attitudes and persuasion

To prepare for part one: Attitudes and Persuasion

  • Read Chapter 7 in your course text, Social Psychology.
  • Review the website, “Powers of Persuasion: Poster Art From World War II” to see examples of propaganda messages intended to influence attitudes.
  • Think about a particular persuasive message (i.e., a message that is persuasive to you or tries to be persuasive) you have seen recently in the media. It could be a political message; a public service campaign; a commercial on television, radio, or online; a print ad in a magazine or newspaper; or an op-ed piece. Generally, the message should not be a news story if the news story is an objective report with the intent to inform and not persuade.

By day 3 Post a brief description of the ad/campaign/commercial/etc. and a description of its message. Please provide an Internet link to the message itself if that is where you found it. Who does the target audience seem to be? Then, apply what you have learned about attitude formation and attitude change to the message. In other words, analyze how the message uses attitude theory and information about how to form and/or change attitudes (or behaviors) in its messaging. Be specific and provide examples.

To prepare for part two: Self-Discovery

  • Read Chapter 5 in your course text, Social Psychology, and thoughtfully complete the following inventories:
    • Measurement of Independence and Interdependence (p. 123)
    • Private Self-Consciousness Scale (p. 127)
  • Read pages 157–159 and 169–186 of Chapter 6 in your course text, Social Psychology.
  • View the video excerpt on self-concept and self-efficacy found at minutes 6:03–10:36 of the video “The Self” (lines 39–73 of transcript).
  • Think about specific sources of your self-knowledge including feedback from others, your self-perception, your social identity, and your culture.
  • Think about one aspect of your life. For example, think about yourself in the role of a student, a spouse, a parent, an employee, or some other role. How would you apply each element of social comparison theory to an aspect of your own life?
  • Recall a time in which you engaged in self-justification and consider how it reduced your cognitive dissonance.

The Assignment (3–4 pages) for part two:

  • Discuss something important you learned about yourself and how you learned it through introspection or through self-perception.
  • Do you have an interdependent view of yourself, an independent view of yourself, or both? What is your culture(s), and how does your culture(s) contribute to this view? Provide one example of how this view influences your behavior or your beliefs. Your example may include, but is not limited to: (a) how your interdependent or independent self-view influences what kinds of things make you feel especially proud, (b) how your interdependent or independent self-view influences what kinds of things make you feel especially embarrassed, and (c) how your interdependent or independent self-view influences the way you interact with others.
  • Then, select one specific aspect of your life, such as your role as a student, a spouse, a parent, an employee, or some other role, and apply the social comparison theory to this role.
  • Briefly discuss a time you engaged in one of the following types of self-justification: Justification of effort, external justification, internal justification, or justification of a good deed. What was the source of your cognitive dissonance and how did this self-justification reduce that dissonance?
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