attitude (it’s difficult to “undo” a behavior you’ve already committed) # ● Induced Compliance: Subtly making people engage in attitude-discrepant behavior leads them to experience dissonance, which leads to attitude change
  91. 91. Question ● Who would have a more positive attitude toward a given task? # A. Someone who was paid $1 to do it # B. Someone who was paid $20 to do it
  92. 92. 3. Attitude-Discrepant Behavior ● Festinger & Carlsmith (1959): The “Peg Study” ● Participants were asked to complete a very boring task for an hour (turning pegs on a pegboard) # ● Group A: Immediately sent to be interviewed by an RA and asked about enjoyment of the task
  93. 93. 3. Attitude-Discrepant Behavior ● Festinger & Carlsmith (1959): The “Peg Study” ● Participants were asked to complete a very boring task for an hour (turning pegs on a pegboard) # ● Group B: Asked to tell the next participant that the study was interesting. Rewarded with either... # ● $1 for telling the lie # ● $20 for telling the lie # ● How much did you enjoy the task?
  94. 94. 3. Attitude-Discrepant Behavior ● Festinger & Carlsmith (1959): The “Peg Study” ● Participants in the $1 condition rated the task as significantly more enjoyable than the $20 or control conditions! ● $20 condition = Sufficient justification for lying = No dissonance. ● $1 condition = Insufficient justification for lying = Dissonance ● Change attitudes to resolve the dissonance ● “I really did enjoy it! I wasn’t lying!”
  95. 95. 3. Attitude-Discrepant Behavior ● Festinger & Carlsmith (1959): The “Peg Study” ● Saying something that you don’t believe with little justification produces dissonance (e.g. saying you enjoyed a boring task) # ● People changed their attitudes to reduce this dissonance; remembered the peg task as being more enjoyable than it was
  96. 96. 3. Attitude-Discrepant Behavior ● Festinger & Carlsmith (1959): The “Peg Study” # ● Think about causal attribution processes! ● Why did I do this? Was it the situation or my personality? ● If there is a clear situational reason (lots of $$), probably the situation ● If there was no clear situational reason (little $$), it was probably all me # ● It’s like applying covariation theory/discounting principle to ourselves!
  97. 97. When will attitude-behavior inconsistency cause dissonance? ● Insufficient Justification ● The less incentive that someone has for performing a counterattitudinal behavior, the more dissonance is experienced # ● Threat ● We experience less dissonance when we are threatened to perform an action (external reason) # ● Choice ● Attitude-discrepant behavior creates dissonance only when the behavior is freely chosen
  98. 98. Threat & Cognitive Dissonance ● Aronson & Carlsmith, 1963: The “Forbidden Toy” # ● Children rated 5 toys before and after the RA left the room # ● Children were told that they could not play with 2nd favorite toy # ● High Threat Condition: “I will be very angry and will take all of my toys and go home and never come back.” # ● Low Threat Condition: “I will be annoyed.”
  99. 99. Threat & Cognitive Dissonance ● The “Forbidden Toy” # ● In the high threat condition, children still reported liking the toy at the second evaluation (they weren’t playing with it because they were threatened, not because they don’t like it) # # ● In the low threat condition, children lowered their ratings of the toy!
  100. 100. Self-Perception Theory An alternative to “cognitive consistency” theories
  101. 101. Self-Perception Theory # ● Daryl Bem # ● Critique of cognitive dissonance theory # ● Provides an alternative account of dissonance findings # ● People come to know their own attitudes by looking at their behavior and the context in which it occurred and inferring what their attitudes must be
  102. 102. Self-Perception Theory ● People infer their attitudes not by looking inward and analyzing how they think and feel, but by looking outward at their behaviors and the contexts in which they occur. # ● Applies primarily when prior attitudes are weak or ambiguous # ● Sort of like applying the covariation principle to ourselves. ● What’s the consensus/distinctiveness/consistency? # ● Example: You don’t feel very hungry, but then you eat three helpings of spaghetti. “I guess I was hungrier than I thought!”
  103. 103. ● Consensus: No one else ate as much as I did (low) # ● Distinctiveness: I didn’t eat this much yesterday (high) # ● Consistency: I wouldn’t eat this much again (low) # ● Conclusion: Odd situational attribution (low consistency) # ● “I must have been really hungry!”
  104. 104. Self-Perception Theory ● According to this theory, people are simply engaging in dispassionate inference processes. # # ● We don’t experience dissonance and we don’t change our attitudes; we just use behavior to infer what attitudes must be! # # ● Bem also argued that there is often no stored attitude to retrieve and report...that is why we often need to infer our own attitudes.
  105. 105. How to test SPT vs. CDT? ● The two theories make the same predictions about attitudes ● One way in which they differ is the role of arousal ● Cognitive Dissonance: Dissonance is an aversive physiological state that involves arousal. ● Self-Perception Theory: There is no implied arousal state because people are merely observing their behaviors and inferring attitudes. ● If you can figure out whether or not people are aroused, we might be better able to support one of the theories.
  106. 106. Dissonance vs. Self-Perception ● Zanna & Cooper, 1974: Misattribution of Arousal # ● Participants given a “drug” (placebo); told that it would (a) have no effect, (b) make them feel tense, or (c) make them feel relaxed. # ● Participants then wrote an essay in support of a position they had previously said they opposed. # ● They either had free choice or no choice to write about this position. # ● Researchers measured their attitude toward the position again.
  107. 107. Dissonance vs. Self-Perception ● Among those who were told the drug would have no effect, saw the standard dissonance effect (attitude changed more in those with a free choice) # ● Among those who were told they’d be tense, the dissonance effect disappeared # ● Among those who were told they’d be relaxed, even stronger dissonance effect than usual!
  108. 108. Dissonance vs. Self-Perception ● Tense: Experienced arousal, but attributed it to the drug; no need to change attitude to reduce arousal.
  109. 109. Dissonance vs. Self-Perception ● Tense: Experienced arousal, but attributed it to the drug; no need to change attitude to reduce arousal. # ● Relaxed: Expected to feel relaxed, but felt unpleasant arousal; even greater attitude change than usual.
  110. 110. Dissonance vs. Self-Perception ● Tense: Experienced arousal, but attributed it to the drug; no need to change attitude to reduce arousal. # ● Relaxed: Expected to feel relaxed, but felt unpleasant arousal; even greater attitude change than usual. # ● This seems to support cognitive dissonance theory.
  111. 111. But really...both theories are at work. ● Cognitive Dissonance Theory is at work for stronger held, controversial, and highly valued attitudes. # # ● Self-Perception Theory is at work for vague, ambiguous attitudes. # # ● Keep in mind that we hold many attitudes that are somewhat ambiguous or weak; self-perception is still thought to influence many attitudes in our lives.
  112. 112. But really...both theories are at work. ● Zanna & Cooper (1974) shows that people do experience negative arousal in response to certain situations, and the way we deal with this arousal can influence attitudes # ● It does not prove that self-perception doesn’t happen ● Self-perception could happen in addition to this # ● Remember other examples of seemingly contradictory theories that can just work in different situations! ● Self-Evaluation Maintenance vs. Self-Verification Theory
  113. 113. But really...both theories are at work. ● In fact, to misattribute the arousal in this experiment, participants had to self-perceive and use causal attribution # ● “I feel aroused, I took a pill that would increase (decrease) arousal, therefore my emotions do (do not) make sense.” # ● The generally accepted view is that both cognitive dissonance and self-perception theory occur ● Cognitive Dissonance: When we behave in a way that is inconsistent with pre-existing, clear, important attitudes ● Self-Perception Theory: When we don’t have a clear, solidified attitude (e.g. we’re ambivalent) or when the attitude isn’t important (e.g. it is weak).
