The components of attitude

triadic model of attitude, cognitive dissonance and other areas of attitude

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  • Created by: Jade
  • Created on: 11-04-11 13:26

The Triadic Model of Attitude

1) Cognitive component (information) - beliefs and knowledge that an individual holds about the attitude object. e.g. a person may know jogging is beneficial

2) Affective component (emotional) - feelings or emotions towards attitude object. e.g. jogging is a pleasurable activity

3) Behavioural component - how a person behaves or responds towards an attitude object. e.g. person continues to jog three times a week

Changing attitudes:...

  • Cognitive Dissonance
  • Persuasive Communication theory
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Cognitive Dissonance

Festinger states if two attitude components conflict with each other the individual experiences emotional discomfort know as dissonance.

if one attitude component can be changed to cause dissonance there is a chance that the whole attitude can be changed

by providing the individual with new positive experiences the affective component can be changed

if a skill is simplified or there is guidance to make execution easier the behavioural component can be changed

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Persuasive Communication Theory

Four elements to this theory...

1) Persuader - persons needs to have a high status e.g. instructor

2) Message - message needs to be presented in a way that makes the participant want to change

3) Recipients - attitude easily changed if the participant  really wants to be changed

4) Situation - attitudes easier changed if there are other persuaders present

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Evaluation of Attitudes

  • attitudes cause an individual to behave positively or negatively, attitudes are a poor predictor of behaviour and may not necessarily indicate the likelihood of desired behaviour
  • Dishman 1986 stated that an individuals positive attitudes and beliefs relating to health benefits of exercise do not guarantee they will commit to an exercise programme
  • Fishbein 1974 said that when attitudes become more specific they are likely to predict behaviour. the most accurate predictor of behaviour occurs when a person makes a clear commitment of intent
  • clear declaration is called behavioural intention and it arises when a positive attitude is reinforced by significant others.

"Behavioural intention is determine by attitudes towards the behaviour and the soial normas that relate to the behaviour" (Gill 2000)

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