The Psychology of Attitudes and Attitude Change

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People spontaneously evaluate things. Opinions are constantly being formed as to the legitimacy of war or climate change, on other people such as our work colleagues, political leaders and celebrities, and on behaviors such as sexual activity. At times, these attitudes can be the focus of bitter debate, and as humans we naturally crave to understand attitudes and how to change them.

The Psychology of Attitudes and Attitude Change, written by two world-leading academics in the field of attitudes research, is a brand new textbook that gets to the very heart of this fascinating and far-reaching field and will be perfect for ail students and scholars studying the subject.

In four sections and 11 chapters, Greg Maio and Geoff Haddock describe how scientific methods have been used to better understand attitudes and how they change. The first section looks at what attitudes are and why they are important. The second section examines the ability of attitudes to predict behavior. From there, the authors consider how attitudes are formed and changed. Finally, they present a variety of major issues for understanding internal (e.g., neurological) and external influences on attitudes, (e.g., culture), along with unresolved questions. With the aid of a few helpful metaphors, the text provides readers with a thorough grasp of the fundamental concepts for understanding attitudes and an appreciation of the scientific challenges that lie ahead.

The Psychology of Attitudes and Attitude Change is useful for students in psychology, health psychology, environmental psychology, communication, marketing, business, sociology and political science. It is intended as a core text for courses in the psychology of attitudes, persuasion, and social influence and a key resource for modules in social cognition and introductory social psychology.

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Editorial Reviews

Julie Burton
"This is a really comprehensive look at attitudes, beliefs and behavioural change, looking at not only biological underpinnings of attitudes but also how this fits in real world situations. The 'key terms' and 'questions to ponder' sections really help to ensure understanding. This book is recommended for all students of psychology, health and social care as well as anyone with an interest in health promotion and behavioural change. "
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412929752
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 1/30/2010
  • Pages: 276
  • Sales rank: 920,362
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

I am interested in social values (e.g., equality, freedom, helpfulness), attitudes, and emotional processes. My two principal interests at the moment are projects examining psychological connections between values and behaviour (including the adoption of a healthy lifestyle) and adult mental representations of children.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Section 1 Why Do Attitudes Matter? 1

1 What are Attitudes and How are They Measured? 3

What is an Attitude? 3

A Short History of Attitudes Research 5

How are Attitudes Measured? 10

2 The Three Witches of Attitudes 24

The First Witch - Attitude Content 24

The Second Witch - Attitude Structure 34

The Third Witch - Attitude Functions 38

Making a Better Brew: Linking Attitude Content, Structure, and Function 41

Section 2 What Do Attitudes Do? 45

3 The influence of Attitudes on Information Processing and Behavior 47

The Influence of Attitudes on Information Processing 48

The Influence of Attitudes on Behavior 55

4 How Do Attitudes Influence Behavior? 67

The Theory of Reasoned Action and the Theory of Planned Behavior 68

Issues Relevant to the Reasoned Action Framework 70

The "MODE" Model 77

The Composite Attitude-Behavior Model 82

Section 3 What Shapes Attitudes? 87

5 Cognitive Influences on Attitudes 89

The Close Connection Between Beliefs and Attitudes 90

Incentives to Change 91

Processing Stages 92

Cognitive Responses 94

Different Processes: To Think or Not to Think 96

One Process or Two? 105

Meta-Cognitions 106

6 Affective Influences on Attitudes 111

The Close Connection Between Feeling and Attitudes 112

Exposure 112

Emotion Learning 117

Mood Effects on Attitude Judgments 123

Emotion Effects on Attitude Judgments 127

7 Behavioral Influences on Attitudes 131

Why Did I Do That? 132

Behavioral Exploration 133

Role Playing 134

Self-Perception 135

Cognitive Dissonance 139

8 Basic Principles in How Attitudes are Shaped 153

Difficulty in Identifying the Basic Principles of Persuasion 154

Principle 1: Influence by Silly Things 154

Principle 2: Influence by Motivation and Ability 156

Principle 3: Influence by a Common Language 158

Principle 4: Influence by the Unknown 163

Other Potential Principles 165

Principles from Another Point of View 168

Section 4 What More Is There To Learn? 171

9 The Internal World 173

Implicit Windows into Attitudes 174

Let's Get Physical: The Effects of Body Movements on Attitudes 175

Revealing the Biological Underpinnings of Attitudes 179

Nuerological Processes Underlying Attitudes 184

Attitudes over the Lifespan 189

10 The External World 193

Time 194

Relationships 198

Groups 203

Culture 210

The External World: An Aerial View 213

11 Adding to the Witches' Brew 215

The Three Witches Revisited 216

Potions Relevant to All Three Witches 223

General Issues 225

Stirring the Brew 229

References 231

Subject Index 266

Author Index 271

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