untitledDo attitudes determinebehaviour?Are we all hypocrites?When do attitudes predict behaviour?Does behaviour determineattitudes?Role playingSaying becomes believingThe...

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untitled Do attitudes determine behaviour? Are we all hypocrites? When do attitudes predict behaviour? Does behaviour determine attitudes? Role playing Saying becomes believing The foot-in-the-door phenomenon Evil acts and attitudes Good acts and attitudes Social movements Why do actions affect attitudes? Self-presentation: Impression management Self-justification: Cognitive dissonance Self-perception Comparing the theories Each year throughout the industrialized world, the tobaccoindustry kills some 2 million of its best customers (Peto et al., 1992). Given present trends, estimates a 1994 World Health Or- ganization report, half a billion people alive today will be killed by tobacco. Although quick assisted suicide may be illegal, slow- motion suicide assisted by the tobacco industry is not. People wonder: With the tobacco industry responsible for fatal- ities equal to 14 loaded and crashed jumbo jets a day (not including those in the expanding but hard to count developing world mar- ket), how do tobacco company executives live with themselves? At one of the world’s two largest tobacco advertisers, upper-level executives—mostly intelligent, family-oriented, community- minded people—resent being called “mass murderers.” They were less than pleased when one government official (Koop, 1997) called them “a sleazy bunch of people who misled us, deceived us and lied to us for three decades.” Moreover, they defend smokers’ right to choose. “Is it an addiction issue?” asks one vice-president. “I don’t believe it. People do all sorts of things to express their indi- viduality and to protest against society. And smoking is one of them, and not the worst” (Rosenblatt, 1994). Social psychologists wonder: Do such statements reflect pri- vately held attitudes? If this executive really thinks smoking is a comparatively healthy expression of individuality, how are such attitudes internalized? Or do his statements reflect social pressure to say things he doesn’t believe? When people question someone’s attitude, they refer to beliefs and feelings related to a person or event and the resulting behaviour. Taken together, favourable or unfavourable evaluative reactions— whether exhibited in beliefs, feelings, or inclinations to act—define a C H A P T E R 4 Behaviour and Attitudes myers52027_ch04_4P.qxd 2/27/06 3:52 PM Page 109 110 part one Social thinking person’s attitude toward something (Olson & Zanna, 1993). Attitudes are an efficient way to size up the world. When we have to respond quickly to something, how we feel about it can guide how we react (Bassili & Roy, 1998; Breckler & Wiggins, 1989; Sanbonmatsu & Fazio, 1990). For example, a per- son who believes a particular ethnic group is lazy and aggressive may feel dislike for such people and therefore intend to act in a discrimi- natory manner. When assessing atti- tudes, we tap one of these three dimensions. You can remember them as the ABCs of attitudes: affect (feelings), behaviour (intention), and cognition (thoughts). The study of attitudes is close to the heart of social psychology and historically was one of its first concerns. Researchers wondered: How much do our attitudes affect our actions? Do attitudes determine behaviour? To what extent, and under what conditions, do attitudes drive our outward actions? Why were social psychologists at first surprised by a seemingly small connection between attitudes and actions? What is the relationship between what we are (on the inside) and what we do (on the outside)? Philosophers, theologians, and educators have long specu- lated about the connection between thought and action, character and conduct, private word and public deed. The prevailing assumption, which underlies most teaching, counselling, and child rearing, has been that our private beliefs and feelings determine our public behaviour. So if we want to alter the way people act, we need to change their hearts and minds. Are we all hypocrites? In the beginning, social psychologists agreed: To know people’s attitudes is to predict their actions. But in 1964, Leon Festinger—judged by some to have been social psychology’s most important contributor (Gerard, 1994)—concluded the evidence did not show that changing attitudes changes behaviour. Festinger believed the attitude–behaviour relation works the other way around, with our behaviour as the horse and our attitudes as the cart. As Robert Abelson (1972) put it, we are “very well trained and very good at finding reasons for what we do, but not very good at doing what we find reasons for.” A further blow to the supposed power of attitudes came in 1969, when social psychologist Allan Wicker reviewed several dozen research studies covering a wide variety of people, attitudes, and behaviours, and offered a shocking Attitudes and actions: Many sports events, which glorify health and physical prowess, are sponsored by manufacturers of products like cigarettes, which are dangerous to health. attitude a favourable or unfavourable evaluative reaction toward something or someone, exhibited in one’s beliefs, feelings, or intended behaviour “The ancestor of every action is a thought.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, First Series, 1841 myers52027_ch04_4P.qxd 2/27/06 3:52 PM Page 110 Behaviour and attitudes chapter 4 111 conclusion: People’s expressed attitudes hardly predicted their varying behav- iours. Student attitudes toward cheating bore little relation to the likelihood of their actually cheating. Attitudes toward the church were only modestly linked with church attendance on any given Sunday. Self-described racial attitudes provided little clue to behaviours in actual situations. An example of the disjuncture between attitudes and actions is what Daniel Batson and his colleagues (1997, 1999) call “moral hypocrisy” (appearing moral without being so). Their studies presented their university with an appealing task (where the participant could earn raffle tickets toward a $30 prize) and a dull task with no positive consequences. The students had to assign themselves to one and a supposed second participant to the other. Only 1 in 20 believed that assigning the positive task to themselves was the most moral thing to do, yet 80 percent did so. In follow-up experiments on moral hypocrisy, participants were given coins they could flip privately if they wished. Even if they chose to flip, 90 percent assigned themselves to the positive task! Was this