Influence Theories

Cognitive Dissonance Theory

The Key Points:

The Rules of Consistency

People Expect Consistency: “My behavior is consistent with my self- concept”

Inconsistencies Create Dissonance
 -- Uncomfortable and tense experiences
 -- Stress-like physiology
 -- If dissonance was a pill, would you buy it?

Dissonance fosters the desire for consistency
   --  Dissonance can be reduced by changing one’s perception of the relevant behavior .
 --  Dissonance can be reduced by changing perception of one’s self.

Doing Dissonance

Planning Is Important

Get and Hold Internal Attribution
 -- Free Choice
 -- No Rewards
 -- No External Excuse (e.g., external cause or blame)

Cause Negative Inconsistency
 -- Get a behavioral commitment.
      The person(s) should actually do the inconsistency (the inconsistent behavior)
 -- Let the person(s) do the work.
      Don't you criticize the person’s "stupidity."

Focus on Behavior, not Self Concept
-- Let attitude change toward Behavior be your Goal
-- Avoid direct attacks on Self Concept

Worse Is Best: more inconsistency, more dissonance, more change
Interesting Explanation for Counter-Intuitive Behaviors:
-- Initiation, Military boot camp, Collegel
-- Abusive Relationships
-- Relatively Small Advertising Effects (Politics)
Internal and External Attribution
Consequences of Failed Persuasion

Social Influence

Definition of an Attitude
Attitude = one's evaluative orientation toward a person, thing, idea, etc.

Persuasion Social Judgment Theory

Key Point:  attitude change (persuasion) is mediated by judgmental processes and effects.  Put differently, persuasion occurs at the end of the process where a person understands a message then compares the position it advocates to the person's position on that issue.

A person's position on an issue is dependent on:

 Key Concept: Latitudes

 Levels of attitudinal statements
1. Most acceptable to me: A "best guess."
2. Acceptable to me: The set of these attitudinal statements comprise my Latitude of Acceptance (LoA)
3. Whatever (Lattitude of Indifference or Noncommitment)
4. Unacceptable to me: The set of these attitudinal statements comprise my Latitude of Rejection (LoR)
5. Most unacceptable to me

 Mental representation of attitudes
Social Judgment Theory says:

Implications for Influence

Key Concept: Ego-Involvement Key Concept: Certainty Self-Judgment Elaboration Likelihood Model

Key Point: The strength and durability of attitude change depends upon the extent to which people people think about (elaborate on) the contents of persuasive communication.

The Elaboration Likelihood Model . . .
is an approach to understanding the persuasion process which illustrates the decision-making path to belief, attitude, and behavior change.

Belief and Attitude Change May Take One of Two Routes

The Central Route to Persuasion The Peripheral Route to Persuasion Theory of Reasoned Action

Two Factors
This theory proposes that human behavior is influenced by two factors:

Reasoned Action and Social Learning
According to TRA, we develop attitudes toward behavior and understand social norms through learning.  Social learning assumptions are: