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Attitude influences behavior

This lesson explores four theories on how attitudes influence behavior: the Theory of Planned Behavior, the Attitude to Behavior Process Model, the Prototype Willingness Model, and the Elaboration Likelihood Model for Persuasion. Each theory offers unique insights into the factors that shape our actions, such as intentions, norms, past behavior, and persuasion techniques. Created by Shreena Desai.

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Video transcript

Voiceover: All right, let's take a look at a question. I'm gonna talk about four theories that seek to answer this question. How do our attitudes affect or influence our behavior? Now the first of these theories that we're going to look at is called the theory of planned behavior. And the theory of plan behavior, looks at two key words. So, it says that we consider our implications of our actions before we decide how to behave. And the best predictor of our behavior. Is the strength of these intentions in a particular situation. So these are our two key words. We're gonna have our implications, and our intentions. Now our intentions are based on three things. And let's take the situation of studying for a really hard exam to best illustrate how this theory works. So, the first thing that our intention is based on, are our attitudes. So that's number one. And it's our attitudes towards a certain behavior that's going to affect whether we behave or not. So an example of this, when we look at our situation of studying for an exam is an attitude such as saying, studying for class this week is something I favor. So that is our attitude. Now another thing that influences our intentions is subjective norms. And what are subjective norms? I don't know if you've heard of that term before. But basically, subjective norms, is what we think others think about our behavior. So in this instance, we can say my friends think studying is a waste of time. That is a subjective norm that's going to eventually affect our behavior. And the third, thing that affects our intentions, is perceived behavior control. And this basically just means how easy or hard we think it is to control our behavior. So taking a look at our example again, we could say, I also have to work 40 hours this week on top of studying. So, and when you're thinking about it, that studying and working is very hard to manage together. It's hard to control or be in full control of studying when we have other things affecting that. So if we put these three factors, attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavior control together we can, looking at this example, our attitude towards studying is positive. But actually studying will be low. So in this case our behavior of actually studying is not gonna be as favorable. Alright, lets take a look at the second theory that tries to explain how our attitudes affect our behaviors. And this is simply called the attitude to behavior process model. Pretty self explanatory, right? Not too creative with the name on that one. [LAUGH] But basically, this theory says that an event triggers an attitude. So we start off with an event, and that's going to trigger our attitude. What I mean by attitude in this case is something that will influence our perception of an object. Okay, so, once we have an attitude, we're going to use that along with some outside knowledge that we have towards the situation or towards the object. So those together, is what is going to lead to our behavior. So our knowledge is what's, is that which regards appropriate behavior. And our attitude again is what influences our perception of an object. And together we are going to use our attitude based on how we perceive something. And our knowledge from prior experience to shape our definition and behavior in any situation. So think about this. Tommy has an attitude that eating junk food is unhealthy because many of his own relatives suffer from cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and other heart related diseases associated with poor eating habits. So when Tommy is at home, he does not eat chips, candy, soda, any of those types of foods because he has knowledge that these foods aren't good for his health. So, when he goes to parties he's sure to stay away from foods such as these and maintains effort to lead a healthy lifestyle no matter where he is. So, obviously there was an event in Tommy's life, maybe a relative having a heart attack or someone that he knows suffering from cholesterol or obesity, any of those. Any of those things related to eating unhealthy foods. So, his attitude towards eating unhealthy foods is obviously not good. He doesn't have a good attitude. He thinks it's unhealthy. So that's going to shape his behavior cuz he also has knowledge. There's proof out there that foods, such as those, can lead to diseases in the future. So that, combined with his own attitude that was triggered by an event. Led to his own behavior of not engaging in that sort of behavior. All right, let's take a look at the third one, and this is called the prototype willingness model, and I'm just going to shorten it for PWM, that's what it's commonly referred to as. The prototype willingness model, or the PWM. So it says that behavior is a function of six things. So we have our behavior in the center here, and it's going to be a function of a bunch of things. And the first is that our behavior right now is a function of our previous behavior. So, our past behavior. It's also a function of our attitudes towards the behavior, which I explained a little bit earlier from the second theory the attitude to behavior process model. The third is that our behavior's a function of subjective norms. Which if you remember that word is from the theory of planned behavior. So, that theory is all about what others think. The fourth theory or sorry the fourth function that affects behavior is our intentions, our behavior intentions. [SOUND] The fifth is our willingness to engage in a specific type of behavior. And the last is prototypes or our models. A lot of our behavior is carried out from modeling or prototyping. And I actually just realized, sorry, lets go back to the first one. I didn't write out the full word. It's called theory of planned behavior. Should have stopped in the middle of that one. There we go. Okay. So, back to PWM. So, these six things is what influences our behavior according to this theory. And the last theory that we're gonna look at, the fourth one, is called the elaboration likelihood. Model for persuasion. Or in this case, the ELM model. Again, the elaboration likelihood model for persuasion. And this theory's much more of a cognitive approach than the others. And it focuses on the why, and the how, of persuasion. So there are two routes through which information is processed. So obviously information is processed in our brains, we know that. So that's why. They think of it more as a cognitive approach. And there are two ways in which this information's processed. The first is through the central route. And the central route says the degree of attitude change depends on the quality of the arguments. Or the quality of arguments by the persuader. So how much we're gonna be persuaded depends on the quality of persuasion. And the second is the peripheral route. And the peripheral route looks more at superficial and nonverbal persuasion cues, such as attractiveness, expertise, or status of the persuader that's giving us information. So these are more superficial cues but nonetheless, they're pretty important. So say a drug representative comes to our medical practice and tries to convince us to buy their version of a drug. We're gonna be using central and peripheral roots of persuasion, when we're listening to them. So subconsciously, we'll be processing the quality of their arguments and if they can market their drug better to us, than say another drug representative from another company. And obviously we're also going to look at how well they present patient risks. We're doctors, those are things we're, that's important to us if we're going to be giving these drugs to our patients. And we're also gonna be looking at how engaging they are. Their experience with the industry, the pharmaceutical industry. And their knowledge of the company, and also how well they look. Professional, do you look put together that's what I mean by superficial cues. So all of these factors are processed cognitively, and shape our attitude towards that company, and ultimately, our behavior. So whether we're gonna buy that product from that company for patient use. So, there you have it. Those are the four important approaches to looking at how attitude affects our behavior.