because they could specify the consequences of heads and tails after the coin toss? In yet another experiment, Batson put a sticker on each side of the coin, indicating what the flip outcome would signify. Still, 24 of 28 people who made the toss assigned themselves to the positive task. When morality and greed were put on a collision course, greed won. If people don’t play the same game that they talk, it’s little wonder that attempts to change behaviour by changing attitudes often fail. Warnings about the dangers of smoking only minimally affect those who already smoke. Increasing public awareness of the desensitizing and brutalizing effects of a prolonged diet of television violence has stimulated many people to voice a desire for less violent programming—yet they still watch media murder as much as ever. Appeals for safe driving have had far less effect on accident rates than have lower speed limits, divided highways, and drunk driving penalties (Etzioni, 1972). THE STORY Behind the Research I began studying attitudes while I was a gradu- ate student working with Mark Zanna at the University of Waterloo. Initially, I was most interested in the consequences of attitudes, rather than attitude formation or change. For example, Mark and I investigated the effects of attitudes on behaviour (attitude– behaviour consistency) and memory (selective learning). I then became interested in self- perception processes—the tendency for people to make inferences about their attitudes from their behaviours. More recently, my research has turned to issues concerning the nature and origins of attitudes, such as the functions of attitudes, the effects of attitude accessibility, the relation between attitudes and values, and the heritability of attitudes. I have been extremely fortunate to work with many outstanding graduate students at the Univer- sity of Western Ontario, including Carolyn Hafer, Douglas Hazelwood, Gregory Maio, and Neal Roese, whose thinking has helped to shape my work. James T. Olson University of Western Ontario myers52027_ch04_4P.qxd 2/27/06 3:52 PM Page 111 While Wicker and others were describing the weakness of attitudes, some personality psychologists found personality traits equally ineffective in pre- dicting behaviour (Mischel, 1968). If we want to know how helpful people are going to be, we usually won’t learn much by giving them tests of self-esteem, anxiety, or defensiveness. In a situation with clear-cut demands, we are better off knowing how most people react. Likewise, many critics of psychotherapy began to argue that talking therapies, such as psychoanalysis, seldom “cure” problems. Instead of analyzing personality defects, the critics said, the way to change an attitude was to change the problem behaviour. All in all, the developing picture of what controls behaviour emphasized external social influences and played down internal factors, such as attitudes and personality. The emerging image was of little billiard balls that have differ- ent stripes and colours, to be sure, but are all buffeted by outside forces. In short, the original thesis that attitudes determine actions was countered during the 1960s by the antithesis that attitudes determine virtually nothing. Thesis. Antithesis. Is there a synthesis? The surprising finding that what peo- ple say often differs from what they do sent social psychologists scurrying to find out why. Surely, we reasoned, convictions and feelings must sometimes make a difference. Indeed. In fact, what we are about to explain now seems so obvious that we wonder why most social psychologists (ourselves included) were not thinking this way before the early 1970s. We must remind ourselves that truth never seems obvious until it is known. When do attitudes predict behaviour? Our behaviour and our expressed attitudes differ because both are subject to other influences. One social psychologist counted 40 separate factors that com- plicate their relationship (Triandis, 1982; see also Kraus, 1995). If we could just neutralize the other influences on behaviour—make all other things equal— might attitudes accurately predict behaviours? Minimizing social influences on expressed attitudes Unlike a physician measuring heart rate, social psychologists never get a direct reading on attitudes. Rather, we measure expressed attitudes. Like other behaviours, expressions are subject to outside influences. This was vividly demonstrated when politicians once overwhelmingly passed a salary increase for themselves in an off-the-record vote, then moments later overwhelmingly defeated the same bill on a roll-call vote. Fear of criticism had distorted the true sentiment on the roll-call vote. We sometimes say what we think others want to hear. Today’s social psychologists have some clever means at their disposal for subtly assessing attitudes. One is to measure facial muscle responses to state- ments (Cacioppo & Petty, 1981). Do the facial muscles reveal a microsmile or a microfrown? Another, the “implicit association test,” uses reaction times to measure how quickly people associate concepts (Greenwald et al., 2002, 2003). One can, for example, measure implicit racial attitudes by assessing whether people take
Answered Same DayNov 08, 2022

Answer To: untitledDo attitudes determinebehaviour?Are we all hypocrites?When do attitudes predict...

Deblina answered on Nov 08 2022
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Influences of Behavior on Our Attitudes         2
Table of Contents
Introduction    3
Attitudes Determine Behavior    3
Attitudes Predict Behavior    4
Conclusion    4
References    5
Attitudes and behaviours are closely related to each other and it is effective to address that attitude to actually influence the behaviour of an individual. However, in certain aspects an individual is not aware about what is happening and every individual has their own attitude that is delicious, their experiences in life and the way they have an influence on the other people. This particular aspect is perceived by the different situations in their life and the way they influence different kinds of people which effectively reflects their attitude in terms of the way they act. If the aspect of attitude influencing the behaviour is presented in a more contemplative scenario it is obvious to mention that the attitude also influences those who are around us and vice versa. 
Attitudes Determine Behavior
Psychologists have different attitudes to be an important factor that predict the actions of the individuals and it is one of the most important contributors that changing attitudes leads to...

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