People seek consistency in their lives.
People are sensitive to contradictions and
Dissonance (discomfort, guilt, doubt) fosters
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.
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.
should actually do the inconsistency (the inconsistent behavior)
-- Let the person(s) do the work.
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
-- Initiation, Military boot camp, Collegel
-- Abusive Relationships
-- Relatively Small Advertising Effects
Internal and External Attribution
Consequences of Failed Persuasion
of an Attitude
Attitude = one's evaluative orientation
toward a person, thing, idea, etc.
Do you like Shredded Wheat?
Will you vote for Al Gore for president?
Do you prefer lecture course or seminars?
What's your favorite Friday evening activity?
Is Seinfeld funny?
Often studied as changing people's attitudes
Goal is usually to change their behavior
Attitude-behavior link too often is
Communication focuses on noncoercive
Most real situations are partly coercive
How would you define coercion? Voluntary?
Think about choice within constraints
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:
the person's most preferred position (his/her
the person's judgment of the various alternatives
(spread across their latitudes of acceptance, rejection, and noncommitment)
the person's level of ego-involvement with
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
4. Unacceptable to me: The set of these
attitudinal statements comprise my Latitude of Rejection (LoR)
5. Most unacceptable to me
representation of attitudes
Social Judgment Theory says:
Not just a single point: "This is where I
Need to know range of acceptable options.
Need to know what is objectionable.
Messages in LoA seen as closer to your X than
they may be--easy to nestle in with them
Messages in LoR seen as farther from your
X than they may be--no felt need to seriously consider these messages
Adjust our attitude according to where messages
falls In LoA attitude moves toward message
In LoR attitude moves away from message
How much does this attitude matter to you?
How important is it to you that you be right?
How much is your identity tied up in the concept?
Think about how identity and attitudes go
How does being certain affect your attitude
For today I'll assume certainty = short LoA
According to Social Judgment Theory can only
influence within LoA
If that's true, high certainty people are
less subject to influence.
Elaboration Likelihood Model
What if the attitude object is yourself?
Self-Esteem is the attitude you have toward
What about other self-judgments?
What about neutral judgments?
Prefer blues or reds?
Quiet or rowdy?
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.
Elaboration Likelihood Model . . .
is an approach to understanding the persuasion
process which illustrates the decision-making path to belief, attitude,
and behavior change.
and Attitude Change May Take One of Two Routes
Central Route to Persuasion
The Central Route to persuasion is when the
receiver has high-involvement information processing-- whether the person
ponders the content and logic of message.
Central route leads to more enduring attitude
The Peripheral Route to persuasion is when
the receiver has low-involvement information processing-- persuasion depends
on nonmessage factors.
Peripheral Route to Persuasion
The receiver attends more carefully to the
message being received and compares it to his or her own attitudinal position.
Likely generates a number of cognitive responses
to the communication.
Central Cues refer to ideas and supporting
data that bear directly upon the quality of the arguments developed in
Theory of Reasoned Action
Cognitive responses are much less likely to
occur, because the receiver is not carefully considering the pros and cons
of the issue.
Peripheral persuasion cues include such factors
as the attractiveness and expertise of the source, the mere number of the
arguments presented, and the positive or negative stimuli that form the
context within which the message was presented (e.g., pleasant music).
This theory proposes that human behavior
is influenced by two factors:
Action and Social Learning
attitudes towards the behavior
the influence of social environment and general
subjective norms on the behavior. Social norms are determined by examples
that significant others set for us and by the attitudes they convey to
According to TRA, we develop attitudes
toward behavior and understand social norms through learning. Social
learning assumptions are:
Behavior dynamically influences the environment
and personal constructs.
Likewise, the environment and personal characteristics
affect each other and the person's behavior.
For a person to perform a particular behavior
s/he needs to know what the behavior is and know that he/she has the skills
to do the behavior. Individuals learn what to expect through their own
experience and through their social groups.
Individuals act in their self interest to
get likely outcomes they value.
Individuals learn through imitating the behavior
of others around them.
Individuals learn through reinforcements and
rewards they receive from their behavior.