Flashcards in Chapter 7 - Attitudes Deck (79):
What are attitudes?
Evaluations of people, objects, and ideas. They are important because they often determine what we do.
List 2 sources of attitudes.
2) Social Experiences
Provide evidence on how we can derive attitudes based on the genes we have.
Identical twins share more attitudes than do fraternal twins, even when the identical twins were raised in different homes and never knew each other.
- Eg: Identical twins had more similar attitudes towards the death penalty and jazz than fraternal twins did.
What are the limitations of adopting the view that genes determine our attitudes?
However, this does not mean to say that there are specific genes that determine our attitudes; it is highly unlikely.
- Some attitudes are an indirect function of our genetic makeup.
- They are related to things such as our temperament and personality, which are directly related to our genes.
- People may have inherited a temperament and personality from their parents that make them predisposed to like jazz more than pop music.
What are the 3 components of our attitudes?
Cognitive, affective, behavioural
Describe the cognitive component of attitudes.
An attitude based primarily on people’s beliefs about the properties of an object
Allows us to classify the pluses and minuses of an object so that we can quickly determine whether we want to have anything to do with it.
Eg: Attitudes towards a basic object like vacuum cleaner: Would be likely related to how well it cleans up dirt and how much it costs, not how sexy it makes you feel
Describe the affective component of attitudes
An attitude based more on people’s feelings and values than on their beliefs about the nature of an attitude object
What are attitudes that are most likely to be affectively based?
Politics, sex, religion.
People seem to vote more with their hearts than their minds.
Eg: ⅓ of voters voted based on their feelings and actually knew virtually nothing about these specific politicians
List 4 sources of affectively based attitudes
1) People’s values, such as basic religious and moral beliefs.
The function of such attitudes is not so much to paint an accurate picture of the world as to express and validate one’s basic value system
People’s feelings about such issues (eg abortion, death penalty) are often based more on their sense of value than on a cold examination of facts.
2) Sensory reactions
Eg: Liking the taste of chocolate despite the amount of calories in it
3) Aesthetic reactions
Admiring a painting or the shape and colour of a car
4) Conditioning: Classical or operant conditioning
Although there are many various sources of affectively based attitudes, why can they all be grouped under the category "Affectively based attitudes"?
1) They don't come from a rational examination of the issues.
2) They are not governed by logic
3) They are often linked to people's values, so efforts to change them challenge those values.
What is classical conditioning? Give an example of how it can lead to the formation of an affectively based attitude
The phenomenon whereby a stimulus that elicits an emotional response is repeatedly paired with a neutral stimulus that does not, until the neutral stimulus takes on the emotional properties of the first stimulus.
Eg: When you were a child, you experienced feelings of warmth and love when you visited your grandmother. Her house also smelled faintly of mothballs.
Eventually, the smell of mothballs along will trigger the emotions you experience during your visits, through the process of classical conditioning.
What is operant conditioning? Give an example of how it can lead to the formation of an affectively based attitude
The phenomenon whereby behaviours we freely choose to perform becomes more or less frequent, depending on whether they are followed by a reward or punishment
Eg: A 4 y/o white girl goes to the playground with her father and begins to play with an African American girl.
Her father expresses strong disapproval, telling her “We don’t play with that kind of child.”
It won’t take long before the child associates interacting with African Americans with disapproval, and therefore adopts her father’s racist attitudes.
What is a behaviourally based attitude and what theory supports it?
An attitude based on observations of how one behaves toward an object
What does the self-perception theory propose with regard to behaviourally based attitudes?
Likely to rely on observing behaviour to infer attitudes when
a) initial attitude is weak or ambiguous
b) only when there are no other plausible explanations for the behaviour.
Eg Asked to exercise to lose weight or because doctor has asked you to do so → unlikely to assume that you run and work out because you enjoy it.
Define explicit attitudes.
Attitudes that we consciously endorse and can easily report. They are what we think of as our attitudes. Suspectible to social desirability bias though.
_______ attitudes are attitudes that exist outside of conscious awareness, and can be studied using _____.
List some traits associated with this attitude.