  114. 114. CDT vs. SPT
  115. 115. CDT vs. SPT ● You have very strong attitudes against tanning; you’ve donated money to cancer research charities, you strongly believe that tanning causes skin cancer, and you think it’s a dangerous hobby. You’re going to a formal event with your friend Alex; Alex convinces you to go tanning so you look good for the event. Despite your strong attitudes, you agree to go – just once. Afterwards, you realize you feel pretty good and you like how you look, so you think that maybe it’s not SO bad – after all, plenty of people tan, and not all of them get cancer, right? What is most likely at work here? # A. Cognitive Dissonance Theory # B. Self-Perception Theory
  116. 116. CDT vs. SPT ● You tried running once about 5 years ago, and you didn’t really enjoy it. Ever since, you’ve told people that you just don’t really like running; of course you like the health benefits, but you don’t really love how it feels. Your friend Jordan convinces you to go running, and during the run you actually feel pretty good. You start to think that maybe you like running after all. What is most likely at work here? # A. Cognitive Dissonance Theory # B. Self-Perception Theory
  117. 117. Overjustification Effect ● One way that self-perception might affect our everyday lives # ● Overjustification Effect: Tendency to devalue activities that we perform in order to get something else (Lepper et al., 1973) # ● Using extrinsic rewards can decrease intrinsic motivation.
  118. 118. Example: LEARNING ● Children are often intrinsically motivated to learn (they find learning fun in its own right; are naturally curious) # ● When children are given extrinsic motivation to learn (e.g. good grades, gold stars, chocolate, money, etc.) they might start to attribute their desire to learn to the extrinsic rewards # ● This leads children to reduce their levels of intrinsic motivation (“I must be doing this because of gold stars, not because I want to”)
  119. 119. Example: LEARNING ● Pay for Grades (Greene et al., 1976) # ● Experimenters introduced a set of math games into an elementary school during the “free play” period # ● Initially, kids liked the games and played with them because they genuinely wanted to!
  120. 120. Example: LEARNING ● Pay for Grades (Greene et al., 1976) # ● Next, experimenters introduced a “token economy” for several days, in which students were given points every time they played one of the math games and they could redeem the points for prizes # ● Finally, the token economy was removed but the math games stayed in the classroom; kids could play if they wanted to.
  121. 121. Example: LEARNING ● The token economy did increase how much the kids played with the math games.
  122. 122. Example: LEARNING ● The token economy did increase how much the kids played with the math games. # ● However...once the prizes were taken away, participation dropped down significantly!
  123. 123. Example: LEARNING ● Before Prizes: “I like these games! I’m playing these games because I want to play with them!” # ● During Prizes: “I like these games!” ! “I’m getting prizes to play with these games!” # ● Begin to attribute playing time to the prizes... # ● After Prizes: “Where did the prizes go? I was only playing with the games because of the prizes. No more math games!”
  124. 124. Good or Bad?
  125. 125. Good or Bad? ● If you want someone to do something right now, external rewards can be helpful! # ● Remember, the token economy did increase how much the kids played with the math games! # ● However, if you want someone to do something from now on, even in the absence of external rewards, use minimal/no rewards # ● Extrinsic rewards will result in overjustification # ● No extrinsic rewards will result in effort justification and/or a search for internal causes of behavior, which will ultimately increase motivation to pursue the behavior in the future!
  126. 126. Good or Bad? ● Extrinsic rewards undermine intrinsic motivation! # ● They can be a good motivator for activities for which someone does not already have intrinsic motivation. # ● However, if someone does genuinely enjoy something, providing extrinsic rewards can be bad. # ● This is why so many people stop enjoying things once they get paid for doing them (it “ruins” it).
