Similarities Between Ajzens And Festingers Work On Attitude Psychology Essay

Compare and contrast the conceptualisation and usage of attitude as a concept in the Cognitive Dissonance Theory to another psychological theory that besides includes attitude as a concept ( for illustration, the Theory of Planned Behaviour or the Theory of Reasoned Action ) . How is attitude the same and different in these two theories? Answer this inquiry in footings of conceptualisation, definition, place in the theoretical model, and in any other mode you see relevant to your paper. Use published work and illustrations to exemplify your place.

The broadest similarity that can be drawn between Ajzen ‘s ( 1975, 1991 ) and Festinger ‘s ( 1957 ) work on attitude, is that they are both interested in the nexus between behavior and attitude. The theory of planned behavior ( TPB ) ( Ajzen, 1991 ) ( and once the theory of reasoned action ( Ajzen, 1975 ) was designed to foretell behaviour more accurately than the hapless correlativities attitude and behaviour were exhibiting in research. Festinger ‘s ( 1957 ) cognitive disagreement theory ( CDT ) demonstrated that behavior could act upon attitude when there is an incompatibility between them. He termed this “ disagreement ” . Broadly speech production, the TPB uses attitude as a prognostic tool, while CDT is more interested in attitude as cognitive result. More specific differences in the theories ‘ intervention of attitude as a construct can be observed in definition, conceptualization and place in their several theoretical models.

Specifying Attitude

Ajzen and Fishbein ( 1975 ) helpfully define attitude as “ a erudite sensitivity to react in a systematically favorable or unfavorable mode with regard to a given object ” ( p.6 ) . Festinger ‘s ( 1957 ) composing on CDT does n’t offer as formal a definition. CDT alternatively refers to knowledges about behavior and cognition. It can be understood that attitudes autumn under CDT ‘s “ knowledges ” umbrella ; “ any cognition, sentiment or belief about the environment, about oneself or about one ‘s behavior ” . Harmonizing to CDT relentless disagreement arises from relentless knowledges being challenged by new cognition or behavior. These relentless knowledges can compare with attitudes. These definitions seem to hold on the comparatively stable and abiding nature of attitudes.

CDT and the TPB can besides hold that attitude incorporates an appraising constituent. The TPB “ favorable or unfavorable mode ” definition allows for an appraising opinion every bit good as an affectional opinion. The theory of reasoned action did n’t separate between these two types of opinion. The TPB recognised the qualitative difference between the sensed benefits and practicalities of a behavior ( appraising opinions ) and the feelings a behavior might elicit ( affectional opinions ) . For illustration, an attitude to developing with your hurtling squad may be comprised of appraising opinions ( increasing fittingness, bettering opportunities of winning a starting place on the squad ) and affectional opinions ( basking the physical effort, the satisfaction at executing good ) . While CDT research agrees that attitude involves appraising opinion, it does n’t build attitude every bit enduringly as the TPB might. As will be further discussed, fliting knowledge instead than merely accumulated experience can act upon attitude.

Conceptualization and Attitude Formation

Both CDT and the TPB contribute to our apprehension of how attitudes are formed. CDT inside informations how attitude-discrepant behavior can take to the formation of a new attitude or the alteration of an old one. The TPB understands attitudes as an collection of beliefs.

The TPB defines beliefs as the “ subjective chance that an object has a peculiar feature ” ( Fishbein & A ; Ajzen, 1975 ) . A myriad of beliefs can be combined to organize an attitude to a behavior. It is the saliency of the belief that the TPB unambiguously identified as an of import ancestor to attitude. Researcher-generated belief measuring may non touch on the issues that matter to participants. Outstanding beliefs can merely be identified by contact with the participants. This allowed for stronger correlativities between beliefs and attitude to the behaviour in surveies on subjects such as fleshiness ( Schifter & A ; Ajzen, 1985 ) and intoxicant ingestion ( Conner, Warren, Close & A ; Sparks, 1999 ) . By mensurating these outstanding beliefs and making a summational belief index, the TPB allows us to understand attitude formation with quantitative truth.

While the CDT may hold been conceived as a manner to understand attitude-discrepant behavior, it besides helps us understand how some attitudes are created. Its range in explicating attitude formation is more context-dependent than the TPB. Dissonance is required to analyze attitude under the CDT lens. In Brehm ‘s ( 1956 ) survey, disagreement illustrates how an attitude can alter after doing a determination. Participants were required to rate the desirableness of several family contraptions, and were so given a pick to take one of two contraptions as a gift. For one group the points were 1- 1.5 points apart on the 8 point graduated table ( high disagreement ) and the low disagreement group had points that were a full 3 points apart. When asked to re-evaluate the points, participants in the high disagreement group showed a important addition in wishing for the chosen points. This is a cardinal difference in conceptualization of attitude by CDT. Cognition can be an immediate ancestor to a new attitude, whether it be the desirableness of family contraptions or how tiring a undertaking was ( Festinger, 1957 ) . Attitude formation does n’t ever necessitate an collection of erudite beliefs.

Position in Theoretical Framework

As mentioned in the debut, the TPB employs attitude as a prognostic tool to measure the likeliness of behavioral purpose. CDT treats attitude as an result following knowledge or counter-attitudinal behavior. The best manner to stand for attitude ‘s different places in the several theoretical models is by a common illustration.

Smoke is a behavior that both theories can be applied to. A survey on smoking surcease utilizing the TPB ( Norman, Conner & A ; Bell, 1997 ) employs attitude as a forecaster of smoking surcease. The survey measured specific attitudes associating to smoking surcease such as participants ‘ purpose to halt smoke in the following six months. These tonss were used along with subjective norm and sensed behavioral control to foretell smoking surcease with some truth ( the TPB accounted for 50 % of the discrepancy in behavioral purposes ) .

CDT can be applied to analyze how people make sense of the attitude-discrepant behavior of smoke. Peoples are by and large cognizant that smoke is bad for them, yet go on to smoke. Festinger ( 1957 ) suggested that people may be capable of “ altering ” their cognition or rationalizing off the disagreement by stating to themselves “ I enjoy smoking so much that it is worth it ” or “ The wellness hazards are non every bit serious as some would do out ” . However, CDT is more utile in analyzing smoking surcease than simply indicating out some common rationalization schemes. As Aronson ( 1997 ) pointed out “ Prior to 1957, the general wisdom among psychologists was that, if you want people to alter their behaviour, you must first acquire them to alter their attitudes ” . CDT predicts that if behavior is changed foremost, old attitudes are likely to fall in line with this new behavior. The smoke prohibition imposed in Ireland is an illustration of CDT goaded attitude alteration. Rather than trying to act upon public sentiment foremost, a prohibition was imposed and there is some grounds that attitudes fell in line with the new imposed behavior ( Carr, 2009 ) .

Cognitive disagreement theory and the theory of planned behavior may use the attitude concept in otherwise in footings of its place in their theoretical models and its antecendents, but both can hold on the importance of its relationship with behavior.

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