- E2/P3: Video Lecture by Kavan Limbasiya (AIR-198/CSE-2014)
- Attitude: Formation
- Why study with Attitude?
- Behavior prediction
- Behavior specific attitude
- Prejudice vs discrimination
- Implicit and explicate prejudice
- Importance of Attitude change
- Cognitive dissonance
In the previous part (E2/P2) we learned about moral and political attitudes and role of social media in their development. Moving on-
Attitude is formed by ‘stimuli’ – it can be internal or external. Following are the 3 prominent theories about Attitude formation:
|Pavlovian condition (Classical)|
|Instrumental / operant conditioning|
- 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||Cognitive component|
|I run away if there is a snake||Behavioral component|
- If an expert shows a snake and says “it is non-poisonous”. Then your cognitive component is altered.
- You’ll not run away, may be you’ll walk away but won’t run away. (behavior, changed).
- 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.
Two models for predicting behavior.
- Mode model
- Theory of reasoned action.
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.
- Hotels, restaurant owners were sent letter “if Chinese couple coming, will you receive them?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
Consider this study:
- Do you like Church? Ans. Yes
- But from above question and answer, it’s difficult to predict whether the respondent goes to Church mass every Sunday.
- So, let’s ask him a “specific” question- Do you like going to Mass every Sunday? If he says “yes”, then easy to predict he likes Church, he may be doing charity to the poor, he’d be avoiding seven cardinal sins and so on.
- Thus, event is only “one” (going in Sunday Mass), but helps predicting many things.
And so on.
Consider following experiment:
- Students were divided into two groups- (1) wearing yellow shoes (2) wearing red shoes.
- There is no difference in them, except shoes color.
- Subsequently, red-shoe group students began badmouthing about yellow shoe groups e.g. those students are lazy/notorious/bully and so on. And vice versa.
- So, this is my group so everything is justified (in-group), and since he is in other group, everything is wrong in with him (out-group).
- Humans are not different. race, religion, regions etc. just like red shoes vs. yellow shoes.
- In 2009, Bollywood Actor Emaraan Hashmi said he wanted to buy a house in the posh Pali Hill but the housing society refused to give him the NOC because he is a muslim.
- Although Society administrators claim they did not give him NOC because his ‘serial-kisser’ image will be a bad influence on the teenagers of the society.
- For Either case Mr.Hashmi is facing prejudice (A) because of his religion OR (B) because of his on-screen image.
|Advertisement||Using ads, you change attitude of a person to make him like/buy your product.|
|Mass campaign||To get juntaa support, you’ve to change their attitude. e.g. Modi = Gujarat; Attack against Modi = attack against Gujarat.|
|IEC||Information-education-communication : for public awareness. As Explained below|
From Administrative point of view, the burning issue is- “despite all the schemes and policies, how to change attitude of the people?”
- In Bangladesh open defection is very less. They built pit-latrine- that’s safer than open defecation and cheaper than conventional toilet.
- But in India, many villagers have bikes, TVs and mobiles but not toilets at home and they don’t feel guilty about it.
- Even if Government builds toilet for individual house in the village, the family may use it as ‘store-room’.
- So, basic issue is “their attitude towards cleanliness or dignity of women.”
- Pouring money can’t help. Hence Swatch-Bharat Abhiyan has enrolled celebrities to change to influence people.
- National Health policy has a component: “De-stigmatization of mental disorder”. Otherwise no amount of money can help rehabilitate a cured mental patient =attitude change required.
- National Skill policy- person will do post-graduation and remain unemployed but may not learn ‘welding’ to earn money, because for his attitude is: “education =graduation and all other trades are inferior.” So, unless we change that attitude, he is less likely to enroll for any skill Development program.
- Therefore, Information-education-communication (IEC) components must be included in all Government schemes and policies for changing attitude of people.
|Private provision||Government giving medical insurance to people.- they’re free to use any sarkari/private hospital.|
Thus Attitude change important for civil servant, because he is a leader, he is a policy maker in the society.
- American is one of the largest GHG emitters in the world. Their industrialists/academicians are in ‘climate denial’- that global warming /climate change / environmental problems are fictional theories.
- They’re adopting this ideology to prevent cognitive dissonance.
- Self-perception: Juvenile will not be sent to jail but to rehabilitation home, and ordered to do social service in old-age house. Impact? He’ll feel good about himself. We attacked his “B” component, his “A” and “C” will change automatically. (remember CAB model from E2/P1).
|Dissonance theory||By planting an idea that challenges the contrast in your beliefs e.g. tax evasion is same as corruption. So tax evader will either try to justify his action or change his tax-evasion behavior.|
|Learning theory||By actively persuading others.|
It is the communication intended to make other person believe or do something. The success of persuasion depends on three factors: (1) source (2) message (3) target.
- Trust worthiness: After terrorist attack, religious leaders ask devotees to maintain peace. Because people more likely to follow ‘guru’s order’, than collector’s order during such crisis.
- Similarly for increasing voter’s turnout or increasing cleanliness- you’ll have to rope in celebrities, spiritual leaders etc. Because if municipal commissioner says keep the city clean, very less will follow. (Hence Modi’s idea of nominating 9 people for Swatch Bharat).
- Perceived expertise: In toothpaste commercial, it is always a person wearing white apron, pretending to be a dentist and saying “This toothpaste is, Indian dental association dwaaraa pramaanit!”
- Doctor tells Obese person – “you should stop eating rice and your weight will reduce by 15 kgs in a month”, then obese person more likely to follow it, than same advice by his neighbor.
- If your elaboration level is very high / your cognitive capacity is very high, then you’ll question each and every point even if propounded by an ‘expert’. e.g. if you’re on an operation – table, you shouldn’t ask the surgeon whether he sterilized the scalpel!
- Message should be simple compared to the capacity of the audience.
- Gadar Movement: They simplified the “Drain of wealth theory” in their pamphlets and newspaper.
- Catchy Slogans required: “Kutch nahi dekhaa toh kuchh nahi dekhaa”- to promote Gujarat tourism.
- Foot-in-the-door: if you want a big favor, ask for a small favour first. E.g. to borrow laptop from a friend, first borrow his book and return it unharmed to win his trust and confidence.
|Ego defense||Never challenge the ego of target- e.g. showing God/Godess portrait in jewelry ad = good, but in shoe-ad= your persuasion will fail, audience will not buy your product.|
|Neutral attitude||Voter turnout is low: People are not ‘hating’ democracy. They’re neutral about voting- they are lazy, want to enjoy public holiday, believe their vote won’t make any difference in the outcome. EC will have to organize the hoardings and street-plays accordingly- to connect with the youth, to connect with the rural masses.|
|Self-persuasion||Ask a student to explain to the class, “why is smoking bad for health.” Then during adult life, that person will resist smoking even under peer-pressure.|
- Persuasion in peripheral route: when you buy biscuit, since they’re cheap, you won’t do market research. Just go and buy.
- Persuasion in central route: while buying home, computer or car- you’ll do analysis of various products, persuasion will be difficult for salesman. But once convinced you’ll go ahead and buy.
- So, if your attitude towards democracy is changed in central route, then it’ll have long lasting impact. You’ve to design message accordingly. Convince people that message is relevant to them e.g. “pro-development, anti-corruption” ideology. Nowadays, those are the buzz words and even erstwhile casteist and communal parties are forced to toe that line to make people vote for them.
In the next part (E2/P4), we shall look at the case studies and mock questions related to Attitude.
Visit Mrunal.org/Ethics for more study material on Ethics.