Lecture 3: Cognitive Influences on Attitudes Flashcards Preview

🚫 PSY320H1F: Social Psychology of Attitudes with C. Midgley > Lecture 3: Cognitive Influences on Attitudes > Flashcards

Flashcards in Lecture 3: Cognitive Influences on Attitudes Deck (20)
Loading flashcards...

questions about cognitions and attitudes (3)

  • When do persuasive messages work? When do they not?
  • How do persuasive messages work?
  • When we adopt a new attitude, what happens to the old one?


Hovland et al. (1953) (4)

  • Proposed four stages for how persuasive messages work: 1) Notice the message, 2) pay attention to it, 3) comprehend it, and 4) accept it.
  • You can offer incentives at the acceptance stage, but only if people made it through the other 3 stages.
    • Incentives can be either utilitarian or social benefits.
  • Problem: doesn't account for messages that are understood but rejected (i.e. weak/poor arguments).


McGuire (1968) or information processing paradigm (6)

  • Noted that many persuasive messages can only be said to have “worked” if they have some later impact.
    • Added two new stages onto Hovland’s model, creating the information processing paradigm.
      • The odds of completing all these 6 stages are low, which explains why persuasion is often difficult.
  • Also proposed that a variable may have different effects on different stages.
    • e.g. Self-esteem has been shown to increase the chance that someone would pay attention to or comprehend the message. But self-esteem has also been shown to correlate with lower acceptance of a message.
  • Problem: doesn't account for messages that are understood but rejected (i.e. weak/poor arguments).


Greenwald (1968) (3)

  • Proposed that we need to understand people’s cognitive responses (i.e. message-relevant thoughts) following a persuasive message.
  • Positive cognitive responses will most likely lead to attitude change.
  • Negative cognitive responses will most likely lead to rejection of the message.


Fishbein & Ajzen (1981) or the acceptance-yielding impact model (3)

  • Proposed the acceptance-yielding-impact model, which states that persuasive messages cause attitude change when they change: 1) the beliefs underlying the attitude, 2) the evaluations of these beliefs, or 3) both.
  • Alternatively, we can simply add beliefs.
  • Also recognized that a message’s total effect includes effects on beliefs not targeted by the message.


Petty & Cacioppo (1986) (1)

  • Introduced the elaboration likelihood model (ELM).


Chaiken et al. (1989) (1)

  • Proposed the heuristic-systematic model (HSM).


similar basic principles of the ELM and HSM (6)

  • Based on idea that the role of cognitive responses to a message varies across people and situations.
  • Emphasize motivation and ability.
    • Higher motivation and ability leads to more deliberate cognitive processing.
    • Lower motivation and/or ability more reliance on simple cues and heuristics.
    • There are many variables that can influence both motivation and ability.
  • Are both dual models, i.e. proposing 2 routes to persuasion.


central (ELM) or systematic (HSM) route to processing (3)

  • Taking this route means that we’ll be more persuaded by strong arguments by changing cognitive responses to the message.
  • A strong argument leads to a positive cognitive response, which creates a more positive attitude.
  • A weak argument leads to a negative cognitive response, which produces a more negative attitude.


peripheral (ELM) or heuristic (HSM) route to processing (3)

  • Taking this route means that we’ll be more persuaded by simple (or peripheral) cues or heuristics.
  • e.g. The length and/or number of arguments (Petty & Cacioppo, 1984).
  • e.g. If the communicator is trustworthy and/or attractive (Petty et al., 1981; Chaiken, 1979).


ways to influence motivation and ability (8)

  • People are more likely to engage in deliberate cognitive processing (i.e. use central/systematic route) due to external factors, i.e. if:
    • There are limited distractions;
    • The message is clear and/or easy to understand;
  • And internal factors, i.e. if the:
    • Individual’s innate cognitive ability is higher (e.g. IQ);
    • Individual enjoys effortful thinking (e.g. Need for Cognition);
    • Issue/topic has more personal relevance.
  • The first three can also be considered how much ability a person has, and the last two how much motivation.


