Attitudes
Chapter 6
Gordon Allport
On the Importance of Attitudes
The attitude is the most
distinctive and indispensable
concept in contemporary
American social psychology.
Defining Attitudes
 Definition
 “Positive or negative evaluation of an object” (e.g., person,
activity, group, object).
 Psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a
particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor. (Eagly &
Chaiken, 1998)
 Elements of Attitudes (tripartite view)
 Cognition (beliefs)
 Evaluation (like vs. dislike)
 Behavioral predisposition
 Contemporary View
 Attitudes are positive or negative (affective) evaluations of an
attitude object
Seattle
Las Vegas
Cougars
Huskies
Attitude Models
Fishbein and Ajzen’s Theory of Reasoned Action
Attitude toward Behavior (or Object)
Σ = add up the
(b x e) products
n
AB   biei
n = # of attributes
i 1
AB = Overall attitude
toward behavior
ei = evaluation of
behavior on attribute i
bi = Strength of belief that
behavior has attribute i
This consumer would prefer 7UP to Diet Pepsi
Subjective Norm
Σ = add up
(NB x MC)
products
m
SNB   NB j MC j
m = # of
people
j 1
SNB = Subjective Norm
regarding behavior
MC = motivation to
comply to person j
NBj = Normative Belief
of person j
Theory of Planned Behavior:
When Do Attitudes Guide Behavior?
Perceived
Behavioral
Control
Attitude
Subjective
Norms
Intention
Behavior
Problems:
• Doesn’t explain spontaneous or habit driven
behavior very well.
• May be better to think of BC as a moderator
of att-intention relationship
Apply the TPB To Exercise
Attitude Formation
 Mere Exposure
 Classical Conditioning
 Reward and Punishment

Direct and Observational Learning
 Self-Perception

When attitude is weak
 Face, Head, and Body Movements…
 Attitudes Formed to Serve Various Functions




Utilitarian (rewards, approval)
Knowledge (make sense of world)
Ego Defense (self-protection)
Value Expression
Pavlov
Classical Conditioning
UCS
UCR
+
CR
CS
Do Attitudes Predict Behavior?
Alan Wicker’s (1969) Conclusion
It is considerably more likely that
attitudes will be unrelated or only
slightly related to overt behaviors than
that attitudes will be closely related to
actions. It may be desirable to abandon
the attitude construct.
A Puzzling Finding:
La Piere’s (1934) Study
 Traveled with Chinese couple in early 30’s
 Visited > 250 restaurants & hotels
 Follow-Up Questionnaire
 90 % of owners said wouldn’t let Chinese in
 but, only 1 actually refused
 Highlights weak att-beh relationship
When Do Attitudes Guide Behavior?








A & B “match” in specificity
A & B measured close in time
A linked with intention to act
A based on direct experience
High Ego Involvement & Vested Interest
Low Self-Monitors
High Private Self-Awareness
A is extreme and accessible
 mere thought, involvement enhance extremity
 direct exp. & knowledge enhance accessibility
 recently primed 
Some Examples of Priming
Sammy Hagar
Also rated
Intention to drink
Coke and Spa Rood
Karremans et al. (2006, JESP, Study 1)
Priming Preference for Lipton Ice Tea
Berger & Fitzsimons (2008, JMR)
Pen Color Study
8
Orange Pen
# Products Chosen
7.5
Green Pen
7
6.5
Method
Subjects select
between orange
and green products
6
5.5
5
In another study,
subjects more likely
to recall orange products
week before Halloween
than 1 week later
4.5
4
3.5
3
Orange Product
Green Product
Measuring Attitudes
Measuring Attitudes
• While attitudes not perfect predictors, still important
• We need to understand how to measure attitudes accurately
• Sometimes we need creative approaches, because people are either unable
or unwilling to tell us the truth (Nisbett & Wilson; Rapaille)
Nisbett & Wilson (1977, Psych Review)
Telling More Than We Can Know:
Verbal Reports on Mental Processes
• Cited 1478 times (that’s a lot!) – big impact
• Three Main Conclusions. We are often…
1. Not aware of a response (snake phobics)
2. Not aware of a stimulus (the cord puzzle)
3. Not aware of a connection between stimulus and
response (nylons)
Valins & Ray (1967) - Snake Phobics
EXPERIMENTAL CONDITION
Stimulus
On Screen
SHOCK
Does Subject
Receive Shock?
CONTROL CONDITION
“Heart Rate”
Sound After Stimulus
Yes
Increases
No
Doesn’t Change
Same procedure, but
led to believe that the
sound they hear is
just extraneous noise.
