Flashcards in Chapter 5 - Attitudes And Intention Deck (11):
The concept of attitudes
Cognitive beliefs are evaluated by the affective system to form a set of abstract feelings termed attitudes.
Attitudes are generally referred to as a persons overall evaluation of a concept based upon his or her affective system or the amount of feeling a person has for a stimulus.
Attitudes range from extremely positive to extremely negative. Attitudes are a type of meaning, comprising a persons feelings toward either an object, an event or a form of behavior. Although individuals have an attitude toward a specific object, event or behavior, they may not necessarily behave in a manner consistent with this attitude.
Attitudes are stored in long term memory and can be retrieved at any time to help a person to interpret an object.
Formation of attitudes
We know that the perception processes are used to form meanings about an object and that evaluations are made in terms of the persons values. These are stored as beliefs in long term memory. On activation of knowledge from memory, not all beliefs will be recalled, only those that are relevant at that particular time. These are termed salient beliefs and it is upon these that attitudes are based.
As salient beliefs vary over time, and in different situations, it is obvious that attitudes may also vary. You should be aware that attitudes may vary along the full continuum from positive to negative but that individuals tend to have extreme attitudes about only a small number of objects, events or behaviors. Normally, however, the degree of variation in salient beliefs and there attitudes is not great for the majorly of objects.
Attitudes may be formed about:
Objects such as products, brands, or a particular person. This is termed attitude object (Ao)
Advertisements, based on the evaluation of the execution of the ad, the mood evoked, and the viewers overall feelings about the ad and the products and brands depicted. This is termed the attitude towards the advertisement (Aad)
Actions, such as that of purchasing a particular product or brand. This is termed the attitude toward the act of buying (Aact)
According to psychologist Daniel Katz, attitudes are formed because they serve some function in expressing the underlying motives of an individual. Katz identifies four types of attitude functions:
Cognitive dissonance theory
This assumes that individuals try to seek agreement between their attitudes and their behavior
Social judgment theory
This theory assumes that people form attitudes using existing knowledge as a frame of reference. They form latitudes of acceptance and rejection around an attitude anchor. When new information is processed, it will be favourably received and assimilated if it falls within the latitude of acceptance but negatively received and rejected if it does not
This theory addresses how an attitude toward an object can be influenced by associating that object with another to which the person has a conflicting attitude.
Hierarchy of effects
This sequence of cause and effect, termed a hierarchy of effects is far more complex and varies depending upon the persons level of felt involvement.
We have learned that when consumers regard a. Object as highly relevant to them in a given situation, then resulting level of arousal results in high personal felt involvement. This often results in an extensive search for information and the establishment of numerous beliefs. Because of this more elaborate cognitive processing and the increased affective State associated with such high felt involvement, it is also more likely that attitude formation will also be much greater.
High involvement = beliefs > affect > behavior
On the other hand, the sequence is quite different when the individual has little felt involvement toward an object, as is the case in the majority of purchase situations. These low involvement purchases will usually result in a limited amount of information being considered by the individual and often in a superficial manner. Attitudes are usually formed only after the object is purchased and consumed.
Low involvement = beliefs > behavior > affect
In a situation of hedonic consumption it is more likely that the hierarchy of effects will be triggered by the affective system, resulting in behavior that is followed later by the formation of beliefs, often to justify the behavior. When such behavior is employed in the buying situation it is termed impulse buying. Sometimes this occurs during high involvement situations when feelings override rational thought.
Experiential = affect > behavior > beliefs
The fourth sequence is that in which the individual is actually involved in the behavior first and this results in the formation of beliefs and attitudes. It is not certain in which order the second to occur. And example of this behavioral hierarchy is the consumption of in-store samples such as wine tasting.
Behavioral = behavior > beliefs > affect
Each of these hierarchies is an idolized representation of consumer behavior and it is more likely that individuals possess at least some basic beliefs and attitudes about objects prior to purchase. What days for hierarchies provide then, is an understanding of the interaction between the concepts of beliefs, attitudes and behavior and how this varies, depending upon the prevailing situation.
Fishbeins multi attribute model of attitude
Fishbeins model is based upon the standard hierarchy of effects where beliefs are formed first and become the basis for the formation of attitudes, which in turn lead to behavior. Fishbein argued that individuals hold a multitude of attitudes toward anyone object and that there is no reason why any single one of these should predict a possible behavior towards the object. The model focuses on predicting the attitude that an individual will form toward a specific object based upon the evaluation of salient beliefs.
Salient beliefs are those beliefs activated from memory when attention is focused on a particular object. The attributes of the objects that are important to the person, or salient at any time, will depend upon the values driving that persons means end chain.
Attitude toward the object (Ao) is a function of two factors:
- the strengths of salient beliefs and
- the individuals evaluation of how good or bad the attributes of these salient beliefs are.
Ao = _b.e
Ao = the overall attitude toward the object
B = the strength of the belief that the object possesses a particular attribute
E = evaluation of the importance (good or bad) of this attribute
See notes for example
Theory of reasoned action
Behavior results from the formation of specific intentions to behave. It is intentions rather than behavior that the model attempts to predict.
Behavioral intentions are considered as a consequence of both personal and environmental influences. A construct termed the subjective no one recognizes the important social influences of other people such as reference groups and family.
Instead of measuring the person's attitude towards an object (Ao) the new model measures the persons attitude toward the actual behavior of purchasing the product (Aact). The focus is on the persons perception of what the consequences of acquisition will be.
The reasons for liking or not liking a particular object or not the same as the reasons for acquiring or not requiring it. Knowing how a person feels about acquiring or using a product is considered far more important and valid than merely knowing how they evaluate the product.
The reasoned action model:
B f (BI) = Aact (W1) + SN (W2)
B = overt behavior
BI = intention to engage in that behavior
Aact = individuals attitude toward that behavior
SN = how the individual thinks others will view this behavior
W1, W2 = the relative importance of each component to an individual in a given situation
What is an attitude
An attitude is a predisposition to evaluate an object or product positively or negatively and influence purchasing decisions
Attitudes are made up of two components
Emotion and cognition. Seeking to change an attitude involves influencing one or both of these components.