Sociology Lecture 3

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What is the mental schema of attitudes?
It enables us to organise knowledge about attitude objects
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What is the utilitarian function of attitudes?
Enables us to obtain positive outcomes and avoid negative outcomes
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What do attitudes enable us to do?
Express our values, affiliate in positive ways and be 'true to ourselves'
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What are affectively based attitudes?
They can be formed and modified by classical conditioning, instrumental/operant conditioning and mere exposure
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What are the two Theories/models about attitude change?
Dissonance theory and Persuasion and the Elaboration likelihood model
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What is Dissonance theory?
Attitude change resulting from our own behaviour
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What is the Persuasion and the Elaboration Likelihood model?
Attitude change resulting from persuasive communications
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What is the Dissonance theory?
Attitude change resulting from our own behaviour
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What is the Persuasion and the Elaboration likelihood model?
Attitude change resulting form persuasive communications.
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Who came up with Dissonance Theory?
Leon Festinger (1957)
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What is the foundations of Dissonance theory?
It is about how the inconsistency in our behaviours and thoughts and how we resolve it.
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What is it called when two cognitions are logically consistent with one another? (make sense)
Consonant
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Do we like Consonant congitions?
Yes, it feels good
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What is it called when cognitions are inconsistent with one another or are logically discrepant?
Dissonant
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Do Dissonant cognitions feel bad?
Yes, we don't like it when our congitions are dissonant.
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What feelings does dissonance create?
Unpleasant feelings, tension, aversive arousal, embarrassment.
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Do we try and reduce or increase dissonance?
Reduce
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How can we reduce dissonance?
By changing one of the dissonant cognition, Add new consonant cognition, change behaviour
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How can we change one of the dissonant congitions?
By saying that one of them is wrong,
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Do we experience dissonance behaviourally a lot?
Yes
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Can we change our behaviour to reduce dissonance?
Yes
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How do we add a consonant congiton?
By adding another part to the congitions in order to reduce the dissonance.
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What often happens if a cognition causes dissonance and is based on scientific evidence?
We reject it
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How can we reduce dissonance if an experience didn't work out? (adding constant cognition)
Thinking of a positive towards it.
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What new way to solve dissonance did Simon, Greenberg + Brehm (1995) come up with?
Trivalization
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How does Trivalization solve dissonance?
By saying it doesn't matter
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What do we need to know about dissonance?
When it occurs, why it occurs, what are the consequences of it occurring?
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What is a paradigm?
A methodology
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What does each paradigm/method involve?
Getting participants to do something that arouses dissonance.
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What are the three types of paradigm/methods which arouse dissonance?
Induced compliance, Hypocrisy induction, free choice
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What is the Hypocrisy induction paradigm/method involved to arouse dissonance?
Not practising what we preach (buying gym membership, not going)
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What is the Free Choice induction paradigm/method involved to arouse dissonance?
Decisions always involve a chosen option and a rejected option. After making a decision people often experience dissonance and wish they had made the other choice.
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When free choice causes Dissonance how can this be resolved?
By criticising the decision you did not make.
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How to people avoid free choice dissonance?
by trying to reduce their chances of making a decision and keeping their options open
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What is the induced compliance induction paradigm/method involved to arouse dissonance?
Asking participants to do something that is inconsistent with their attitudes (counterattitudinal)
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What are examples of induced complains in studies?
Say something you know is untrue, eat something disgusting, write an essay which argues against your own position.
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What s the prediction from dissonance theory?
Participants who perform a counter-attitudinal behaviour will feel dissonance unless there is a strong justification for them to perform the act.
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What happens if you perform a counter-attitudinal behaviour and you have a strong justification as to why you did this (like being paid)?
Then you won't experience dissonance
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What happens if you perform a counter-attitudinal behaviour and you do not have a strong justification as to why you did this?
You will experience high dissonance and are likely to change one of the dissonant cognitions, often the one related to a belief or attitude.
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What is a study which looked at induced compliance?
Festinger + Mills (1959)
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What happened in Festinger + Mills (1959) induced compliance task?
