Attitudes and Persuasion

  1. Social cognitive theory, used in psychology, education, and communication, holds that portions of an individual's knowledge acquisition can be directly related to observing others within the context of social interactions, experiences, and outside media influences.
  2. Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty.
  3. An attitude is an expression of favor or disfavor toward a person, place, thing, or event. It is a belief that includes an emotional component.
  4. The cognitive component of attitudes refer to the beliefs, thoughts, and attributes that we would associate with an object. Many times a person's attitude might be based on the negative and positive attributes they associate with an object.
  5. The affective component of attitudes refer to your feelings or emotions linked to an attitude object.
  6. The behavioral component of attitudes refer to past behaviors or experiences regarding an attitude object. The idea that people might infer their attitudes from their previous actions.
  7. Persuasion is a social influence or process aimed at changing a person's beliefs, attitudes, intentions, motivations, or behaviors.
  8. The functional view of attitudes suggests that in order for attitudes to change (e.g., via persuasion), appeals must be made to the function(s) that a particular attitude serves for the individual.
  9. An attitude serving a utilitarian function is perceived to be helpful to a person in facilitating rewards or in helping them avoid punishment.
  10. Attitude serving a knowledge function help people maintain an organized, meaningful, and stable view of the world.
  11. An attitude serving an ego-defensive function involves the protection from psychological harm through defense mechanisms including denial, repression, projection, and rationalization.
  12. An attitude serving a value-expressive function serves to express one's central values and self-concept, tending to establish our identity and gain us social approval.
  13. The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) of persuasion is a dual process theory describing how attitudes form and change. The model aims to explain different ways of processing stimuli, why they are used, and their outcomes on attitude change.
  14. With central route processing in the ELM, persuasion results from thoughtful consideration of the true merits of the information presented in support of an advocacy. The resulting attitude change will be relatively enduring, resistant, and predictive of behavior.
  15. In peripheral route processing in the ELM persuasion results from association with positive or negative cues in the stimulus or making a simple inference about the merits of the advocated position.
  16. The name-letter effect refers to a person's tendency to favor the letters in their name over the other letters of the alphabet and it is one of the widest used measures of implicit self-esteem.
  17. Self-perception theory is an account of attitude formation which asserts that people develop their attitudes (when there is no previous attitude) by observing their own behavior and concluding what attitudes must have caused it.
  18. The foot-in-the-door technique is a compliance tactic that involves getting a person to agree to a large request by first setting them up by having that person agree to a modest request.
  19. The door-in-the-face technique is a compliance method in which the persuader attempts to convince the respondent by making a large request that the respondent will most likely turn down. The respondent is then more likely to agree to a second, more reasonable request.
  20. The low-ball is a persuasion technique in which an item or service is offered at a lower price than is actually intended to be charged, after which the price is raised. If a person is already enjoying the prospect of the item or idea, then backing out would create cognitive dissonance.