While measuring attitudes to abortion, the subjects are given a set of statements carefully chosen by a panel of judges beforehand. Each statement carries a pre-assigned value. The subjects are asked to indicate whether they agree or not with each statement.
Which of the following methods is being used in this study?
C. Various methods are used to measure the attitudes of a subject on a specifi c issue. The method described in Question 1 is an example of the Thurstone scale. When constructing a Thurstone scale, hundreds of statements are initially produced pertaining to a particular topic, for example abortion. These statements are presented to a sample of people (similar to a panel of judges) who are asked to score the statements on an 11-point scale. A set number of statements, for example 10 on each extreme (positive and negative attitude), are chosen based on the consistency of scores given by the judges. Each of these statements will carry a value that is the average of 100 judgements on the 11-point scale. These 20 statements are clubbed together to produce an attitude scale, which is administered to the subject. The subject will then indicate what statements he agrees with. It is not often used because the method is too tedious. The 11 points (used to rate each statement) are assumed to be intervals and averages are used to obtain the value scores. This is not entirely accurate as the 11-point scale is in fact ordinal. In the Likert scale, graded ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’ measures are employed. It is statistically reliable (ordinal data) and easy to construct. It is usually constructed as a fi ve- to seven-point scale.
A boring task is administered to two groups of people. One group is paid £20 and the other is paid £1 for undertaking the task.
Which of the following results is possible after completion of the task?
A. Contrary to popular belief, the group that is paid more will not appreciate the boring task. As they obtained a good incentive, they will not develop a dissonance. They may lie about its usefulness but in fact they will not change their belief about the boring nature of the task. In contrast, the lowly paid group will experience a cognitive dissonance between the two facts— ‘This task is boring’ and ‘I am doing this task without much incentive’. Hence they will change their initial attitude towards the task and, in fact, will start liking the task. This is called the one-dollar/ 20-dollar experiment and explains processes that substantiate counter-attitudinal behaviours.
Measured attitudes often differ from observed behaviours. Which of the following could improve the correlation between a measured attitude and actual behaviour?
D. In the field of attitude research, the relative lack of correlation between expressed attitude and actual behaviour is an important hurdle. Attitudes can be elicited with specific assessment of:
With such specific assessment, the correlation between measured attitude and behaviour improves considerably. Single instances of behaviours are not reliable indicators of attitudes. Repeated observations of behaviours (not measurement of attitudes, as stated in Choice A) may improve the validity. The notion that a specific behaviour is influenced by one predominant attitude is too simple and reductionist. Various attitudes interact to produce behaviour. There is no evidence to suggest that a postal survey of attitudes has better validity than other methods.
A politician is trying to persuade his working-class audience to vote in favour of his space science policy.
Which of the following will produce a successful persuasion?
A. The success of persuasive communication depends on many variables. These variables can be grouped as those that depend on the source (communicator—the politician in this case), the message itself, the audience, and the medium of communication. A communicator who is perceived to be reliable, likeable, attractive, and an expert are positive features that will result in effective persuasion. When the audience perceive a degree of similarity with the communicator, the effectiveness of persuasion increases. Inducing moderate but not a high degree of fear can help effective persuasion. When a message is presented to a well-educated and highly informed audience who will hear both sides of a story before making a judgement, explaining both pros and cons (two-sided messages) is more useful than just highlighting the advantages of a policy (one-sided messages). Providing disclaimers, for example highlighting one’s distance from the advocated message, is often counterproductive.
Which of the following statements is incorrect with respect to the role of fear in changing one’s attitudes?
D. The relationship between fear and persuasion is an inverted U shape—too little or too much fear will reduce the effectiveness of persuasion. This is similar to the Yerkes–Dodson law which correlates arousal with performance of an activity. When one is too aroused, performance is inhibited. At the same time, when someone is not aroused at all, performance is again inhibited. Optimum arousal seems to be necessary for peak performances. This is clearly evident in performing sexual activity. When a subject is made to feel vulnerable, this increases one’s concerns and, as a result, increases one’s attention to a message. For example in order to persuade adolescents to practice safer sex, the high prevalence of HIV is highlighted before advising safe sexual practices.
© 2010-2030 Your Doctor - Dr.Khalil Al-Yousifi - Kuwait - Contact Us