Response to three discussion posts (50-100 words)

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Post 1: (Write a 50-100 words response) Respond in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

The Role of Behavioral Factors on Attitudes

I find the self-perception theory incredibly interesting because it is counter intuitive of what we are taught– attitudes are formed through interactions, which determines behavior. On the contrary, the self perception theory causes us to observe our behavior in order to assess how we actually feel when we aren’t entirely sure how to feel.

In my mother’s opinion, I let “the one” get away. However, based on further investigation, I realized that I formulated the attitude about a man through operant conditioning (in the form of my family’s approval) based on my cultural influences.

I have a friend named Brian. He was a stand-up guy. As far as I knew, he was a gentlemen; he opened doors for me, made sure that I never walked on the outside closest to the street, and when we were together, I never had to pump my own gas. He was ambitious and driven; degreed, legally employed, amazing with my kids, and a volunteer little league coach. We held the same family values, and on any “checklist”, Brian appeared to be the perfect guy. I heard it when we attended social gatherings, my mother beamed at Thanksgiving dinner at the prospect of him as her future son-in-law, and my friends joked about how crazy I was for not being head over heels in love with this man. He wasn’t “the one” to me though. There were no sparks. The conversation was great, but I felt that a general connection was missing for me. It wasn’t that I felt that he couldn’t be “the one”, but he just wasn’t doing it for me. I hated feeling that way because everyone else around me felt differently.

“The attitude judgments and self-perceptions of subjects with poorly defined prior attitudes were strongly affected by the contemporaneous behavioral cues made available to them” (Chaiken, Baldwin, 1981). My feelings for Brian were ambiguous. I started to question myself. Everyone around me had a positive reaction to this relationship, so I must have obviously liked him, and just hadn’t realized how much yet. So, I began dating him because it made sense. In Verbal Reinforcement of Attitude, Chester A. Insko explains that, “verbal reinforcement results in attitude change” (Insko, 1965). Eventually, we lied to ourselves enough that we started to believe that maybe we were perfect for one another, and for awhile our relationship worked well. We joke now about how we’d be perfect business partners because the romance was not there, but we were compatible in every other way. Naturally, it didn’t end well and Brian and I decided that although we were great friends, the chemistry to be romantically linked was lacking.

References

Chaiken, S., & Baldwin, M. W. (1981). Affective-cognitive consistency and the effect of salient behavioral information on the self-perception of attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41(1), 1–12.

Insko, C. A. (1965). Verbal reinforcement of attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2(4), 621–623.

Post 2: (Write a 50-100 words response) Respond in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Growing up I did not have much guidance about credit cards and spending, therefore as a young adult (like many others), I applied for, and received credit cards which I used to their limits in a very short period of time. My attitude was ambiguous because I did not have enough information or knowledge to form an attitude about credit. My attitude as an older adult (and after paying off the debt) is that I believe credit card spending only leads to financial trouble. This attitude was formed through elements of operant conditioning. That is, the punishment was having to pay off credit month after month and having less cash on hand. (However, once it was paid off, there was less stress and more cash on hand — what I perceived as a reward.)

Chaiken and Baldwin (1981) explain that poorly defined attitudes before behavior cues being introduced are strongly affected by simultaneous behavior cues. As I did not have much knowledge of credit card spending before getting in over my head when the bills started to stack up and social activity diminished because of lack of funds, my attitude toward credit spending became a negative one. This attitude was a reaction to environmental factors (i.e., decreased ability to socialize on the weekends with friends, negative attributes associated high-interest credit cards and stress associated with lack of funds in general). As I got older, the attitude was reinforced as I understood the havoc that credit cards and credit, in general, can have on both a society (e.g., our national debt) and individuals, least of all the problems it caused me for a few years. This attitude has guided my spending behaviors and beliefs about using credit versus cash for the last 25 years (Fiske, Gilbert & Lindzey, 2010).

References

Chaiken, S., & Baldwin, M. W. (1981). Affective-cognitive consistency and the effect of salient behavioral information on the self-perception of attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41(1), 1–12.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Fiske, S. T., Gilbert, D., & Lindzey, G. (2010). Handbook of social psychology (Vol. 1, 5th ed). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Post 3: (Write a 50-100 words response) Respond the following ways: “respond to at least one colleague’s post and comment on how we as social change agents and critical consumers of research can balance the usefulness with the error in the research. Do we throw the research out because of too much error, or is there something useful that it can tell us?”

Statistical Significance and Meaningfulness

This week’s discussion on hypothesis testing has highlighted that statistical significance deals with the critical value of a statistic and making a determination of rejecting the null hypothesis or supporting the null hypothesis. The null hypothesis states that there is no difference in the between the population mean and some specified value (Frankfort-Nachmias & Leon-Guerrero, 2018). The scenario we are tasked with responding to is:

A research paper claims a meaningful contribution to the literature based on finding statistically significant relationships between predictor and response variables. In the footnotes, you see the following statement, “given this research was exploratory in nature, traditional levels of significance to reject the null hypotheses were relaxed to the .10 level.”

The scenario suggests that the researchers found statistically significant relationships between predictor and response variables. The alpha level or the level of probability at which the null hypothesis is rejected was “relaxed” to the .10 level. The results are deemed statistically significant when the probability is less than or equal to the alpha level. From the context of the scenario, I learned that the findings were statistically significant. The footnote provided the alpha level of .10 which set the cutoff point which the p-value must fall in to reject the null hypothesis.

References

Frankfort-Nachmias, C., & Leon-Guerrero, A. (2018). Social statistics for a diverse society (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Wagner, W. E. (2016). Using IBM® SPSS® statistics for research methods and social science statistics (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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