Response to three discussion posts (50-100 words for each)

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Respond in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Please view the example before you start!
Please include at least one references in the response.

Post 1 (Write a 50-100 words response)

Theories of Attitude Change

Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation where the attitudes that are present differ and conflict. The feeling of discomfort felt by someone experiencing cognitive dissonance will cause a subject to experience a pressure to “seek to remove, among other ways, by altering one of the two “dissonant” cognitions.” (Bem, 1967).

Self-perception theory is when people don’t have an initial attitude about a particular event so they gauge their own emotions and responses in order to draw a conclusion. It is a product of “product of social interaction”(Bem, 1967). “Skinner suggests that some self-descriptions of internal stimuli can be learned through metaphor or stimulus generalization” (Bem, 1967). This differs from cognitive dissonance in that our attitudes are based off of what we see versus with cognitive dissonance, we have a fixed attitude about something and are forced to go against that belief. The two theories are similar in that they relay information about true attitudes and feelings about a particular experience. Even if a person is experiencing dissonance, in which they aren’t technically living out their truth, they would only know that by being aware of how they actually feel– which can essentially be found in the self-perception theory.

Cognitive dissonance and self-perception are equally responsible for attitude change. For example, if someone loves the taste of McDonalds cheeseburgers everyday, but knows that eating them everyday is directly linked to heart disease and high blood pressure, they are experiencing dissonance. Those that undergo cognitive dissonance may experience three major phenomena: “forced-compliance studies, free-choice studies, and exposure-to-information studies” (Bem, 1967). Forced compliance is when someone is made to do something publicly that they don’t necessarily agree with. For example, I enjoy wearing my hair natural, however, for years, a natural curly hairstyle was seen as “unruly”, frowned upon, and/or made fun of, so I subjected my hair to a straightener every morning. Self-perception theory may be used in an instance where an opinion has not been considered. For example, on a trip to New York, my friends asked to treat me to Ethiopian cuisine. I’d never experienced injera, but I obliged. Everyone around me seemed to enjoy their food, which gave me the confidence to try it. It wasn’t my favorite texture (I prefer crunch textures to soft), but it wasn’t disgusting so I continued to eat, and once I got used to it, enjoyed it.

Resources

Bem, D. J. (1967). Self-perception: An alternative interpretation of cognitive dissonance phenomenon. Psychological Review, 74(3), 183–200.

Post 2 (Write a 50-100 words response)
Theories of Attitude Change

Dissonance Theory (DT) and Self-Perception Theory (SPT)

Dissonance theory was developed by Leon Festinger in the 1950s and posits that attitudes are formed by the individual’s need to maintain cognitive consistency and avoid discomfort (Fazio, Zanna & Cooper, 1977; Festinger & Carlsmith, 1959). Self-perception theory was developed by Bem in the 1970s and suggests that people observe their behaviors and infer their attitudes based upon those behaviors (Fazio, Zanna, and Cooper, 1977).

Similarities between theories. According to Fazio, Zanna and Cooper (1977) both DT and SPT stress the examination of one’s behaviors, situational cues, and the external environment. Although there has been a great deal of debate about which theory is the more dominant one, neither is more dominant than the other in social psychology, but both can account for a great deal of data within the study of attitude change (Fazio et al., 1977). Finally, both theories can be found useful in when evaluating attitudes through the latitudes of acceptance developed by Fazio et al. and explained in their 1977 study. Latitudes of acceptance contain a range of a reject condition, and an accept condition; both DT and SPT can be explained within the latitudes. For example, the range of latitude rejection can be explained within DT which involves dissonance (i.e., discomfort), while attitude acceptance can be explained within the range of attitude acceptance (Fazio et al., 1977).

Differences between theories. The major difference between the two theories is the feeling of aversion and tension that an individual feels about an attitude object (Fazio, Zanna & Cooper, 1977). In SPT the individual suffers no uncomfortable feelings or thoughts that they are trying to avoid or with which they must deal. Aversion arousal (or a disconnect between an individual’s existing attitudes and their behaviors) is central only to DT when comparing it to SPT (Fazio et al., 1977).

Conversely, Bem’s SPT postulates that attitudes are based on existing behaviors. That is if a person is acting a certain way, they infer that this is also their attitude about the attitude object or viewpoint (Fazio et al., 1977). Individual’s attitudes which are not formed (or who may lack experience with the attitude object) are those which are more likely to be formed by observing one’s behavior (i.e., SPT), while an individual who already has an attitude in place but is faced with incongruent information about the attitude will process through DT (Fazio et al., 1977).

Situational Example of Self-Perception Theory in Attitude

I love Mexican food, but I never really analyzed why I love Mexican food. I grew up in Southern California where there is a significant Hispanic influence, and we ate it all the time. So, as I sit here eating Mexican food, I realize that I have inferred an attitude about it through my behaviors (i.e., eating the particular type of food; Fazio et al., 1977). So, there is no “analysis” in why I like it; my inferred attitude is based on my behavior of eating this type of food much of the time.

Situational Example of Dissonance Theory in Attitude

Smoking is becoming less and less socially acceptable; it has been eliminated from many public spaces, and many people find the smell offensive. In Europe, there are grotesque illustrations of people who have been harmed by smoking on the cigarette boxes to deter smokers hopefully. An example of dissonance theory in attitude applied to the behavior of smoking might be the smoker who knows that it causes physical harm, but still smokes and reduces dissonance (i.e., the discomfort) by saying, “it’s only bad if you smoke too many of them.” By stating that it’s only bad if one is to smoke too many cigarettes, the individual has reduced the dissonance but also brought their attitude more in line with the smoking behavior (Festinger, 1959).

References

Fazio, R. H., Zanna, M. P., & Cooper, J. (1977). Dissonance and self-perception: An integrative view of each theory’s proper domain of application. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 13(5), 464–479. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Festinger, L., & Carlsmith, J. M. (1959). Cognitive consequences of forced compliance. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58(2), 203–210. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Post 3 (Write a 50-100 words response)
Estimating Models Using Dummy Variables

For this discussion post, my research question is ‘what is the nature of the relationship between email hours per week and number of hours worked per week/highest year of school completed.

The assumptions for multiple regression include linearity, homoscedasticity, multicollinearity, undue influence, and normal distribution of errors (Laureate Education, 2016m).

The Durbin-Watson statistic which provides information about independence of errors, is 1.797; since this statistic has values from 0-4.0, a value of 1.797 indicates there is no correlation between residuals (Laureate Education, 2016m). The ANOVA box shows that this overall model is not significant with a value of .631. The coefficients output allows us to interpret the individual predictors, paying attention to the VIF (variance inflation factor) values (Laureate Education, 2016m). Since these values are well below 10 at 1.026, we can assume that we met the assumption. The Cook’s Distance is below 1.0 (ranging from .0 to .154) we can assume there is no undue influence on this model so we do not have to perform additional diagnostics to test for undue influences on the model. By adding a fit line to the scatterplot, we can tell there is no pattern to the scatter. An assumption of regression is that the variables have some degree of linearity to their relationship; this scatter plot confirms that assumption (Laureate Education, 2016m).

Dummy Variables:

The unstandardized coefficient shows a value in reference to the reference category so IAP shows that compared to “NA,” there is a difference of 2.763 units for the dependent variable. This analysis allows a researcher to compare the difference in mean (Laureate Education, 2016m).

References:

Laureate Education (Producer). (2016m). Regression diagnostics and model evaluation [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

File 10 Discussion Statistics.docx (113.09 KB)

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