Attitudes and Persuasion: Classic and Contemporary Approaches

By Richard E. Petty; John T. Cacioppo | Go to book overview

Judgmental Approaches
4

Have you ever wondered why the first 60° F (16° C) day after a bitterly cold winter seems quite warm, but the first 60° F day after an intensely hot summer seems rather cool? Clearly, how we judge something depends upon what we are comparing it to. Our evaluations of social objects are also affected by our comparison points, and the theme of this chapter is that all evaluative judgments (including belief and attitude judgments) are relative. In other words, how positive or negative something feels or how it is rated on some attitude scale depends upon what our frame of reference is. For example, when college men were asked to judge the physical attractiveness of a potential date, the date was rated as significantly less attractive if the men had just finished watching a television program starring three very attractive women ("Charlie's Angels") than if they had watched a control program ( Kenrick & Gutierres, 1980). 1 All of the approaches to attitudes and persuasion that we will consider in this chapter share the same view: the psychophysical principles of human judgment that are used to explain why one light is rated as brighter than another, and why one line is rated as longer than another, can be used to understand why one person is more influenced than another, why one message is more persuasive than another, and why one object is rated more favorably than another.


Adaptation Level Approach

The underlying postulate of judgmental theories, including adaptation level theory as elaborated by Helson ( 1959; 1964), is that all stimuli can be arranged in some meaningful order. Thus, weights can be arranged from the lightest to the heaviest, and attitudes toward some object or issue can be arranged from the most negative (unfavorable) to the most positive (favorable). The theory gets its name from that point on the dimension of judgment that corresponds to the psychological neutral point, called the adaptation level. For example, if you were to put your hand in a bucket of very cold water, eventually your hand would adapt to the water temperature so that the cold water would feel neutral or normal. Subsequent judgments of how cold or warm another bucket of water felt

-95-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Attitudes and Persuasion: Classic and Contemporary Approaches
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 318

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.