influences on processing for ELM and HSM (7)

  • Both models acknowledge that deliberate processing can be biased.
    • ELM: people can weigh strong and weak arguments differently.
    • HSM: peripheral cues can affect deliberate processing.
  • Both models acknowledge that the same variable/factor can act as:
    • A determinant of motivation & ability;
    • An argument (if using central/systematic processing);
    • Or a cue (if using peripheral/heuristic processing).


differences between the ELM and HSM (3)

  • ELM focuses on motivation to hold correct attitudes; HSM adds social desirability and expression of identity as motivators (and that these lead to more biased thinking than the accuracy motive).
  • ELM pays more attention to strength of attitudes that are formed (i.e. attitudes formed via the central route are stronger); HSM doesn’t make a distinction of this kind.
  • The HSM includes an “additivity hypothesis,” which states that systematic and heuristic processing can co-occur; ELM is an either-or model.
    • e.g. May use heuristics to supplement systematic thought, when it cannot yield a confident attitude.


Petty et al. (1981) (6)

  • When issues are personally relevant, effectiveness of a persuasive appeal depends on argument quality; when it's not relevant, effectiveness depends on peripheral cues.
  • Participants listened to a recording advocating for comprehensive exams.
  • Three manipulations: high vs. low source expertise, strong vs. weak argument quality, and high vs. low personal involvement.
  • Participants were surveyed on whether or not comprehensive exams should be instituted.
  • Most favourable attitude change occured when strong arguments were presented to highly involved participants.
  • Boomerang effect: weak arguments by non-experts, regardless of involvement.


Priester & Petty (2003) (4)

  • Greater scrutiny is applied when a product endorser is low in trustworthiness.
  • Undergrads were presented with an ad for a new brand of roller skates.
  • Two manipulations: skates were endorsed by a trustworthy source vs. untrustworthy source, and ads used strong vs. weak arguments.
  • Effect of argument quality was greater when source was less trustworthy.


Chaiken & Maheswaran (1993) (4)

  • Participants were given info about an answering machine.
  • Three manipulations: high vs. low personal relevance; high vs. low credibility; and strong, weak, or mixed argument strength.
  • Found that participants with high personal relevance were more persuaded by strong arguments, and participants with low relevance were persuaded by credibility.
    • However, for ambiguous arguments of high personal relevance, participants were also more persuaded by credibility.


Kruglanski et al. (2004) or unimodel (3)

  • Suggested the unimodel, which states that there's no fundamental difference between a "cue" and an "argument," i.e. we can't always lump something like source expertise with peripheral processing.
  • Previous research has made cues simple and briefly presented, vs. the arguments which are longer and more complex.
  • Apparent differences in effects of cues and arguments would disappear if cues were made more complex and arguments made simpler.


attention as a dual vs. single process


What happens to old attitudes when we adopt new ones? (4)

  • In order to change our attitudes, we have to: 1) add new beliefs, and/or 2) attach tags to old beliefs to negate them.
  • Means old attitudes still exist, making joint activation with new attitudes possible.
  • We may experience ambivalence if 1) the old attitude isn't negated or 2) if false tag on old attitude isn't retrieved.
  • The PAST model.


Petty et al. (2006) (7)

  • Proposed the Past Attitudes are Still There (PAST) model.
  • We still experience implicit ambivalence when a new attitude overrides an old one, even when we're certain the old info was wrong.
  • Participants asked to memorize info about Jose and Juan, one very positive and the other negative (counter-balanced).
  • Half were then told there was a mix up, and info is actually about the other person; other half weren't.
  • Measured deliberative and automatic ambivalence towards Jose and Juan.
  • No difference in deliberate ambivalence measures—everyone rated the correct positive guy positively.
  • But IAT results indicated weaker associations between target names and the concept of certainty in the incongruent group (i.e. more implicit ambivalence).