Lecture 2: Indirect Measurement, Attitude Functions, & Attitude Strength Flashcards Preview

🚫 PSY320H1F: Social Psychology of Attitudes with C. Midgley > Lecture 2: Indirect Measurement, Attitude Functions, & Attitude Strength > Flashcards

Flashcards in Lecture 2: Indirect Measurement, Attitude Functions, & Attitude Strength Deck (27)
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indirect measurement (1)

  • Based on the assumption that stronger (therefore more accessible) associations activate evaluations quickly, which then influences the speed at which we respond.


implicit association test (IAT) (3)

  • Respondents classify adjectives and attitude objects as fast as possible.
  • A faster reaction time indicates a stronger attitude.
  • Gained widespread popularity, used for a variety of things.


problems with the IAT (4)

  • IAT is based off the assumption that responses can’t be controlled, and is less susceptible to outside influence than direct measurement.
    • But people can exert some control over the IAT (e.g. purposely going slower) and context matters (e.g. showing liked pictures of black people before a Black-White IAT);
  • It’s unclear how much respondents scores reflect their own attitudes vs. their knowledge of others’ attitudes.
  • IAT only measures a relative not absolute favorability.


physiological indirect measures (3)

  • The galvanic skin response (GSR) and pupillary dilation are two methods that don’t rely on response time.
  • Facial EMG, ERPs, and fMRIs.
  • Problem: more sensitive to strength than valence.


facial electromyography (facial EMG) (2)

  • Assesses contractions of facial muscles, which have a distinct pattern of activation for true vs. fake emotions (e.g. a smile).
  • Problem: difficult to administer, expensive, and difficult to analyze the data.


event-related potentials (ERPs) (2)

  • Measures electrical activity in the brain.
  • Helped us understand the time course in which individuals make attitudinal judgments.


functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) (2)

  • Shows where blood and oxygen are in the brain, i.e. activity.
  • Helped us understand what brain regions are active when recalling/reporting an attitude.


Fazio, Blasovich, & Driscoll (1992) (7)

  • Provided evidence for the functionality of attitudes.
  • The strength of association in memory between an attitude object and one’s evaluation determines how accessible it is.
    • Strong, i.e. highly accessible, attitudes will guide our decisions in a spontaneous manner.
  • Attitudes help us make quick decisions because we need less resources.
    • And decisions that are higher in quality, i.e. less likely to change at a later time.
  • However, the benefits of attitudes may hold true for any construct that people might form (e.g. self-knowledge).
  • Because attitudes are automatic and not likely to change, they can also make a person more close-minded.


reliability (1)

  • The degree to which scores are free from errors in measurement.


internal consistency reliability (1)

  • Asks: are the individual items assessing the same thing?


test-retest reliability (1)

  • Asks: are the scores consistent over time?


validity (1)

  • The extent that a measurement assesses the construct it was designed to measure.


convergent validity (1)

  • Asks: does it align/correlate with other measures?


discriminant validity (1)

  • Asks: is it uncorrelated with measures of other, irrelevant constructs?


predictive validity (1)

  • Asks: does it predict future behaviour?


reliability and validity of explicit measures (2)

  • High in reliability: the more items the better (if they’re similar), but even single item semantic differential scales have been shown to have high test-retest reliability.
  • Often valid, when there isn’t a distinct socially acceptable answer.
    • Is higher when assessing simple attitude objects.


reliability and validity of implicit measures (2)

  • Appears to have high reliability, but it hasn’t been tested (e.g. the IAT has high test-retest reliability).
  • High convergent validity, and good predictive validity.
    • Is generally higher when assessing simple attitude objects.


relative strength (1)

  • How much you favour/disfavour one attitude object relative to another, and is often what’s measured (explicitly and implicitly).


absolute strength (1)

  • How certain someone is of their attitude and how important it is to them.


characteristics of strong attitudes (4)

  • Persistent over time.
  • Resistant to change.
  • Likely to influence information processing.
  • Likely to predict behaviour.


Katz (1960) (1)

  • Explored the primary and secondary functions of attitudes; i.e. object appraisal, utilitarian, value-expressive, and ego-defensive.


object appraisal (knowledge) function (2)

  • States that attitudes let us know whether we like or dislike an object so that we don’t have to make a new judgement every time.
  • Some objects are more likely to fulfill only one function (e.g. air conditioner: utilitarian) whereas others fulfill multiple functions (e.g. handbags: utilitarian and value-expressive).


utilitarian (instrumental) function (1)

  • To approach things that meet our needs and maximize rewards, and to avoid punsihments and things that thwart our needs.


value-expressive function (1)

  • To reflect our central values and self-image/concept.


ego-defensive function (1)

  • To bolster or protect our self-esteem.


problems with attitude functions (2)

  • Ambiguity in distinction between different functions.
  • Accessing functions largely requires conscious awareness, which is particularly problematic for ego-defensive functions because they’re most effective when a person is unaware of them.


Pillaud et al. (2013) (9)

  • Attitudinal ambivalence isn’t simply a weak attitude but is actually adaptive in social interactions.
  • Participants used an open-ended measure to convey their attitudes towards a controversial topic (GMOs) and a non-controversial topic (tooth brushing).
  • They did this in a control condition, and conditions where they were self-enhancing or self-depreciating.
    • Expressed more ambivalence towards GMOs in the self-enhancing vs. self-depreciating condition.
    • Expressed more ambivalence towards tooth brushing in the self-depreciating vs. self-enhancing condition.
    • Expressed less ambivalence towards tooth brushing in the control and self-enhancing conditions vs. GMOs.
  • If you show ambivalence towards a controversial topic, it can show that you’re unbiased and more intelligent and also protect you from judgement.
  • You shouldn’t show ambivalence towards a non-controversial topic because there’s a socially accepted right answer, and not knowing it makes you deviant/uneducated about the society.
  • Certain boundaries exist to this rule, e.g. if there’s a socially acceptable answer towards a controversial topic.