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Apl02 attitude formation and measurement

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Apl02 attitude formation and measurement

  2. 2. Behavioural approaches  Belief that one’s attitudes are the products of direct experience with attitude objects.  Explanations include:  Mere exposure, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, social learning theory and self- perception theory.
  3. 3. Task: The next slide shows photos of four young people...
  4. 4. Out of these people, which five of the following do you like most? Which would you trust most? Which do think would be your friends?
  5. 5. Mere Exposure  The idea that repeated exposure to an object results in a strengthened response.  Mere exposure has most impact when we lack information about an issue.
  6. 6. Rupert Murdoch’s coverage of the 2013 Election
  7. 7. Classical Conditioning  Evaluative conditioning – a stimulus will probably become more liked or less liked when consistently paired with a +ve or –ve stimuli.  Spreading attitude effect…
  8. 8. Mary Enrique and Leon Marek
  9. 9. Mary Enrique and Leon Enrique seen talking to Marek! Mary dislikes Marek very much… Marek
  10. 10. Operant Conditioning  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.  When parents reward or punish their children, they are shaping their attitudes on many issues, including religion or political beliefs and practices.  Adults’ attitudes can also be shaped by verbal reinforcers.
  11. 11. Social Learning theory  The view that attitude formation is a social learning process that does not depend on direct reinforcers.  Based on modelling. Sources include: parents and media.  Bandura.  Children see, Children do
  12. 12. Self-Perception Theory  Bem (1972) – idea that we gain knowledge of ourselves only by making self-attributions.  That is, examining your own behaviour and asking ‘Why did I do that?’.  E.g. if you often go for long walks, you may conclude that ‘I must like them, as I’m always doing that’.  Bem’s theory suggests that people act, and form attitudes, without much deliberate thinking.
  13. 13. Measuring attitudes
  14. 14. Explicit or Implicit?
  15. 15. Explicit  Explicit: people simply asked to agree or disagree with various statements about their beliefs.  Assumed in 1930s that explicit measures would get at people’s real beliefs and opinions  Gallup Polls, attitude questionnaires on host of social issues.  Sophisticated scales created...
  16. 16. Attitude Scales – Likert scale  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.  Score = total sum across the statements
  17. 17. Guttman Scale  Guttman (1944) used a set of statements ordered along a continuum ranging from least extreme to most extreme.  Items are cumulative; acceptance of one item implies acceptance of the others that are less extreme.  EgI would accept aliens (1) into my country (2) into my neighbourhood (3) into my house
  18. 18. Osgood  Osgood (1957) avoided opinion statements and focused on the connotative meaning of words/concepts.  E.g. Nuclear power is ‘good/bad’, ‘nice/awful’, ‘pleasant/unpleasant’, ‘fair/unfair’, ‘valuable/worthless’
  19. 19. Thurstone Scale  Thurstone (1928) collected more than 100 statements of opinion ranging from extremely favourable to extremely hostile.  Participants classified statements into eleven categories on a favourable-unfavourable continuum.  Responses narrowed items down to twenty-two items (two for each of the eleven points)  A person’s attitude score is calculated by averaging the scale values of the items endorsed.
  20. 20. Scales Scale Description Thurstone 100 statements  22 statements across eleven categories on a favourable-unfavourable continuum. Score = avg total scale values. Likert Five-point scale (strongly disagree [5]  strongly agree[1]). Score = sum of total score. Guttman Set of statements long a continuum from least extreme to most extreme. Acceptance of one item implies acceptance of other items that are less extreme. Osgood’s semantic differential Focused on connotative meaning people give to a word/concept. The concept can be measured by several evaluative scales (good/bad, nice/awful, pleasant/unpleasant, fair/unfair, valuable/worthless)
  21. 21. Physiological measures  Advantage over self-report measures: people may not realise their attitudes are being assessed or alter their responses.  Disadvantages: most are sensitive to variables other than attitudes and provide little information (indicates intensity, but not direction).  Facial expressions: Facial muscle movements linked to underlying attitudes.  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.
  22. 22. Levin  White participants viewed a series of white and black faces, and ERP component indicated that white faces received more attention  Suggesting participants processed their racial ingroup more deeply and the racial outgroup more superficially.
  23. 23. Measures of overt/covert behaviour  Overt - Unobtrusive measures: dustbins, prints on display cases, book/DVD withdrawals, etc.  Covert - bias in language, priming, Implicit association test
  24. 24. Write 3 statements about the characteristics of a good friend Write 3 statements about the characteristics of a person you dislike (use the name Scar instead of real name)
  25. 25. Linguistic intergroup bias: Maass and colleagues found: Type of description Term used Example +veingroup Abstract/vague Kiki is honest –veoutgroup Abstract/vague Lois is evil -veingroup Concrete Kiki swears a lot +veoutgroup Concrete Lois is good at art
  26. 26. GROUP 1
  27. 27. LOVE GOOD BAD
  28. 28. GRAND GOOD BAD
  29. 29. MESSY GOOD BAD
  30. 30. NASTY GOOD BAD
  31. 31. FILTH GOOD BAD
  32. 32. SMART GOOD BAD
  33. 33. GROUP 2
  34. 34. GRAND GOOD BAD
  35. 35. MESSY GOOD BAD
  36. 36. NASTY GOOD BAD
  37. 37. FILTH GOOD BAD
  38. 38. SMART GOOD BAD
  39. 39. PRIMING…  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)
  40. 40. Results  Primed group (but not the control group) were a little quicker in responding to age-stereotypic words.  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.
  41. 41.
  42. 42. In Sum…  Attitudes can be formed from mere exposure, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, social learning theory and/or self-perception theory.  Attitudes can be measured through explicit means (agree or disagree with various statements about their beliefs) as well as implicitly (scales, connotative meanings)  Scales include Thurstone, Likert, Guttman and Osgood’s semantic differential.  Attitudes can be measured using physiological techniques (facial muscle movements, brain activity)  Measurements of covert attitudes include language bias, priming and IAT