Lecture 7: How Attitudes Influence Behaviour Flashcards Preview

🚫 PSY320H1F: Social Psychology of Attitudes with C. Midgley > Lecture 7: How Attitudes Influence Behaviour > Flashcards

Flashcards in Lecture 7: How Attitudes Influence Behaviour Deck (17)
Loading flashcards...

LaPiere (1934) (7)

  • Traveled across the US with a young Chinese couple stayed in a number of hotels and ate at a number of restaurants.
  • Despite widespread anti-Asian prejudice, they were only once refused service once.
  • Two months later, LaPiere phoned each establishment they had visited and asked whether they would serve “members of the Chinese race as guests.”
  • Of the establishments that replied, only 1 indicated that they would serve such a customer and 90% said they definitely would not.
  • Conclusion: People's actions can be dramatically different from their attitudes.
  • Problems: People who were there when LaPiere was might not have been the ones answering the questionnaire.
    • Also doesn't tell us what the reasons behind those responses were.


How well do attitudes predict behaviour? (5)

  • More studies conducted by various researchers and a review was published in the late 1960s (Wicker, 1969).
    • Almost 40 studies conducted, and found the average correlation between attitudes and behaviour was only 0.15.
  • Conclusion: Maybe attitudes don’t matter at all
  • Problems: Many of these early studies examined attitudes that were only tenuously linked to the behaviours they were trying to predict.
    • Also inconsistent measurement practices.


ways correspondence issues can occur (3)

  • Specificity of the behaviour and/or target of a behaviour; e.g. attitude toward politicians → voting for a specific politician.
  • Context in which the behaviour is performed; e.g. alone vs. in presence of others.
  • Attitude and behaviour are not assessed at the same time.


Davidson & Jaccard (1979) (4)

  • Found that attitudes are predictors of behaviour if there's high correspondence.
  • Asked sample of women general, somewhat specific, and very specific atttiudes towards birth control: attitude toward birth control/pills/using pills in the next two years.
  • Contacted 2 years later and asked if had used birth control pills. 
  • Their attitudes correlated more if they were more specific.
    • General attitude measure: r = 0.08 (not significant).
    • Somewhat specific attitude measure: r = 0.32.
    • Very specific attitude measure: r = 0.57.


Dovidio et al. (1997) (8)

  • Demonstrated that explicit measures of attitudes better predict deliberate behaviours, and implicit measures better predict spontaneous behaviours.
  • Participants completed explicit (questionnaire) and implicit (IAT) measures of their attitudes toward African Americans.
  • Completed another "unrelated" study, where they were interviewed by a black and a white female.
  • Then had their deliberate (evaluation of interviewers) and spontaneous (eye contact and blinking frequency) behaviours measured.
  • Higher racism on explicit attitude measure resulted in lower evaluations of the black interviewer (deliberate behaviour).
  • More bias on IAT associated with more blinking and less eye contact (spontaenous behaviour) with the black interviewer.
  • No correlation between explicit attitude measure and implicit attitude measure or spontaneous behaviour.
    • Could be people who were socialized in racist environments but are now actively trying to suppress it.


influence of topic of investigation on predicting behaviour (4)

  • Some topics tend to show high attitude-behaviour correlations; e.g. attitudes toward political candidates and voting behaviour.
  • Others tend to show relatively low attitude-behaviour correlations; e.g. attitudes toward blood donation and the act of donating blood.
  • May be due to some behaviours being inherently more difficult to execute over others.
  • But also could be due to what function different attitudes have.


influence of function of attitudes on predicting behaviour (3)

  • People report feeling more comfortable acting on attitudes that are seen as being expressive of core moral values and convictions—especially when they have no material stake in the issue.
  • Perhaps political attitudes tend to be more value-expressive and attitudes toward blood donation more utilitarian?
  • Or perhaps attitudes toward some topics tend to be stronger or less ambivalent than others?


Norman (1975) (6)

  • Demonstrated that less ambivalent attitudes are more predictive of behaviour.
  • Participants completed questionnaires regarding attitudes towards participating in psychology research: included general attitude and cognitive components.
  • Also measured their evaluative-cognitive consistency (i.e. extent attitudes and beliefs are congruent).
  • 3 weeks later, were asked to participate in an experiment.
    • Higher EC-consistency → behaved in line with their attitudes.
    • Lower EC-consistency → didn't behave consistently with their attitudes.


university students in attitude research (3)

  • One problem with a lot of attitude research is that it tends to use university students.
  • University students tend to have less crystallized attitudes compared to older individuals.
  • Thus, tend to show lower attitude-behaviour correlations than non-students.


need for cognition (2)

  • Desire to engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive activity (Cacioppo & Petty, 1982).
  • Theory: Higher need for cognition leads to thinking more carefully about attitudes, making them stronger and thus more predictive of behaviour.


Cacioppo et al. (1986) (4)

  • Demonstrated the influence of need for cognition on attitude-behaviour predictability.
  • Two months before the election, they asked people who they planned to vote for and assessed their need for cognition.
  • After the election, assessed actual voting behaviour.
  • Results: pre-election voting preferences were more predictive of actual voting behaviour for those higher in need for cognition.


self-monitoring (3)

  • The extent that people vary their behaviour across social situations (Snyder, 1974, 1986).
  • High self-monitors strive to tailor their behaviour to the situation, to fit with social and interpersonal expectations.
  • Low self-monitors base their behavioural choices on more internal sources such as values, feelings, and dispositions.


Snyder & Kendzierski (1982) (5)

  • Demonstrated the influence of self-monitoring on predictability of behaviour.
  • Gathered participants who were pro- or anti-affirmative action.
  • Given opportunity to participate in social situation that would (behaviourally) demonstrate support for affirmative action policies.
  • For low self-monitors, decisions to participate were predicted by their attitude towards affirmative action.
  • For high self-monitors, there was no correlation between their attitude and their decision to participate.


Snyder & DeBono (1985) (6)

  • High self-monitors are more aware of their image in social situations, thus are more attentative to messages that convey info about the image a product creates.
  • Low self-monitors care more about correspondence with their own attitudes and values.
  • Participants filled out a 12-item questionnaire judging 2 different ads for 3 products: choosing between an image-based and quality-oriented ads.
  • High self-monitors rated the image-based ads more favourably and low self-monitors rated the quality-oriented ads more favourably.
    • Were also willing to pay more for the products and actually use the products in the type of ad they preferred.
  • However, this preference doesn't mean that they're aversive to the other type of ad.


self-consciousness (1)

  • The degree that someone is aware of their personal, internal characteristics vs. their public image (situational).


Froming et al. (1982) (7)

  • Found that situational cues can determine whether someone acts in accordance with their own attitudes or not.
  • Gathered participants who had strong pro- or anti-punishment attitudes and who believed most people held the opposite beliefs.
  • Asked to shock a ”learner” who gave incorrect responses to various questions.
  • Were either in the presence of a mirror (private self-consciousness), an audience (public self-consciousness), or neither (control).
  • Behaviour matched whichever attitude (internal vs. external) that was made salient.
    • Behaviour in mirror condition → own attitudes.
    • Behaviour in audience condition → beliefs about others’ attitudes.


Richetin, Conner, & Perugini (2011) (4)

  • Argued that cognitions about not performing a behaviour aren't simply opposites about performing the same behaviour because they rely on separate goals.
  • Found that the constructs related to performing and not performing a behaviour showed discriminant validity.
  • Perceived behavioural control over both performing and not performing a behaviour showed incremental validity in predicting intentions to perform or not perform a behaviour.
  • Intentions to perform and intentions to not perform a behaviour simultaneously predict the behaviour.