Human beings have a unique ability to create elaborate predispositions and evaluations based on their social experiences. The concept of attitudes is central to understanding how experience gives rise to these predispositions, and psychologists have spent the best part of the past 100 years trying to understand the intricacies of this process. Yet, despite decades of research, we still do not fully understand how attitudes are created, maintained and changed.
The main objective of this book is to review and integrate some of the most recent, cutting-edge developments in research on attitudes and attitude change, presenting the work of eminent scholars in this field. Chapters in this book deal with such intriguing questions as: What role do associative processes play in the formation of attitudes? How do attitudes function as global and local action guides? What is the function of implicit evaluations, and vicarious experiences in producing attitude change? Are implicit associations a useful way to measure attitudes? What role does affect play in attitude formation and change? What role do social interaction processes play in persuasion, and how does persuasion work in real-life settings?
The book is essential reading for students and researchers in social psychology, as well as practitioners in every field where understanding and changing attitudes is important, such as clinical, counseling, organizational, marketing, forensic, and developmental psychology.
"[A] richly informative, valuable book … The editors and contributors to this volume … have done a marvelous job of getting to the root of the key issues in contemporary research and theory in this area. … The 17 essays are uniformly interesting and accessible, and many are quite provacative. Imperative for those involved with the study of attitude, this volume will also interest readers with interests well beyond the bounds of attitude research. Essential [for] lower-division undergraduates through [to] faculty and professionals." – R. R. Cornelius in CHOICE
"Attitude is arguably the most enduring and central construct in social psychology, surfacing across almost the entire terrain of the discipline. In this wonderfully accessible book, Forgas, Cooper and Crano have assembled a truly stellar cast of leading scholars of the psychology of attitudes and attitude change to illustrate the breadth, diversity and scientific exhilaration of contemporary attitude research." - Professor Mike Hogg, Claremont Graduate University
"Like other offerings in the Sydney Symposium series, this volume presents cutting-edge science on carefully selected topics written by leading researchers and theorists. A must read for scholars and students interested in where contemporary attitudes research is at, and where it is heading." - Professor Arie Kruglanski, University of Maryland
"The editors have compiled an impressive set of contributions conveying important developments at the level of basic theory and research regarding attitudes and also illustrating exciting linkages by which the basic work informs other domains of inquiry." - Professor Russ Fazio, Ohio State University
"This book will become an indispensible resource for students and researchers interested in the nature of attitudes and attitude change. The scope of the analysis is breathtaking, including a discussion of the Aristotelian roots of persuasion, a critical analysis of contemporary research on implicit attitudes, and everything in between. The result is a comprehensive and integrative volume that is at once both forward looking and firmly grounded in the accumulated wisdom of the ages." - Professor William B. Swann, Jr., University of Texas
Part 1. Introduction and Basic Issues. J.P. Forgas, J. Cooper, W. Crano, Introductory Remarks: History Background and Issues of Research on Attitudes and Attitude Change. B.T. Johnson, M. Boynton, Putting Attitudes in their Place: Behavioral Prediction in the Face of Competing Variables. A. Ledgerwood, Y. Trope, Attitudes as Global and Local Action Guides. E. Walther, For Whom Pavlov’s Bell Tolls: Is There Any Evidence for Associative Processes Underlying Attitude Formation and Change? J. Blascovich, C. McCall, Attitudes in Virtual Reality. Part 2. Attitudes: Cognitive and Affective Processes. J. Cooper, Vicarious Cognitive Dissonance: Changing Attitudes by Experiencing Another’s Pain. S.J. Spencer, M.P. Zanna, Implicit Evaluations and Attitude Change: How Implicit Attitudes and Norms Can Foster Changes in Attitudes and Behavior. E. Harmon-Jones, D.M. Amodio, C. Harmon-Jones, An Action-based Model of Cognitive Dissonance: On Cognitive Conflict and Attitude Change. K. Fiedler, The Asymmetry of Causal and Diagnostic Inferences: A Challenge for the Study of Implicit Attitudes. J.P. Forgas, The Role of Affect in Attitude Formation, Expression and Attitude Change. Part 3. Attitudes and Persuasion. M. Waenke, L. Reutner, Pragmatic Persuasion or the Persuasion Paradox. K. Williams, S. Zheng, D. Wegener, A Needs-based Theory of Persuasion. R. Prislin, Persuasion as Social Interaction. W.D. Crano, Experiments as Reforms: Persuasion in the Nation’s Service. Part 4. Applications and Implications of Attitude Research. B. Major, Perceiving and Reacting to Prejudice: Impact of Shared Attitudes and Beliefs about Status Inequality. F. Rhodewalt, B. Petersen, The Self and Intergroup Attitudes: Connecting "Fragile" Personal and Collective Self-Concepts. J. Krosnick, Passion in Politics: The Study of Attitude Strength Inside and Outside the Laboratory.
The aim of the Sydney Symposia of Social Psychology is to provide new, integrative insights into key areas of contemporary research. Held every year at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, each symposium deals with an important integrative theme in social psychology, and the invited participants are leading researchers in the field from around the world. Each contribution is extensively discussed during the symposium and is subsequently thoroughly revised into book chapters that are published in the volumes in this series.