Don’t believe it’s
their heart rate.
• Subject in experimental condition “learns” that he is afraid of shocks, but not snakes.
• Later, he approaches a boa constrictor more closely than those in control condition.
• BUT, when asked to verbally report on their attitudes, those in the experimental group still
said they were as scared as those in control condition.
• They were unaware that they had made an actual behavioral response (less fear).
Maier’s (1931) – Cord Puzzle
• Subjects in a room must connect two cords hanging from ceiling.
• Need to come up with 3 solutions.
• Two solutions were easy (e.g., tie an extension cord to one and use it to pull
toward the other), the third was harder.
• After a few minutes of struggling to find right solution, experimenter casually
swings one of the cords.
• Within 45 seconds, subject “figures out” solution (ties a weight to one cord,
swings it, runs to other cord, catches swinging cord).
• When explaining how they solved it, they said “It just dawned on me” etc.
• Less than a third, after careful probing, recognized effect of the experimenter
• Conclusion? People were largely unaware of the stimulus (the swinging cord)
Nisbett & Wilson - Nylons Study
• Four pairs of nylons on a table
• Ask passersby in a mall to evaluate the nylons
• Strong preference for nylons on the right: rightmost nylons
preferred to left most nylons by almost a 4:1 ratio
• When asked why, nobody said it was because the nylons were
on the right
• Even when told it might be a position effect, subjects denied it
• Conclusion? People were unaware of the connection between
the stimulus (position) and the response (preference for nylons
on the right)
Nisbett & Wilson (1977, Psych Review)
Telling More Than We Can Know:
Verbal Reports on Mental Processes
1. Not aware of a response (snake phobics)
2. Not aware of a stimulus (the cord puzzle)
3. Not aware of a connection between stimulus and
response (nylons)
4. So what? So this: we may need more creative
techniques to assess people’s attitudes
5. Enter Dr. Clotaire Rapaille 
Dr. Clotaire Rapaille
Archetype Discoveries Worldwide
http://www.rapailleinstitute.com/
I don’t care what you’re going to tell me intellectually.
I don’t care. Give me the reptilian. Why?
Because the reptilian always wins.
The Reptilian Brain
Reptilian
Oldest part of brain
from an evolutionary
perspective
Paul D. MacLean (1913 - 2007)
American physician
Neuroscientist
Yale, NIMH
Triune Brain Theory
• Reptilian brain (instincts)
• Limbic system (emotion)
• Neocortex (higher order thought)
Dr. Clotaire Rapaille
• Internationally known expert in Archetype Discoveries and Creativity
• Archetype: In psychology, according to the theory of psychologist Carl Jung, an idea
or way of thinking that has been inherited from the experience of the race and
remains in the consciousness of the individual, influencing his perception of the
world. (Webster’s)
• Dr. Rapaille's technique for market research based on his work in the areas of
psychiatry, psychology, and cultural anthropology.
• Dr. Rapaille searches for the “code” behind certain words and ideas (e.g., luxury),
and uses these insights to help marketers promote their products.
Dr. Clotaire Rapaille
• On the Limitations of Traditional Marketing Researchers:
• “They are too cortex, which means that they think too much, and then they ask people
to think and to tell them what they think. Now, my experience is that most of the time,
people have no idea why they’re doing what they’re doing. They have no idea, so they’re
going to try to make up something that makes sense. Why do you need a Hummer to go
shopping? “Well, you see, because in case there is a snowstorm.” No. Why [do] you buy
four wheel drive? “Well, you know, in case I need to go off-road.” Well, you live in
Manhattan; why do you need four wheel drive in Manhattan? “Well, you know,
sometime[s] I go out, and I go—” You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand
that this is disconnected. This is nothing to do with what the real reason is for people to
do what they do. So there are many limits in traditional market research.”
• Dr. Rapaille in action: Finding the code for “luxury”
Creative Measures of Attitudes
• Projective techniques (partially structured)
• Physiological (GSR; Heart Rate; Blood Pressure)
• Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
• Flushing toilets
• Bogus pipeline
• Lost letters and emails*
• Implicit association test (IAT)*
You’ve Got Mail!
(Method)
• Bushman & Bonacci (2004, JESP)
• Pretested on Arab-American Prejudice
• 2 weeks later, receive email intended for a different person
• 2 IVs
• Intended recipient had European-American (Peter Price) vs. ArabAmerican name (Mohammed Hameed)
• Intended recipient won or didn’t win a scholarship (4 years support)
• DV = willingness to return the email to the sender to indicate it was
incorrectly delivered (must be done in 2 days)
You’ve Got Mail!
