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Exploring Attitudes

15 January, 2016 - 09:17

Learning Objectives

  1. Define the concept of an attitude and explain why it is of such interest to social psychologists.
  2. Review the variables that determine attitude strength.
  3. Outline the factors that affect the strength of the attitude-behavior relationship.

Although we might use the term in a different way in our everyday life (e.g., “Hey, he’s really got an attitude!”), social psychologists reserve the term attitude to refer to our relatively enduring evaluation of something, where the something is called the attitude object. The attitude object might be a person, a product, or a social group (Albarracín, Johnson, & Zanna, 2005; Wood, 2000). In this section, we will consider the nature and strength of attitudes and the conditions under which attitudes best predict our behaviors.