Implicit; Implicit Association Test (IAT)
Involuntary, uncontrollable and at times, unconscious evaluations.
Distinguish between explicit and implicit attitudes, and provide empirical evidence where necessary.
Implicit attitudes are rooted more in people’s childhood experiences, whereas explicit attitudes are rooted more in their recent experiences
Evidence: Measuring college students’ implicit and explicit attitudes towards overweight people by getting them to report their current weight and their weight when they were growing up
- Participants’ implicit attitudes toward overweight people were predicted by their childhood weight but not their current weight, whereas their explicit attitudes were predicted by the current weight but not their childhood weight.
- People whose mother was overweight and were close to their mothers had positive implicit attitudes towards overweight people, even if their explicit attitudes were negative.
- People can often have different implicit and explicit attitudes towards the same thing, one rooted more in childhood experiences and the other based more on their adult experiences.
What do we do when we have a spontaneous attitude towards something?
We think little about what we are about to do
Attitudes will predict spontaneous behaviours only when they are highly ________ to people
What is attitude accessibility?
The strength of the association between an attitude object and a person’s evaluation of that object, measured by the speed with which people can report how they feel about the object
Why is it that attitudes will predict spontaneous behaviors only when they are highly accessible to people?
When accessibility is high, your attitude comes to mind whenever you see or think about the attitude object.
More likely to predict spontaneous behaviors because people are more likely to be thinking about their attitude when they are called on to act.
What happens when attitude accessibility is low?
When accessibility is low, your attitude comes to mind slowly.
How is the amount of direct experience related to one's attitude accessibility towards something?
The more direct the experience people have with an attitude object, the more accessible their attitude will be, and the more accessible it is, the more likely their spontaneous behaviour will be consistent with that attitude.
Accessibility can predict deliberative behaviour as well as that of spontaneous behaviour. True or false?
Under these conditions, the accessibility of our attitude is less important.
Given enough time and motivation to think about an issue, even inaccessible attitudes can be conjured up and influence the choices we make.
It is only when we have to decide how to act on the spot, without time to think it over, that accessibility becomes crucial.
What theory can explain the predictability of deliberative behaviours?
Theory of Planned Behaviour
According to this theory, when people have time to contemplate how they are going to behave, the best predictor of their behaviour is their intention, which is determined by 3 things: their attitude towards the specific behaviour, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control
List 3 determinants of intention
1) Their attitude towards specific behaviours
2) Subjective Norms
3) Perceived behavioural control
What does the Theory of Planned Behaviour propose about the influence of specific behaviours on the predictability of deliberative attitudes?
The more specific the attitude towards the behaviour in question, the better that attitude can be expected to predict the behaviour.
Provide an empirical study about the Theory of Planned Behavior and specific attitudes
Eg: Asking a sample of married women for their attitudes toward birth control pills, ranging from their general attitude towards birth control to their specific attitude towards birth control pills during the next 2 years. 2 years later, they asked the women whether they had used birth control pills at any time since the last interview.
The general attitudes expressed 2 years earlier did not predict the women’s subsequent use of birth control at all, as they did not take into account other factors that could influence such a decision, from concern about the long-term effects of the pill to their attitudes regarding other available forms of birth control.
The more specific the original question was about the act of using birth control pills, the better the attitude predicted actual behaviour, as evidenced by a higher correlation coefficient.
What are subjective norms?
Refers to people’s beliefs about how others they care about will view the behavior in question
You want to predict whether OSH will go to an anime festival and we know that she has zero interest in anime and the likes of it. So you say that she wouldn't go.
However, if her friend is cosplaying in the event, what would she do and why?
Still go for the festival.
- You can assume that her close friend will be disappointed if she does not come to support her, and view her failure to do so as a slap in the face.
- Hence, knowing this subjective norm, OSH's belief about how her close friend will her behavior, we can likely predict that she will attend her festival even though she isn't a big fan of anime.
What is perceived behavioural control?
