Attitudes and their Tests
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What is the difference between an attitude and a belief?
Beliefs are pieces of information about something whereas an attitude is just an opinion
What are beliefs based on?
- Information gathering
- This isn't always objective, people might be misled by others or misinterpret the information they take in
What is a utilitarian belief function?
- A belief that helps us to navigate the word and progress towards goals
- Usually useful information
What is a existential belief function?
- A belief that offers meaning and purpose
- Such as believing in an afterlife to get over a fear of death
Who pioneered the Meaning Maintenance Model?
Heine et al, 2006
What are the rudiments of the meaning maintenance model?
- 1: Meaning is what links people, places, objects, and ideas to one an- other in expected and predictable ways.
- 2: People want to apply meaning to basic existential realms
- 3: Disruptions to meaning frameworks lead people to reaffirm alternative frameworks.
What characteristics do people usually display after a meaning challenge?
- Increased patriotism
- Defence of the status quo
- Desire for more meaning in life
What support exists for the MMM?
- Challenges to self esteem:
- Baumeister and Jones (1978): P's received negative personality feedback in one domain,
- they bolstered their self-assessments in unrelated domains.
- Hogg and Sunderland (1991): Failure feedback in word association task = more in-group discrimination
What is ABC?
- The information on which attitudes are based
- A: Affective (how do I feel about it?)
- B: Behavioural (how did I deal with this in the past?)
- C: Cognitive (what do I know about this?)
What are ambivalent attitudes?
Attitudes that contain both positive and negative reactions to an object or situation
What is a utilitarian attitude function?
Attitudes serving to maximise reward and minimise harm
What is a social identity (value expressive) function?
Attitudes that serve to convey social or political beliefs
Why is explicit attitude ambivalence rare?
- Consistency facilitates attitude-behaviour
- Information gathering is influenced by a
- confirmation bias
- Affective information about objects influences
- subsequent interaction with the object
What are implicit attitudes?
- Non conscious and automatic evaluative responses to an object
- Ambivalence is more common as people are unaware of these beliefs and whether they are contradictory
What is the Implicit attitudes test?
- Measures implicit attitudes
- Group words and images of attitude objects as either good or bad using computer keys
- Words and images presented with good and one demographic (e.g. picture of white person) on one side and vise versa
- Group words and images of faces using keys into the categories
What are the critiques of the IAT?
- Cognitive associations do not necessarily indicate beliefs
- Could be due to something like classical conditioning
Give an alternate measure of implicit attitudes
- Measure cortisol or blood pressure levels when viewing race related materials
- Measure approach or avoidance to these topics
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