Participants were asked to turn a peg 90 degrees for no reason, then asked to behave in a counter attitudinal way and lie and say the tasks were fun, participants were paid varying amounts.
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According to the dissonance theory, is the participant who was paid £20 to lie more likely to experience dissonance than the participant who was paid £1?
The participant who was paid £20 is not likely to experience dissonance, as they have a strong justification for lying (paid a lot). However the participant who was paid £1 for lying does not have a strong justification so experiences dissonance
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How did the participants who lied and were paid £1 and thus experienced dissonance solve their dissonance?
They changed their attitude (cognition) to report they enjoyed the task.
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What drives attitude change according to dissonance theory?
Discomfort and motivational arousal/arousal.
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What is Bem's self-perception theory?
That people infer their attitudes from their behaviour. (I do it a lot/did it so I must like it)
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Who did the experiment on if arousal was related to dissonance?
Zanna and Cooper (1974)
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What was Zanna and Cooper's (1974) experiment?
Before the counter-attitudinal task (write an essay) they took a sugar pill. Was told would make them feel calm or arouse them. They were told (low choice) or asked to write (high choice) the essay
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What were the results of Zanna and Cooper's (1974) experiment?
Low choice, no much change in opinion/dissonance, high choice, change in opinion/dissonance. Relaxed high = big change, relaxed low = not much change. aroused high = not much change
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What does the results of Zanna and Cooper's (1974) experiment mean?
Participants who knew they were aroused due to the pill, guessed that they felt aroused when writing something they didn't believed in was because of the pill, not because they were unhappy thus they didn't show any behavioural change.
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What is the condition for dissonance which involves counter-attitudinal behaviour?
The person mused have acted counter-attitudinally of their own free will (take responsibility)
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What is the condition for dissonance which involves consequences?
A person must perceive aversive consequences of their action in the future
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What is the condition for dissonance which involves physiological tension?
A person must experience physiological tension (arousal)
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What is the condition for dissonance which involves feelings?
A person must attribute the feeling of physiological arousal to the counter-attitudinal action (they must know they are feeling unhappy because of what they did, not due to something else like medication)
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What is the condition for dissonance which involves justification?
A person must NOT have sufficient justification for the counter-attitudinal action
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What can inducing dissonance lead to?
attitude and behaviour change.
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How can dissonance be used in clinical psychology?
Stice et al (2006) To treat anorexia, people with anorexia told to engage in behaviour which criticised the thin idea, this created dissonance and reduced behaviour.
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What is the background of the participants for stice et al (2006) study?
Participants volunteered, said they were happy to discuss how to help young girls to avoid boy image problems (meant it was high choice)
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What were the counter-attitude activties in the Stice et al (2006) study?
Discuss origins of thin ideal, write essays, group role play,
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Who came up with the 3-part persuasion model?
Hovland (Yale)
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WHat is the 3-part persuasion model?
Source characteristics (who), Message characteristics (what), audience characteristics (whom)
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What is important for the source characteristics (who) to have in order to be persuasive?
Credibility, attractiveness and liking, celebrity endorsement
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Why is it important for the source characteristics to have credibility in order to be persuasive?
It is persuasion based on our need to be right. Credibility = expertise + trustworthiness. We can make things seem more credible by adding what appears to be an authoritative figure.
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Why is it important for the source characteristics to have attractiveness and likingin order to be persuasive?
More likeable and attractive communicators are generally more persuasive. This is because you associate the attractiveness of the communicator with the desirability of the message and product.
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When does attractiveness and liking work as a persuasive source characteristic?
Only on trivial issues
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What works in a similar way to attractiveness and liking as a persuasive source characteristic?
Humour
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Why is it important for the source characteristics to have celebrity endorsement in order to be persuasive?
It attracts attention and if the celebrity is likeability then it translates to the product.
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What is an issue with celebrity endorsement?
You need to avoid overexposure, negative behaviour by celebrity or the celebrity does not match the product.
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Are celebrity endorsements only persuasive on trival matters?
Yes
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What types of message characteristics are persuasive?
Fear appeals,
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How is fear appeal a persuasive message characteristic?
Intended to evoke a feeling of fear if you do not do something and draw attention to the negative consequences.
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Do high fear messages change behaviour on there own?