Dear Peter Price,
Thank you for applying for a Glassner Foundation Scholarship. As you
know, these scholarships are highly competitive and are given only to a
few select students. They cover tuition for four years at a state-funded
university. There is also an additional $500 per year for academic
supplies.
Because of the large number of applicants this year we are late in
sending out these notices. Because of the time sensitive nature of this
material, we wanted to immediately inform you of the committee’s
decision regarding your application.
We are happy to inform you that you have been selected to receive a
Glassner Scholarship.
We ask that you respond within 48 hours. Due to the high number of
applicants, we would like to extend the scholarship to others applicants
if you do not accept the scholarship.
You’ve Got Mail!
Dear Mohammed Hameed,
Thank you for applying for a Glassner Foundation Scholarship. As you
know, these scholarships are highly competitive and are given only to a
few select students. They cover tuition for four years at a state-funded
university. There is also an additional $500 per year for academic
supplies.
Because of the large number of applicants this year we are late in
sending out these notices. Because of the time sensitive nature of this
material, we wanted to immediately inform you of the committee’s
decision regarding your application.
We are happy to inform you that you have been selected to receive a
Glassner Scholarship.
We ask that you respond within 48 hours. Due to the high number of
applicants, we would like to extend the scholarship to others applicants
if you do not accept the scholarship.
You’ve Got Mail!
Dear Mohammed Hameed,
Thank you for applying for a Glassner Foundation Scholarship. As you
know, these scholarships are highly competitive and are given only to a
few select students. They cover tuition four four years at a state-funded
university. There is also an additional $500 per year for academic
supplies.
Because of the large number of applicants this year we are late in
sending out these notices. Because of the time sensitive nature of this
material, we wanted to immediately inform you of the committee’s
decision regarding your application.
We regret to inform you that you have not been selected to receive a
Glasser Scholarship.
We ask that you respond within 48 hours. Due to the high number of
applicants, we would like to extend the scholarship to others applicants
if you do not accept the scholarship.
You’ve Got Mail!
(Results)
Odds of Returning Email
European Name
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
Good News!
Low
Med High
Arab Name
Bad News
Low
Med High
Arab-American Prejudice
You’ve Got Mail!
(Results)
Odds of Returning Email
European Name
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
Good News!
Low
Med High
Arab Name
Bad News
Low
Med High
Arab-American Prejudice
You’ve Got Mail!
(Results)
Odds of Returning Email
European Name
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
Good News!
Low
Med High
Arab Name
Bad News
Low
Med High
Arab-American Prejudice
Implicit Association Task - IAT
• An implicit attitude is an attitude which people are not
conscious of (or would not want to admit to) but which can be
assessed via the associations people have in their minds
• The IAT is a reaction time (RT) task in which subjects categorize
words (positive, negative) and attitude objects (McCain, Obama)
on the left or right side of screen
• Some trials involve categorizations that are consistent with an
implicit attitude, others are inconsistent with the attitude
• If there is an implicitly negative attitude toward Obama, then
reaction times should be slower to the inconsistent trials
The following set of
trials is consistent
with an implicitly negative
attitude toward Obama
Reaction times should be
relatively fast if there
is an implicitly negative attitude
toward Obama
Good Word or
McCain
Bad Word or
Obama
If you see a good word or McCain, hit “e” (left)
If you see a bad word or Obama, hit “i” (right)
Good Word or
McCain
Bad Word or
Obama
Good Word or
McCain
Bad Word or
Obama
Dirt
Good Word or
McCain
Bad Word or
Obama
Good Word or
McCain
Bad Word or
Obama
Happy
Now Change Categorization
(Inconsistent with Implicit Negative
Attitude Toward Obama)
Reaction times should be
slower than before if there
is an implicitly negative attitude
toward Obama
Bad Word or
McCain
Good Word or
Obama
If you see a bad word or McCain, hit “e” (left)
If you see a good word or Obama, hit “i” (right)
Bad Word or
McCain
Good Word or
Obama
Good Word or
Obama
Bad Word or
McCain
Joy
Good Word or
Obama
Bad Word or
McCain
Death
Bad Word or
McCain
Good Word or
Obama
IAT Effect
RT Inconsistent – RT Consistent
• It’s a bit more complicated than this, but overall, this
captures the idea.
• A bigger (positive) difference score between these
reaction times (RT) suggests an implicitly negative
attitude toward Obama
• IAT tends to be better predictor of spontaneous
behavior
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Berger & Fitzsimons – Pen Color Study