Attitude Formation How Cognition, Affect Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1384 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Psychology

Therefore, if people want to alter the way they act, they must begin by altering their attitudes, minds and hearts (Albarracin & Handley, 2011).

Social psychologists conquer that knowing a person's attitudes means predicting the person's behavior. It is evident that the alteration of attitudes results in behavioral changes. Psychologists believe that behavior-attitude relationship is intertwined. Attitudes are reflected as carts and behavior as horses. People are extremely trained and excellent at finding reasons for everything they do. However, they are excellent in doing whatever they do to find reasons (Irimia, 2011). The power of predicting behavior through attitudes has received a blow in recent years. This follows the work of Allan Wicker, a social psychologist, in his endeavor to review dozens of research studies focusing on various attitudes, people, and behavior. He offers a shocking revelation: attitudes expressed by people hardly predict their varying actions. Students' cheating attitudes towards exams had no, or if present, extremely minimal connection to the chances of their actual cheating.

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Attitudes towards religious institutions have been moderately connected with attendance at any given Sunday. Self-described racial attitudes served as a little pointer towards behaviors in real settings. An illustration of the disjuncture between behavior and attitude is what Daniel Batson refers to as moral hypocrisy. In his studies, he presents his university with the most appealing task of rewarding participants and another task where there are no rewards. Students were required to assign themselves to one of the tasks. In his study, only one out of the twenty students believed that the positive task was the moral thing to do (Albarracin & Handley, 2011).

Research Paper on Attitude Formation How Cognition, Affect, Assignment

In other experiments aimed at following up on moral hypocrisy, samples were awarded coins and directed to flip privately if they desired. Most of them chose the positive task. In another experiment, Batson placed stickers on both sides of a coin whilst indicating the meaning of the possible outcomes. Still, most of the participants assigned themselves the positive task. Greed wins in case it was in a collision sprint with morality. If people do not do what they say, it is no wonder that efforts to alter behavior through altering attitudes are often futile. Warnings about the dangers associated with smoking have minimally affected individuals who are already smokers. Enhancing public awareness about the brutalizing and desensitizing effects of long-term diet of television violence stimulates most people to voice an interest for minimally violent programs (Castelli & Carraro, 2011). However, they continue to concentrate on watching media murder every day. Safe driving appeals have generated less impact on rates of accidents than low speed limits, drunken driving fines, and divided highways.

Batson tries to describe how attitudes are weak in predicting behavior. Personality psychologists have discovered that personality traits are also useful in behavior prediction. In case our desire to discover how helpful a person will be in the future, we will not be required to give them self-esteem, defensives, and anxiety tests. In situations with clear-cut demands, it is appropriate to decipher possible reactions from the populace (Irimia, 2011). Similarly, critics of psychotherapy contend that talking therapists like psychoanalysis are seldom curing problems. Instead of conducting a personality analysis defect, they argue that changing problem behavior is a key to changing attitudes.


Albarracin, D., & Handley, I.M. (2011). The time for doing is not the time for change: Effects of general action and inaction goals on attitude retrieval and attitude change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100(6), 983 -- 998. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycARTICLES database.

Castelli, L., & Carraro, L. (2011). Ideology is related to basic cognitive processes involved in attitude formation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47(5), 1013 -- 1016. Retrieved from the Walden Library using the ScienceDirect database

Hogg, M.A., & Cooper, J.M. (Eds.). (2007). The Sage handbook of social psychology (concise student ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage. Chapter 6, "Attitudes: Foundations, Functions, and Consequences" and Chapter 9, "Attitude Change"

Irimia, C. (2011). Empathy as a source of attitude change. Contemporary Readings in Law & Social Justice, 2(2), 319 -- 324. Retrieved from the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Attitude Formation How Cognition, Affect.  (2013, September 23).  Retrieved January 21, 2021, from

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