Attitudes—evaluations of various aspects of the social world.
Why study attitudes?
•Evaluation is the basic building block of social thought •Attitudes affect behavior—persuasion
3 components of attitude
Explicit attitude—attitudes we consciously endorse, and can easily report—favorite food Implicit attitude—attitudes that are involuntary, uncontrollable, and at times unconscious—this is what is usually studied
Functions of attitudes
oForm of learning in which one stimulus, initially neutral, acquires the capacity to evoke reactions through repeated pairings with another stimulus •Normal woman with shark or happy couple
•Camel cigarettes with Joe cool
•Blue pen with nice music, tan pen with bad music, people choose the blue pen oRepeated many times (necessary)
oForm of learning in which responses that lead to positive outcomes or that permit avoidance of negative outcomes are strengthened •Luau party: interviewer says good if it is positive and when the polled later they were in favor of the party—interviewer said nothing if negative •Observational learning
oSome linked to genetics—political and religious beliefs
oMore along the lines of liberal and conservative
•Death penalty, censorship
•Genes interact with dopamine and serotonin levels
•There is no one actual gene that says liberal or conservative
Strength of Attitudes
•Strong attitudes are
oMore resistant to persuasion
oPredict behavior better
•Stronger more committed to it so believe it is correct
oSuper duper democrat/die hard republican
•Embeddedness—more connected in your brain
oSo if someone is super republican their attitudes toward gun policy and tax ideas are...