Attitudes by SOAxSN


									Attitudes and Attitude Theories
Importance of attitudes

   Carl Hovland, founder of the Yale Attitude Research
    Program, initiated the scientific study of attitudes in the
   “attitudes” occupied the center stage in persuasion
    research for over 50 years
   transformed “social studies” into “social sciences” via
    attitude scales
      – interval level data amenable to statistical analysis
      – agree___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ disagree
Definition of attitude

   “a predisposition to respond favorably or unfavorably
    toward some attitude object” (Fishbein & Ajzen,
    –   learned, not innate
    –   precursors of behavior (precede, predict behavior)
    –   evaluative dimension
           direction of attitude (plus or minus)
           degree or intensity of attitude
    –   directed toward an “attitude object”
    Attitudes and persuasion
   Social scientists seek a “shortcut,” by relying on
    attitudes to predict behavior
     –   attitude       behavior
   Persuaders seek to alter attitudes, thereby bringing
    about a corresponding change in behavior
     –   old attitude      new attitude   new behavior
   How well attitudes correlate with behavior is known
    as the “A-B” relationship (or ABC attitude-behavior-
Moderating variables in the A-B

     attitude salience or centrality
     specificity of the attitude(s) and behavior(s)
     social desirability bias
     self-monitoring
     activation of relevant attitudes
     multiple-act criteria (versus one-shot
    “equal appearing interval scales”

   Patient’s suffering from terminal illnesses should have a
    constitutional right to assisted suicide.
        _____      _____        _____      _____      _____      _____        _____
         strongly   moderately   slightly   neutral    slightly   moderately   strongly
         agree      agree        agree      disagree   disagree   disagree

   continuum of choices ranging from “strongly
    agree to “strongly disagree”
   may consist of 5, 7, 9, or 11 points
   ambiguity of “neutral” point (don’t know,
   variations of Likert scales
Semantic Differential scales
   based upon connotative meanings
   series of bipolar adjectives (opposites)

   adjective pairs separated by spaces
   respondent checks “semantic space” corresponding with
    his/her attitude
   dimensions: evaluation, potency, activity
   specialized semantic differential scales
   example: McCroskey’s Ethos scale
                               Sarah Palin
               qualified ___:___:___:___:___:___:___ unqualified
                 poised ___:___:___:___:___:___:___ nervous
                 expert ___:___:___:___:___:___:___ inexpert
            trustworthy ___:___:___:___:___:___:___ untrustworthy
                  timid ___:___:___:___:___:___:___ bold
Visually oriented scales

   opinion thermometer
   facial expressions
   steering wheel pointer
   advantages of visually
    oriented attitude
Problems with attitude scales

   problem of non-
   social desirability bias
   acquiescence bias
   issue of “mindfulness”
attitudes as associative networks

   often unconscious, implicit
   spider web analogy
     – changes in one cognitive element
        reverberate throughout the individual’s belief
Example of an associative network


     school prayer        sex education             abortion

               family values             family leave

    premarital sex           divorce

                marital fidelity        child support

                                   dead-beat dads
Creating associations

   advertising campaigns
   Drive = love
   Beer and good times
   sloganeering
     – “Breakfast of champions”
     – “Be all that you can be”
        (U.S. Army)
     – “The ultimate driving
        machine” (BMW)
Food advertising and associations

   Foods are often
    advertised as:
    –   promoting good health
    –   substitutes for love
    –   vicarious sex
    –   guilty pleasures
    –   treatment for stress,                     Yoplait: Food as a guilty
        anxiety                                   pleasure:
                                                  "Ooo, this is Day At The
                                                  Spa Good"
                                                  "No, this is Foot Massage
                                Hershey’s: food   Good"
                                as stress
Ways of creating associations
   Advertising campaigns
    –   McDonald’s goes urban with the “I’m
        lovin’ it” campaign
    –   Sprite associates itself with hip-hop
        urban youth
   Sponsorship
    –   Stadiums, sporting events
    –   Philanthropic giving
          Philip Morris’ “social responsibility”
   Celebrity endorsers
More ways of creating associations