  127. 127. Example: LEARNING ● This is one of the arguments often used by alternative school systems (like Montessori) in which children are not given grades and are allowed to learn in a freer context # ● Remember the discounting principle – when you are given multiple possible causes for something (gold stars, grades, enjoyment) you will give less weight to each cause (you will think that you enjoy learning less). # ● http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFbonVv- bI0&feature=related ● http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s4qTifYWe4
  128. 128. Self-Perception In Action ● Facial Feedback (Strack et al., 1988) ● Participants holding a pencil in their mouths (to force a smile) rated cartoons as more amusing than control participants
  129. 129. Self-Perception In Action ● Head Nodding (Wells & Petty, 1980) ● Participants “tested headphones” by listening to music and an editorial # ● They were either told to move their heads up and down to test the quality (“nodding”) or to move their heads left to right (“shaking”) # ● Participants who nodded were more likely to agree with the editorial
  130. 130. Self-Perception In Action ● Arm Flexing/Extending (Cacioppo et al., 1993) ● Participants were pressing down on a table (pushing away) or lifting up (pulling towards) while rating Chinese ideographs # ● Students who were flexing (pulling towards) rated them more favorably
  131. 131. Self-Perception In Action ● Cold/Hot Beverages (Williams & Bargh, 2008) ● Participants holding a hot beverage judged other people as being warmer, more compassionate, more friendly ● Participants holding a cold beverage judged other people as being colder, more aloof, less friendly
  132. 132. Self-Perception In Action ● Weighty Topics (Ackerman et al., 2010) ● Participants holding a heavy clipboard while reading about an issue actually rated that issue as being more important (“heavier”) than those holding a light clipboard
  133. 133. Self-Perception In Action ● These findings are known as embodied cognition # ● This is the study of how thoughts are influenced by the body and physiological sensations # ● The body and the mind are inherently linked; many bodily actions are associated with certain cognitions ● Nodding head ! Yes, correct, good, right ● Clenching fists ! Anger # ● Even though we normally think about cognition ! body posture, if the posture has been strongly and repeatedly linked with a certain cognition, it can go the other way as well
  134. 134. Funny side effect... ● If you no longer have full use of certain body parts, you might feel dampened affect ● “The effects of botox injections on emotional experience” (Davis et al., 2010) # ● Botox injections led to decreased happiness in response to mildly positive movie clips # ● Self-perception matters for mild or ambiguous attitudes! ● If it’s a mildly funny clip, not being able to smile ! you won’t think it’s as funny ● If it’s incredibly funny, not being able to smile won’t fool you into not liking it.
  135. 135. Broader Rationalizations
  136. 136. System Justification Theory ● People feel a need to justify broader social systems # # ● Most people believe that the world is fair (or should be fair) # # ● When we come across evidence that the world is not fair, it creates ideological dissonance
  137. 137. System Justification Theory # ● It is often easier to justify why the social system is the way that it is (or the way that it should be) than to protest # # ● As a result, people tend to justify and defend the status quo, even if it doesn’t necessarily support them.
  138. 138. System Justification Theory ● Examples # ● In the US, lower-income groups tend to support status quo economic policies rather than more egalitarian ones # ● Compensatory Stereotypes: The belief that people in less privileged roles reap other benefits # ● Low-income people might be poor, but they’re happier than the rich! # ● Women may be disenfranchised, but they’re much more nurturing!
  139. 139. Review: Chapter 7 ● What is an attitude? ● Positive or negative evaluation of a target ● Components of Attitudes ● Affect ● Behavior ● Cognition ● Predicting Behavior from Attitudes is Tricky ● 1. Other powerful determinants ● 2. Sometimes inconsistent ● 3. Based on secondhand information ● 4. Mismatch between specific & general ● 5. Automatic Behavior
  140. 140. Review: Chapter 7 ● Predicting attitudes from behavior ● Balance theory: Product of the signs should be positive ● Cognitive dissonance theory ● 1. Post-Decision Dissonance ● 2. Effort Justification ● 3. Attitude-Discrepant Behavior ● Self-Perception Theory ● Alternative to cognitive dissonance ● People observe their own behavior and infer their attitudes ● Other rationalizations ● System justification theory: People support the status quo, even when it doesn’t support them.
  141. 141. Ch. 7: Most Important Points ● When Attitudes Predict Behavior ● Matching Specificity ● Firsthand Information # ● Cognitive Dissonance ● Confidence After Making a Bet ● Peg Study Findings # ● Effort Justification ● What is it? ● Does hazing work? ● Balance Theory ● What does a balanced triad look like? # ● Overjustification Effect ● If you want someone to internalize what you got them to do, should you pay them a little or a lot? ● What happens if you pay someone for something they already like to do? # ● Self-Perception Theory ● Works when prior attitudes are WEAK ● Head Nodding/Shaking Study ● Embodied Cognition

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