The ease with which they believe they can perform the behaviour
- If people think it is difficult to perform a behaviour, such as remembering to buy a condom before having sex, they will not form a strong intention to do so.
- If people think it is easy to perform a behaviour, such as remembering to buy milk before you head home, they will be more likely to form a strong intention to do so.
What are ways that one can use to change attitudes
1) Changing behaviours through cognitive dissonance
2) Persuasive communications
How do you change attitudes using cognitive dissonance? Provide evidence.
Cognitive dissonance is experienced when one does something that threatens their image of themselves as kind, decent and honest - particularly if there is no way they can explain away this behaviour due to external circumstances.
Evidence: Get them to make speeches against what they are practising, and provide little external justification for them.
- The goal is to get your friends to find internal justification for giving the speech, whereby they must seek to reduce the dissonance of giving the speech by deciding that they actually believe what they are saying.
Can you use cognitive dissonance to change attitudes on a large scale?
Difficult to do so, works better at an individual level.
What can be done to change attitudes on a large scale?
You should rely on persuasive communication, which is a message advocating a particular side of the issue.
What was originally used to study persuasive communications?
Yale Attitude Change Approach: The study of the conditions under which people are most likely to change their attitudes in response to persuasive messages. Focuses on:
a) The source of the communication: How expert or attractive the speaker is.
b) The nature of the communication: The quality of the arguments (does the speaker present both sides of the argument?)
c) The nature of the audience: Whether the audience is hostile or friendly to the point of view in question
What is a limitation associated with Yale Attitude Change Approach?
Might make it difficult for one to see which aspects were more important.
What approach is now currently used to study persuasive communications?
Elaboration Likelihood Model: A model explaining 2 ways in which persuasive communications can cause attitude change:
a) Centrally: When people are motivated and have the ability to pay attention to the arguments in the communication, and peripherally, when people do not pay attention to the arguments but are instead swayed by surface characteristics.
Define the central route of persuasion.
The case in which people both have the ability and the motivation to elaborate on a persuasive communication, listening carefully to and thinking about the arguments presented.
In such cases, people will be more influenced by what the speech says (Ie the logic of the arguments). In such cases, the more logically compelling those facts used in the arguments are, the more persuasion occurs.
Define the peripheral route of persuasion.
The case in which people do not elaborate on the arguments in a persuasive communication but are instead swayed by surface characteristics.
People, in this case, are not motivated to pay attention to the facts. Instead, they
What makes people motivated to pay attention to arguments?
The personal relevance of a topic: the more personally relevant an issue is, the more willing people are to pay attention to the arguments in a speech and therefore the more likely they are to take the central route to persuasion.
Provide empirical evidence that the more people are willing to pay attention to the arguments in a speech, the more likely they are to take the central route of persuasion.
College students were asked to listen to a speech arguing that all college seniors should be required to pass a comprehensive exam in their major before they graduate.
Half of the participants were told that the university was seriously considering requiring comprehensive exams → Issue became personally relevant to these students.
For the other half, it was a “ho-hum’ issue - they were told their university might require such exams, but would not implement them until 10 years later.
The researchers then introduced 2 variables that might influence whether people would agree with the speech.
The 1st was the strength of the arguments presented. Half of the participants heard arguments that were strong and persuasive , whereas the others heard arguments that were weak and unpersuasive.
The 2nd variable was a peripheral cue - the prestige of the speaker. Half of the participants were told that the author of the speech was an eminent professor at Princeton University, whereas the others were told that the author was a high school student.
As predicted by the ELM, the way in which persuasion occurred depended on the personal relevance of the issue.
When the issue was highly relevant to the listeners, they were greatly influenced by the quality of the arguments (ie persuasion occurred via the central route).
Those who heard strong arguments agreed much more with the speech than did those who heard weak arguments.
It didn’t matter who made the speech. As long as the argument was good, it will always be a good argument, regardless of whether it was written by a Princeton professor or a high school student.
When the topic is of low relevance, what mattered then in the comprehensive exam study was not the strength of the arguments but who the speaker was.