No, only if they are combined with specific instructions about what to do
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Why is context important with fear messages?
Because the impact of fear arousing messages do not generalise equally to all situations. If people are too fearful they can tune out, be in denial or create new cognitions.
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Do fear messages change attitudes?
Yes
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What study looks into the fear message?
Leventhal, watts + Pagano (1967)
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What is Leventhal Watts, + pagano (1967) study into fear messages show?
People are more likely to change if they are given a fear message and instructions, sort of likely with a fear message, and least likely with instructions
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how can fear appeals be used in advertising?
Low fear message, using negative emotions. Fear is the consequence if you do not buy/do this. (mouthwash = teeth loss)
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What two processes are in the proteciton motivation theory?
Threat appraisal and coping appraisal
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What is threat appraisal in the protection motivation theory?
consists of perceived vulnerability and perceived serverity
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What is coping appraisal in the protection motivation theory?
Consists of self-efficacy, response efficacy and response costs.
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How is statistical evidence vs vivid examples a persuasive message characteristic?
People are more persuaded by vivid exemplars (pictures/illustrations) than they are by statistical findings, even when the statistical information is much better evidence.
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When you are trying to sell a product what three things are you trying to do?
1) add new information to a persons knowledge, 2) challenging existing knowledge 3) Emphasising an aspect of a product
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How is a strong message a persuasive message characteristic?
It needs to be relevant to the target audience,
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Should you assume everyone likes things for the same reason?
no
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What does salient mean?
Important
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What are strong arguments?
Deeply processed, lead to stable attitudes which are resistant to change. They are important if someone is highly involved in a decision.
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What do strong arguments lead to?
Favourable thoughts when elaboration ( lots of detail) is high
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What do weak arguments lead to?
Unfavourable thoughts when elaboration (lots of detail) is high
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What is a disadvantage of weak arguments?
Easy to counter-argue
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When can weak arguments work?
When there is low motivation to process information, or low ability to process information because they are distracted. This is because a person is aware there is a message, but does not know if they are compelling.
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How do you know if your argument is strong or weak?
By testing it, studies, surveys. You do not know until you test it.
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What is ELM?
The elaboration likelihood model, putting the source characteristics, the audience characteristic and the message characteristics
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What are the audience characteristics?
The relevance of the product, the motivation to process the information, the degree of interest in considering arguments and the susceptibility to different cues
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Who created the elaboration likelihood model?
Petty + Cacioppo (1986)
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Who created the Heuristic- Systematic model (HSM)?
Chaiken (1987)
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According to elaboration likelihood model what are the two routes?
The central route to persuasion and the peripheral route to persuasion.
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According to the eleboration likelihood model, what is the central route to persuasion?
The route where people are persuaded based on the logical arguments related to the conclusion: rational points intended to convince via reasoning. cognitive route
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According to the eleboration likelihood model what is the peripheral route to persuasion?
The route where people are influenced by attractiveness, credibility and celebrities. Cues in the message or speaker that imply the conclusion is correct.
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Information about the central route from the elaboration likelihood model
Requires effort and uses resources. Only occurs if the issue is important or personally relevant. Only occurs if the person is able to process the message. Produces enduring attitude changes.
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Information about the peripheral route from the elaboration likelihood model
IT is easy and fast, occurs when the issue is unimportant or a person cannot process carefully, the attitude change may be temporary (but not necessarily)
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What route does product value use?
Peripheral route
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If a person has low motivation to pay attention to the message what type of processing do they do?
Superficial processing
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If a person has high motivation to pay attention to the message what type of processing do they do?
Deep processing
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What is the utilitarian function of attitudes?

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Enables us to obtain positive outcomes and avoid negative outcomes

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What do attitudes enable us to do?

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Card 4

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What are affectively based attitudes?

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What are the two Theories/models about attitude change?

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