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Attitudes and Behaviors

Click to edit Master subtitle style Jessica R Mendez

PSY/285 Kavita Leone


What Is Attitude

s define attitudes as a learned tendency to evaluate things in a certain way. This can include evaluations of people,


Basic Questions
Is there a relationship between attitudes and behavior

and, if so, how strong is it?

When might such a relationship exist? How do attitudes influence behavior? In other words,

what is the psychological process?


Do Attitudes Predict Behavior? Yes, but not strongly.

Classic Study of Cheating Relationship between attitudes toward cheating and

actual cheating behavior.

Students took True-False exam then asked to assign

themselves a score.
Instructor also graded the exam. Discrepancy between students self-assigned score

and instructors score was measure of cheating behavior. actually cheating close to zero.

Relationship between attitude toward cheating and

How behaviors Influence Attitudes

Certain peoples attitudes are more consistent with

their behaviors than others.

Example: High Self Monitors A high self monitor changes their behavior depending

on the situation. A low self monitor behaves the same way across situations.
Are you a high self monitor? The behavior of low self monitors is consistent with

their expressed attitudes.


Influence Attitudes


What is Social Cognition?

Social Cognition: How people think about themselves

and the social world to process.

All of the information in our environment is too much Operating on automatic pilot increases efficiency Example: driving a car Past experience provides a filter to help us interpret

and evaluate new people and events.

Advantage = efficiency Disadvantage = errors (Amadou Diallo, mistook for

serial rapist, reached for wallet, 41 shots)


Social Cognition Behavior

Attitudes- a positive or negative belief held

about something.
3 components: 1. cognitive - beliefs about the attitude

2. affective - emotions/feelings toward the

attitude object
3. behavioral - behavioral tendencies

toward the attitude object



Hockenbury, D., & Hockenbury, S. E. (2007).

Discovering Psychology. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

Myers, D. G. (1999). Social Psychology. McGraw-Hill

Smith, E. R. & Mackie, D. M. (2007). Social

Psychology. London: Psychology Press.