Articles

Introduction to Attitudes

Definition of Attitudes Attitudes are predispositions to respond towards particular people of situations in a particular manner. They are learned and relatively enduring. They are, therefore, there product of experience but enter into subsequent experience as a directing factor. Component Models of Attitudes Attitudes consist of three models: Affective component: evaluations, feelings Cognitive component: beliefs, [...]

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Measurements of Attitudes

How do we know what people’s attitudes are? How do we measure attitudes? How would you measure someones attitude towards the re-introduction of the Death Penalty? Projective Techniques (Indirect Measures) Take advantage of the fact that people often project their own attitudes on to others. Example, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): subjects are presented with a [...]

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Attitude Change

Cognitive dissonance is said to exist when a person has two cognitions which contradict each other. The principle of cognitive consistency states that we seek consistency in our attitudes and behaviour or cognitions. Cognitions refer to thought, attitudes, beliefs and behaviour of which the individual is aware. Dissonance refers to an unpleasant state of tension [...]

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Prejudice and Discrimination

Prejudice and Discrimination Prejudice: Attitude towards members of a group Discrimination: Action/Behaviour towards member of a group. How it develops Personality theories: Authoritarian personality – has high respect for authority and is hostile to those who resist social norms. ADORNO – High scorers on the F-scale were more prejudice than low scorers. Also, higher scorers [...]

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Conformity and Acsh’s Experiment

Conformity Conformity – involves a change of behaviour or opinion in order to fit in with a group. What is it? When people “go along” with the majority/minority opinion or behaviour. Conformity involves social influence Why People Conform? Compliance [ASCH] Conform to the group norm to avoid punishment. Normative [ASCH] Peer pressure, Scared of rejection. Informational [SHERIF] [...]

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Sherif’s Experiment (1935)

Experimentation: SHERIF (1935) The auto kinetic effect: In this experiment, a single point of light in a dark room seems to move. In the experiment, the subjects are unable to keep their eyes perfectly still and, in the dark, there is no point of reference. Sherif conducted two versions of this experiment: 1. Individuals were [...]

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Crutchfield’s Experiment

Experimentation: CRUTCHFIELD Aim Observe the effect on private to public conformity Method: Participants placed in booths of their own in a private atmosphere Asked to agree and disagree Aware of answer of others too – after they had been manipulated by the experimenter Results Conformity changed depending on task Conclusion Conformity varied depending on the [...]

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Minority Influence and Moscovici’s Study

Minority Influence Main factors: consistency and confidence A minority group can also strongly influence an individual, this is more likely when the minority are the ‘in group’, possibly due to social status or age, or they are acting out of principle and have made personal sacrifices in the pursuit of their beliefs. Moscovici designed an [...]

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Obedience and Milgram’s Study

Obedience: Following someone else’s instructions. Perhaps they are an authority figure. Obedience is not as general as conformity, it is related to specific instruction from another person. Why people obey? Milgram proposed the agentic theory: When we act as the agent of someone in authority we find it easy to deny personal responsibility for our actions [...]

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Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment

Researchers, led by Philip Zimbardo, created a mock prison in 1973 in a laboratory basement, using as subjects 21 healthy male undergraduate volunteers (Haney, Banks, & Zimbardo, 1973). Each person was to receive $15 a day for 2 weeks. Nine of the students were randomly selected to be “prisoners,” while the rest were divided into [...]

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