Those who heard strong arguments agreed with the speech only slightly more than those who heard weak arguments
However, those who heard the Princeton professor was much more swayed than those who heard the high school student.
When people are unable to pay close attention to the arguments, they are swayed more by ________ cues.
List 2 factors that shape your ability to pay attention to the arguments.
Expertise and personal tendencies
Provide empirical evidence about the use of peripheral cues.
Eg: When jurors have to evaluate a case involving complicated scientific evidence. Consider how most jurors are not scientists. They don’t have the expertise needed to carefully weigh the arguments in such a case, even if they want to.
Eg: Showing mock jurors a video reenactment of a product liability trial. One of the critical witnesses to testify was an expert biologist hired by the plaintiff to persuade the jury that the product in question had caused the plaintiff’s illness
The researchers varied how qualified the expert seemed to be: some mock jurors were told that the expert had published 45 research articles in peer-reviewed journals and his multiple advanced degrees came from prestigious universities. Other jurors learned the expert had published far fewer articles and his degrees came from relatively obscure schools.
When his scientific testimony was relatively simple and easy to understand, participants paid little attention to the expert’s apparent credentials, instead focusing on the strength of the arguments he offered.
Able to understand the persuasive arguments, they engaged in a central route.
However, when his scientific testimony was complicated and conveyed in jargon that only a molecular biologist could fully grasp, mock jurors relied on the expert’s credentials to determine how much stock to place in his testimony.
Unable to attend carefully to the persuasive communication, they were influenced by peripheral cues.
What are fear-arousing communications, and what influences people's ability to be convinced by them?
Persuasive message that attempts to change people’s attitudes by arousing their fears.
Depends on whether the fear influences people’s ability to pay attention to and process the arguments in a message.
If a moderate amount of fear is created and people believe that listening to the message will teach them how to reduce this fear, then they are more likely to be motivated to analyze the message carefully and their attitudes via the central route.
Apart from instilling fear in people, what else should be done to get people convinced? Provide evidence for this.
You should also give people instructions on what actions they can take to reduce this fear.
Eg: A group of smokers watched a graphic film depicting lung cancer and then read pamphlets with specific instructions about how to quit smoking.
a) No film, only a pamphlet showing instructions on how one can quit
b) Only a film that raises fear about smoking, but no instructions
c) Both film and pamphlet
People in the last condition reduced their smoking significantly more than people who were shown only the film or only the pamphlet.
Watching the film scared people, and giving them the pamphlet reassured them that there was a way to reduce the fear - by following the instructions on how to quit.
Seeing only the pamphlet didn’t work very well, because there was little fear motivating people to read it carefully.
Seeing only the film didn’t work very well either, because people are likely to tune out a message that raises fear but does not give information about how to reduce it.
When will fear-arousing communications be ineffective? Why? (2)
a) When you induce fear but don't provide specific solutions on how to counter it
b) When the fear instilled is too strong and overwhelms people as a result.
- If people are terribly frightened, they will become so defensive, deny the importance of the threat, and be unable to think rationally about the issue.
What is the best way to ensure fear-arousing communications are effective?
one should try to create enough fear to motivate people to pay attention to your arguments, but not so much fear that people will tune out what you say. Should also include some specific recommendations about how to stop smoking so people will be reassured that paying close attention to your arguments will help them reduce their fear.
Moderate amount of fear + specific solutions = GOOD
According to the heuristic-systematic model of persuasion, when people take the peripheral route to persuasion, they often use heuristics.
What does "heuristics" refer to in this case?
In this context, a heuristic is a simple rule people use to decide what their attitude is without having to spend a lot of time analyzing every last detail about the topic at hand.
What is an example of a heuristic people use when unsure about their attitudes?
“How do I feel about it?” heuristic.
If we feel good, we must have a positive attitude. If we feel bad, we must have a negative attitude.
What is a disadvantage associated with using the "How do I feel about it?" heuristic?
We might make mistakes about what is causing our mood, misattributing feelings created by one source (our favourite song) to another (the couch). When this happens, you might make a bad decision.
