Theory about the psychology of attitudes, persuasion, and social influence


Psychology of Attitude Change and Social Influence

Philip G. Zimbardo and Michael R. Leippe

cloth EAN: 978-0-87722-852-3 (ISBN: 0-87722-852-3)
$54.95, Jun 91, Out of Print
400 pp

Social influence is at the heart of many pressing societal issues-promotion of healthful lifestyles, the raising of environmental consciousness, the effects of censorship, "image-processing" in politics, and ultrasophisticated advertising and marketing. With lively examples from current events and popular culture, this book pulls together a wide range of research and theory about the psychology of attitudes, persuasion, and social influence.

Philip Zimbardo and Michael R. Leippe cover all the major topics in this area. To integrate the vast amount of material they use the recurring theme of "attitude systems," in which attitudes, cognitions, behaviors, and intentions can be affected by external agents of influence as well as influenced internally by each other.

Stressing the personal and cultural relevance of social influence principles, Zimbardo and Leippe use social and geopolitical events and issues to illustrate the concepts and offer stories and anecdotes as examples of how these principles work in day-to-day situations. In addition, two applications chapters focus on influence in the legal system and on improving the quality of life (the environment, personal health, and mental well-being).



1. A World of Influence
Social Influence Processes and Settings • Tales from the Influence Hall of Fame (and Shame) • ABCs of Influence: Attitudes, Behavior, and Cognitions • A Social Psychological Perspective • A Look Ahead

2. Influencing Behavior: Taking Direct Approaches
Learning When Actions Pay Off • Approval and Disapproval: The Power of Social Rewards • Conformity: Saving Face and Gaining Grace—and Knowledge • Obedience: Basing Behavior on Authority • Kneejerk Psychology: Influence through Heuristics • Point of Departure: When Inner Changes Flow from External Influence

3. Influencing Attitudes Through Behavior: When Doing Becomes Believing
Attribution and Self-Attribution • Self-Persuasion and Role-Playing • The Psychology of Self-Justification: Dissonance Theory • Dissonance, Self-Attribution, and Self-Affirmation: Similarities and Separate Identities • A Concluding Note

4. Changing Attitudes Through Persuasion: Take My Words for It
Seeking Out Influence: Social Comparison Processes • Being Sought as a Target: Persuasive Appeals • Presentation and Exposure • Attention • Comprehension • Acceptance: The Biggest Hurdle • An Interim Stop on the Road to Lasting Persuasion

5. Making Persuasion Last: The Persistence and Behavioral Consequences of Attitude Change
Sowing the Seeds of Retention: Creating Strong, Clear, and Extreme Attitudes • Retention: Persuasion over Time • Translating Attitudes into Behavior: Ultimate Persuasion • The Hard-Earned Rewards of Persuasion

6. Resisting and Embracing Influence: The Yin and Yang of Persuasion
The Stubborn Mind: Resisting and Selective Bending • Overcoming Resistance: Liberating the Totalitarian Ego • The Other Extreme: Persuasion Pushovers • Prejudice: An Attitude That Can Kill • A Final Note: On Having an Open Mind without Being a Pushover

7. Influence, Awareness, and the Unconscious: When What You Don't Know May Change You
Awareness and Consciousness of Influence • Nonverbal (and Not Necessarily Conscious) Messages • Subliminals: Inconspicuous Influence • Awareness and Consciousness: A Closing Perspective

8. Influence and the Legal System: Trying Experiences
The Adversarial Approach: Does Competitive Persuasion Yield Justice? • The Police Station: Gathering Evidence from People • In the Courtroom: The Persuasion Battleground • The Jury Room • The Case of Psychology and Law: A Closing Statement

9. Social Influence in the Service of Health and Happiness
Pro-Environmental Influence: Can Persuasion Preserve the Planet? • The Promotion of Health • Social Psychological Roads to Mental Health • Social Influence, the Good Life, and Your Future

Appendix A: Research and the Experimental Method
Appendix B: Measuring Attitudes and Their Components
Name Index
Subject Index


About the Author(s)

Philip G. Zimbardo, Professor of Social Psychology at Stanford University, created and hosted the PBS-TV series Discovering Psychology (1990).

Michael R. Leippe is Professor of Psychology at Adelphi University.

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