Grace L. Candreva
Dr. Michelle Render
December 6, 2014
Behaviors and Attitudes
Attitudes are evaluations people make
about objects, ideas, events, or other
Attitudes are either positive or negative.
Explicit attitudes are conscious beliefs that
guide individuals with decision making and
Implicit attitudes are unconscious beliefs
that also influence behavior.
Cognitive, Emotional and Behavioral.
Example of Attitudes
The example of an attitude is: Ken believes
that smoking is not a healthy habit, and he
feels utterly disgusted when friends smoke
around him or near him, and does not
associate in the situations where others
Depending upon the situation, attitudes do
determine the behaviors in some situations.
Influence of Behavior on
Behavior can also affect attitudes. This is
evidenced by the foot-in-the-doorphenomenon and role-playing effect. People tend to be more likely to agree to
difficult request if they have already agreed
on a much easier one.
Example: Joan is much more agreeable to
let her sister use her car for the day, if her
sister persuades her to use her red dress
and shoes for an important date.
The Role Playing Effect
Individuals can internalize the roles they play,
and thereby changing attitudes to “fit” the role.
Example: Philip Zimbardos’ prison study, where a
certain role can have influence. In this particular
study, he had volunteers play prison guards. All
manner of dress, defensive weapon such as clubs
and also whistles were provided. They were the
“enforcers” of the rules. The roles displayed by
the volunteers were aggressive and harsh. The
“prisoners” also played their role and fell apart
emotionally, became rebellious, and some were
Negative and Positive Effects of Social
Cognition with Behaviors and Attitudes
Learning theory tells us that attitudes can
be formed and changed with learning
principles. Classical conditioning, Operant
conditioning, and Observations.
Classical Conditioning Ex: On a magazine
cover a model displays a gorgeous gown,
when seen it elicits a pleasurable response.
Therefore, the individual will form a positive
attitude concerning the magazine and the
Leon Festinger (1957) explains that individuals will
change their attitude when they are such that do not
match up with others. The point behind his theory was
that people will experience this concept when their
cognitions clash with one another. This always ends up
being a state of unrest and tension. In order to reduce
this tension people will try to change their attitudes.
Example: There is a group of students doing a team
effort on child abuse. They are arguing and discussing
the pros and cons of punishment. After a certain amount
of time, Joanne who is emoting her adamant against the
idea depending on the extent, eventually gives in
although she is against it vehemently in the beginning.
Conclusion Social Norms and Social Roles
These are society’s rules which exist for
appropriate behaviors. These are based for
practically every situation. Some are explicit, and
are made into laws, and others are implicit or
unconsciously followed. Social Roles are where
behavior patterns are appropriate in a particular
context. Men and women are told how they are
expected to behave in public. In effect if these
roles are not followed, they tend to feel very
uneasy and are looked down upon by others. But
these role requirements may change over time in
Myers, D. G. (2012) Exploring Social
Psychology (6th ed). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill
tude-Behavior.html">Attitude and Behavior Changing attitudes to change behavior, Changing behavior to influence
attitudesRetrieved December 06, 2014
References: attitudesRetrieved December 06, 2014
Spark notes Editors.(2005) Spark notes on
Social Psychology Retrieved December 06,
2014, from http://www.sparknotes.com/
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