After getting the new couch home, you might discover that it no longer makes you feel that great.
Might possibly explain why retailers strive to create good feelings while presenting their products: salespeople play appealing music and put art on the walls of their showroom or why property agents bake cookies in the kitchen before staging an open house.
Their underlying hope is that people will attribute at least some of the pleasant feelings that ensue to the product they are trying to sell.
How do emotions affect the way we think about persuasive communications
If we are in a good mood, we tend to relax in a bit, comfortable in the assumption that the world is a safe place, which can lead us to be content with heuristic cues like the credibility and apparent expertise of a source.
A bad mood, however, often puts us on alert, sharpening our skepticism and leading us to pay more attention to message quality.
While we may be persuaded by a weak message from an attractive source when we’re happy, it usually takes a strong message to sway us when we’re sad.
If an attitude is ________ based, your best bet is to try to change it with rational arguments. Why?
People’s attitudes towards more “utilitarian” products like air conditioners and coffee tend to be formed after an appraisal of the functional aspects of the products and are thus cognitively based. If their attitudes were cognitively based, the ads that focused on the utilitarian aspects of these products, such as the energy efficiency of the air conditioner, were most successful.
If an attitude is affectively based, you’re better off trying to change it with __________. Why?
People’s attitudes towards “social identity products” such as perfumes and greeting cards tend to reflect a concern with how they appear to others, and are hence more affectively based.If people’s attitudes were more affectively based, the ads that focused on values and social identity concerns were most successful.
Provide evidence of how facial expressions we have change our attitudes.
Asking participants to test out the durability of some new headphones (deception used actually)
Some were asked to shake their heads from side to side while wearing them, whereas others were asked to nod their heads up and down.
While doing this, the participants listened to an editorial arguing that all students should be required to carry personal ID cards on campus.
One final twist was that half of the participants heard strong, persuasive arguments, whereas the other half heard weak, convincing arguments.
The point is to see whether shaking or nodding one’s head while listening to a persuasive communication influenced the likelihood of persuasion.
The idea was that even though the head movements had nothing to do with the editorial, these actions might influence how confident people felt in the arguments they heard.
Nodding one’s head up and down down, as people do when they say yes, might increase feelings of confidence compared to shaking one’s head side to side, as people do when they say no.
When the arguments in the editorial were strong, people who nodded their heads agreed with them more than did people who shook their heads, because the head-nodders had more confidence in the strong arguments.
However, when the arguments were weak, head nodding had the opposite effect. It gave more confidence that the arguments they heard were in fact weak and unconvincing, making them less convinced than people who shook their heads from side to side
How do split cable market tests work?
Advertisers work in conjunction with cable companies and grocery stores, showing a target commercial to a randomly selected group of people;
They keep track of what people buy by giving potential customers special ID cards that are scanned at checkout counters,
Thus, they can tell whether people who saw the commercial for ScrubaDub laundry actually buy more ScrubaDub
The results of over 300 split cable market tests indicate that advertising does work, particularly for new products.
What is the preferred approach taken in advertisements? Give an example.
Eg: Ads for different soft drink brands. Preferred advertising approach because these different brands of colas are not all that different - they all have little nutritional value to be touted, and many people do not base their decisions on the objective qualities of the different brands.
Explains why soda adverts do not stress facts and figures.
Instead, they play to people’s emotions, trying to associate feelings of excitement, youth, energy and sexual attraction with the brand.
For an advertisement to be successful in changing cognitively based attitudes, what should be done?
It would be better to play on the amount of personal relevance the object has to its consumers.
What can be done for a product that has no direct relevance to people, but one wishes to use the cognitive route to convince people?
Make the product appear personally relevant. But not easy though. Relying on peripheral cues does not result in long-lasting attiude change.
Eg: Listerine. Used to be seen as a surgical antiseptic used to treat throat infections → not personally relevant to many if seen this way.
As Lambert wanted a wider market for his product, he promoted it as a mouthwash. However, nobody at that point in time used a mouthwash or knew what it was.