   Appropriating symbols
     –   “extreme” lifestyle
            Taco Bell sponsors the X-Games
     –   urban, hip hop culture
            Reebok “keeps it real” to rake in the
              “bling bling”
     –   alternative culture
            Pepsi and iTunes identify with music
   Renaming
     –   “pre-owned” versus “used” car
     –   KFC transformed itself into “Kitchen Fresh
   Involvement and participation
     –   Contests, mail-ins, prizes, events
    Modifying associations: from
    McDonald’s to Mickey D’s

   After losing over $200 million in 2002, McDonald's
    traded in their old "We love to see you smile" slogan
    for the new, hip, “I’m lovin’ it” campaign
   the new campaign uses a hip hop theme to target
    older, urban youths .
                              Link to “I’m Lovin’ It”

      Aging icon Ronald                                       Justin Timberlake
      “gets jiggy” with hip                                   is one of Mickey
      hop stars                                               D’s new
Image-based advertising
 –   "In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore
     we sell hope."
                                           Charles Revson

 –    "An image . . . is not simply a trademark, a design, a
     slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a
     studiously crafted personality profile of an individual,
     institution, corporation, product or service."
                                              Daniel Boorstin

 –   "You now have to decide what 'image' you want for
     your brand. Image means personality. Products, like
     people, have personalities, and they can make or
     break them in the market place."
                                           David Ogilvy
    Image-based advertising at work

   A consumer admires
    a particular image or
   The product is paired
    with, or associated
    with, the image or                Music downloading
   In time the consumer
    comes to equate the                 +         +
    product with image
    or lifestyle

                            teen consumer    ?            Pepsi
Image-oriented advertising

   The point of image-oriented
    advertising is to link
    products with idealized
    associations, images, and
   Schudson (1984)
    “advertising does not claim
    to picture reality as it is but
                                      Are California cows really happy?
    reality as it should be--life     What about the cows raised in cramped,
    and lives worth imitating (p.     dreary feedlots?
    215)."                            If good cheese comes from happy cows,
                                      then does bad cheese come from bored,
                                      confined cows?
Image-oriented car commercials
Advertising associations
and women’s bodies

   Victoria’s Secret                Dove’s “Real Beauty”
   Coors Light Twins                 campaign
   Paris Hilton and Carl’s Jr.      Does Dove really care about
                                      women’s body images?
                                     Or is this a clever branding
                                      strategy to sell more
consistency theories

l   People expect, prefer consistency
        Cognitive consistency is a state of balance, harmony, among
         one’s cognitions
        Individuals strive to maintain, preserve harmony among their
         beliefs, attitudes, behaviors
l   Inconsistency causes psychological discomfort, tension
        “Dissonance” is an uncomfortable mental state.
        May even be accompanied by physiological symptoms
l   Individuals are motivated to restore cognitive consistency
        “Drive-reduction” model
        Social motivations, e.g., saving face
illustration of consistency
in action

   ?   favorable
       attitude    +       -   perceived

    Parenting and consistency theory

   A child admires Popeye
   The child doesn’t like to eat
   Popeye is positively associated
    with Spinach
   This is a cognitively imbalanced
    state, which should motivate
                                       +       +
    the child to change one of the
    associations                           -
consistent versus inconsistent
psychological states

        balanced (consistent) psychological states

   +         +    +        -   -       +     -       -
         +             -           -             +
   imbalanced (inconsistent) psychological states
    -        -     -       +   +       -     +       +
         -             +           +             -
marketing consistency: have your cake
and eat it too!

   Environmentally responsible,
    socially conscious products
     – Hybrid cars
     – Dolphin free tuna
     – Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
     – Yoplait and breast cancer
     – “Green” mutual funds
   healthy labels
     – light, fat-free, carb free, low
        sodium, all natural, high
        fiber, low cholesterol
Marketing inconsistency

   Countering brand loyalty
    –   “Think outside the bun” (Taco Bell)
    –   “Think different” (Macintosh)
    –   Carl’s $6.00 burger without the restaurant
   Countering tradition
   “Not your father’s Oldsmobile”
   Buyer’s remorse
    –   Capital One: “What’s in your wallet?”
    –   Hotels. com
The key to persuasion

   Adapt your message to your audience
    –   successful persuasion isn’t so much a matter of
        shifting receivers’ attitudes over to your position,
        as it is a matter of adapting your message to the
        attitudes already held by receivers.

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