Attitude formation & Behavior Change Persuasion, Prejudice, Discrimination, Stereotyping
Table of Content 1. 2. 3. Attitude: Formation Why study with Attitude? Behavior prediction 1. Social /External pressure 2. Accessibility 3. Strengtlh 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Behavior specific attitude Prejudice vs discrimination Implicit and explicate prejudice Importance of Attitude change Cognitive dissonance Persuasion
Attitude: Formation Pavlovian condition Igor Pavlov would struck a bell when the dogs were fed. Dogs learnt to associate the sound of the bell with food. After a while, at the mere (Classical) sound of the bell, they responded by drooling. If your behavior leads to positive outcome, Itll be strengthened Instrumental / operant conditioning e If your behavior leads to negative outcome, it'll be suppressed e.g. if you find a wrongdoing in other branch of your office, report it to your supervisor, but he orders you to 'mind your own business', then next time you'll ignore it. Observational learning By seeing how other people get punishment /reward, you change your behavior. e.g. if your subordinate is getting reward by speaking fake praises of Boss, you'll feel inclined to do the same
Why study with Attitude? If a person believes something, he'll behave accordingly. But there is long distance between belief and behavior. Recall belief is part of attitude (cognitive component) Attitude is in close proximity to behavior So if we can change attitude, we can change behavior->behavior change >nation/society changed. HOW?
Consider following example of my attitude towards snakes: Snake is poisonous I run away if there is a snake Cognitive component Behavioral component If an expert shows a snake and says "it is non-poisonous". Then your cognitive component is altered. away, may be you'll walk a rbehavor chan,y but wont run way At the same time, it doesn't mean you'll grab the snake in your arms and start to fondle it but still behavior is changed. e
Two models for predicting behavior 1. Mode model 2. Theory of reasoned action. Behavior prediction They're more technical than practical, so Consider your homework / self-study only if interested. I'll only cover the gist:
Through an experiment in USA during the heydays of racial discrimination. Social /External pressure Hotels, restaurant owners were sent letter "if Chinese couple coming, will you receive them? o . Most owners replied "no" Racial prejudice) However, when a Chinese couple was sent to those hotels, majority of the owner received them well. Owners feared negative media limelight Same way, if you're health conscious, you'll avoid junk food at home but may be at friend's private party you'll eat junk food or even drink desi liquor, because of peer-pressure. .
Non-Cooperation movement: many did not participate. So others simply began "social outcasting" e.g. refusing to clean their laundry, serve them grocery in the shop and so on. Then they'll also Bottom line: Relation between attitude and behavior is not straight forward. "social influence/ peer-pressure" matters.
Accessibility We all have dislike for salesman and tele-callers. If they call you, you'll put down the phone without thinking of consequences. When you're disinclined to "think" (you're in low-cognitive mode), and accessibility is very high (you're immediately putting down the phone). Behavior prediction possible? Yes, in all such cases you'll put down the phone if low cognitive and high accessibility. But in reverse case, difficult. .
Strength As we learned strong attitude helps predicting behavior easily then weak attitude. Even if people are in minority but they've e strong attitude towards a cause, they may force their will upon others. Consider some labour reform that will help 90% of the workers in unorganized sector. But still Government may not implement It, fearing that labour unions (from organized sector), will begin strikes. (doing "strike" is behavioral component). . .
Prejudice vs discrimination ains are traders Gujaratis are business minded Tamils are proficient in maths. Punjabis are alcoholic party lovers Stereotypes And so on. It's your Attitude. Prejudice is formed by negative-stereotyping. .g. all the Nigerians in Goa are drug dealers. Prejudice . Discrimination If that prejudice is guiding your behavion. E.g. refusing to give NOC to a Nigerian person rent a house in your cooperative society.
Implicit and explicate prejudice Explicit Example: Untouchability As society develops, the explicit prejudice begin to decline. Implicit prejudice Example, in USA, when a black man meets a white man, the white man will not show explicit prejudice but some negative things may be reflected in his facial expression, body language etc. Even himself may not be aware of it. Same way, in urban India, while there is no untouchability, you'll find it during renting of rooms, selling of property etc.
B.A. in Political Science. Pursuing Masters in Political Science. UPSC aspirant Active @ Quora Passionate For Teaching