Hence, having invented a cure, Lambert invented the disease.
Their ads also successfully played on people’s insecurities about social rejection and failure.
What are subliminal messages?
Words or pictures that are not consciously perceived but may nevertheless influence judgments, attitudes and behaviours.
Happens when we don’t even recognise that an attempt at persuasion is underway.
a) using visual modality in subliminal messages
b) using auditory modality in subliminal messages
Visual: Advertisers routinely implant sexual messages in print advertisements. Argued that these images are not consciously perceived but puts people in a good mood and make them pay more attention to the advertisement.
Auditory: Large market for audiotapes that contain subliminal messages to help people lose weight, stop smoking etc. Most people of the public believe that subliminal messages can shape their attitudes and behaviours (even though this is often not the case, as discussed later.)
While there isn't much real-life evidence that subliminal advertising works, is there evidence that supports the use of subliminal advertising from lab studies?
Eg: Dutch college students saw subliminal flashes of the words “Lipton Ice” or a nonsense word made of the same letters.
All the students were then asked whether they would prefer Lipton Ice or a brand of Dutch mineral water to drink.
If students were not thirsty at that time, the subliminal flashes had no effect on what they chose.
However, if the students were thirsty, those who had seen the subliminal flashes of “Lipton Ice” were significantly more likely to choose that beverage than were students who had seen subliminal flashes of the nonsense word.
Results also obtained in several similar studies.
How is it challenging to conduct experiments on subliminal advertising?
However, to get subliminal effects, researchers have to make sure that the illumination of the room is just right, that people are seated just the right distance from a viewing screen, and that nothing else is occurring to distract people as the subliminal stimuli are flashed.
Furthermore, even in the laboratory, there is no evidence that subliminal messages can get people to act counter to their wishes, values or personalities.
What are the differences between male and female portrayal in advertisements, and what is the underlying concept behind this?
Men often are portrayed as doers, and women as observers. Women were more likely than men to be portrayed in dependent roles (that is, not in a position of power but dependent on someone else) in ads of various countries that were examined.
These different depictions of men and women reflect gender roles: societal beliefs about how men and women are expected to behave
While women now do have more opportunities than before, how does conflict between gender roles still persist? Provide an example.
What does this suggest about societal roles?
Eg: India: As women’s rights have expanded, women are increasingly at other professions. At home, though, many husbands still expect their wives to assume the traditional role of childbearer and household manager, even if their wives have other careers. Lol fuck india.
Conflict results because many women are expected to “do it all” - maintain a career, raise the children, clean the house and attend to their husband’s needs (down with the patriarchy!!!!!!!!!)
Research suggests that societal roles such as these can be powerful determinants of people’s feelings, behaviour and personality.
How do societal expectations of female beauty affect females' perceptions of their body and beauty? Provide an example.
Eg: Portrayal of unrealistically thin female models as standards of beauty in Western media (including USA, lol stupid af)
Such portrayals tend to be glamorized in ads and the media more generally.
Although many, if not most world societies throughout history have considered plumpness in females attractive, Western culture, and especially American culture, and especially USA culture, currently values unrealistic thinness in the female form.
Women shown in such media are getting thinner, and are thinner than women in the actual population. They are so thin that they actually would qualify for a diagnosis of anorexia.
The message sent across to such females through these ads is that: To be beautiful you must be thin. → results in many females in American become increasingly dissatisfied with the way they look, a dissatisfaction that is often unrelated to actual body size.
Body dissatisfaction appears to be a risk factor for eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression.
Are men susceptible to the type of influence experienced by females on body satisfaction?
Advertising depictions of attractive male bodies: Studies conducted of late suggest that men are beginning to come under the same pressure to achieve an ideal body that women have been experiencing for decades.
% of ads that show men in states of undress: <5% in 1950 to 35% in 1995
Found that reading male-oriented magazines, all of which consistently present the “hypermuscular” male body - was significantly correlated with negative feelings about one’s own body
These researchers also found that the more men were exposed to these male-directed magazines, the more they valued thinness in women too.
Distinguish between the approaches taken by advertisers when advertising for a product in West vs East.
Western cultures tend to stress independence and individualism, whereas many Asian cultures stress interdependence and collectivism.
Created different print ads for the same product that stressed independence (It’s easy when you have the right shoes) or interdependence (“the shoes for your family”)
The Americans were persuaded most by the ads stressing independence, and the Koreans were persuaded most by the ads stressing interdependence.
The researchers also analyzed actual magazines in USA and Korea and found that
USA: Tends to emphasize individuality, self-improvement and benefit of the product for the individual consumer
Korea: Tends to emphasize the family, concerns about others, and benefits for one’s social group
In general, advertisements work best when tailored to the kind of attitude they are trying to change and the expectations and thinking styles of the target audience.
What is attitude inoculation?
Making people immune to attempts to change their attitudes by initially exposing them to small doses of the argument against their position
How does attitude inoculation work in getting people to stick to their original attitudes?
Having thought about the counterarguments beforehand, people become relatively immune to the effects of the later persuasive communication.
In contrast, if people have not thought much about the issue ahead of time (eg: forming their attitude via the peripheral route), they are particularly susceptible to an attack on that attitude that uses logical appeals.
Provide evidence about how presenting arguments against cultural truisms can make people more immune to them later.
Inoculating people by giving them brief arguments against cultural truisms: beliefs that most members of a society accept uncritically, such as the idea that we should brush our teeth after every meal.
2 days later, people came back and read a much stronger attack on the truisms, one that contained a series of logical arguments about why brushing your teeth too frequently is a bad idea.
The people who had been inoculated against these arguments earlier were much less likely to change their attitudes than were those in a control group who has not been inoculated.
The individuals who were inoculated with weak arguments had time to think about why these arguments were false, making them more able to contradict the stronger attack they heard 2 days later.
In contrast, the control group, never having thought about how often people should brush their teeth, was particularly susceptible to the strong communication arguing against frequent brushing.
Why is product placement effective?
Product placement exists to counteract our efforts to avoid ads.
One reason product placement works is that people do not always realize that someone is trying to influence their attitudes and behaviour.
We are often more focused on the movie itself than on the fact that someone is trying to influence our attitudes.
Hence, we don’t generate counterarguments in this case.
Which group of people are most susceptible to product placement and how so?
Children are especially vulnerable to product placement.
The more children in grades 5-8 had seen movies in which adults smoked cigarettes, the more positive were their attitudes towards smoking.
What can be done to make people less susceptible to product placement?
Forewarning people that someone is about to try to change their attitudes is an effective tool against product placement, or persuasion more generally.
Warning people about an upcoming attempt to change their attitudes makes them less susceptible to that attempt.
When people are forewarned, they analyze what they see and hear more carefully and as a result are likely to avoid attitude change.
Without such warnings, people pay little attention to the persuasive attempts and tend to accept the messages at face value.
Why is peer pressure a powerful tool in getting people to change their attitudes?
While peers do not present a set a logical arguments, people are still likely to change their attitudes out of peer pressure because peer pressure is linked more to people’s values and emotions, playing on their fear of rejection and their desire for freedom and autonomy.
In adolescence, peers become an important source of social approval - perhaps the most important - and can dispense powerful rewards for holding certain attitudes or behaving in certain ways, some of which may be positive, but others of which are problematic, such as using drugs or engaging in unprotected sex.
What can be done to make people more resistant to peer pressure?
To make young people more resistant to attitude change, one possible technique that can be used is to extend the logic of McGuire’s inoculation approach to more affectively based persuasion techniques such as peer pressure.
In addition to inoculating people with doses of logical arguments that they might hear, we could also inoculate them with samples of the kinds of emotional appeals they might encounter.
What is the reactance theory?
The idea that when people feel their freedom to perform a certain behaviour is threatened, an unpleasant state of resistance is aroused, which they can reduced by performing the prohibited behaviour.
The stronger the prohibitions are, the more likely they will backfire, actually causing an increase in interest in the prohibited activity.