Evaluation conditioning

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Moving on from the diffusion of responsibility,
it may be suggested that it is indeed possible to alter attitude and therefore
the behaviour that come from it. This can be done using evaluating conditioning
(valence of a stimulus that is due to the pairing
of that stimulus with another positive or negative stimulus). It may be
argued that by using evaluated conditioning it is possible to reduce automatically
activated racial attitudes, and prejudice behaviours (French et al, 2013). Indeed,
research indicates that by promoting participants to re-categorise members of
an outgroup member (i.e. another race), as a member of liked group leads to an
activation of a positive evaluation (Olson and Fazio, 2006; Wittenbrink et al,
2001). Prejudicial responses are averted in these situations by either promoting
participants to avoid the kinds of categorization processes that lead to
activation of prejudice or by altering the response label contractual that
govern performance on the implicit measure. However, authors have argued that explicit
measures are known to be affected by social desirability bias (reference). Although
some individuals will honestly report their racial attitudes on explicit
measures, others are motivated to avoid appearing prejudice (references1 ).


Classical conditioning

In addition, research has
proposed that classical conditioning may be useful in the understanding of
racism and prejudice, in that categorisation of learned behaviour is eliciteds2 
et al, 2010). Indeed, from a young age, children are
conditioned to fit people into a category adverse emotional/judgemental
reaction to racially different others under the label of prejudice. Classical conditioning
has been used to explain the development of emotional or evaluative reactions
like these (reference). Indeed, new emotional responses become established and
how they grow. More specifically classical conditioning posits that a
conditional response (CR) develops through parings of a natural stimulus (CS)
with an unconditional stimulus (UCS) that naturally elicited an unconditional response
(UCR). In terms of racism, various adverse emotional reactions such as anger,
fear and anxiety become elicited (as CRs) by persons of another race (CSs) who
should be perceived as harmless or natural. However, response moderating
factors that influence the extent to which paring of a UCS and CS will result
in new responses. The more salient or noticeable a CS the more easily that CS
will take the valence f a UCS with which it is paired.



Role playing


Gender roles

It has long been proposed that attitudes towards gender
roles have a huge impact upon behaviours that come from it (reference). Indeed,
individuals often engage in stereotypical behaviours (e.g. men try to be
masculine) in an attempted to maintain group (i.e. family/friends) relations,
even if their behaviour does not reflect their attitude. Humans require social interaction
to maintain a degree of happiness and wellbeing; social exclusion can be detrimental
to one’s emotional welfare, self-esteem, self-worth and sense of meaning (Stillman
et al, 2009; Sapolsky, 2004). It
may be argued that this is due to a conditioned need to be seen as a member of one’s
in-group (i.e. gender); avoiding rejection and maintaining a degree of
self-worth and masculinity/femininity. In addition, one’s personal
characteristics and desirability seems to be judged from their masculinity/femininity
and thus nonconformity may result in rejection from the opposing sex
(reference). For example, females sough traditional male roles as more
respectful, hardworking, intelligent and attractive (reference). Therefore,
‘role playing’ is essential in order to obtain a desirable partner, even if
one’s fundamental beliefs must be sacrificed in the process (reference).


their self-concepts became more favorable than when
they experienced norm-noncongruent rela- tionships (i.e., dominance for women
and communion for men). In contrast, people who did not identify with their
sex-role group were not systematically affected by the experienced social

P. Niels Christensen



Situation specific roless3 

Moreover, it is
not only vital that for social acceptable one must conform to gender specific
roles, individuals must also comply and adjust their behaviour depending on the
situation they find themselves in (reference). In other words, depending on
one’s environment, individuals must make a calculated decision of how to
behave. However, environments/social situations can change throughout the day,
therefore individuals have to adapted continuously. It may be suggested that
individuals adapt in order to acquire validation from their peers in any given
situation. Indeed, validation appears to instil confidence and reassure an
individual’s personal activities (reference). Leary et al (1995) examined
how self-esteem may act as a measure for self-worth within social interaction.
It was proposed that self-esteem operated as a sociometer (a monitory
mechanism), providing individuals with an indicator to whether an action was
positive or negative (e.g. positive reception in the form of verbal praise).
However, this theory does not appear to be linear. Neutrality can be seen as
being negative and therefore detrimental to an individual’s self-worth
(Stefanone et al, 2011). For example,
a lack of acknowledgement from peers could suggest disinterest and impartiality
and therefore could be perceived as rejection. In this context, neutrality
would very likely impact a person’s self-worth in a similar way to that of
rejection on would, especially if one is consistently being dismissed and/or
ignored by their peers (Stefanone et al,




The internet


Moving on from cognitive
dissonance, anonymity may explain why actions are determined by attitude.
Rosner and Kramer (2016) investigated how anonymity effects attitude and action
(e.g. post) on the internet. It was found that anonymity via the internet
interacted stronger aggression. It may be argued that people lose their inner
constraints and feel safer when in front of a computer/phone screen than
compared to face-to-face communication. Indeed, individuals seem to feel less
inhibited in cyberspace than offline, leading to de-individuated state feel less
inhibited and therefore less responsible for their actions. However, it may be
suggested that although anonymity can cause people to share their true opinion,
it would seem individuals are still susceptible to group influence and norms (Postmes
et al, 2001). To some degree, anonymity seemed to increase social influence if
a common group identify is salient, primed norms (definition) took root in
anonymous groups displayed prime-consistent behaviour in their task solutions.
In other words…..


above – Ho,
S.S. and McLeod, D.M., 2008. Social-psychological influences on opinion
expression in face-to-face and computer-mediated communication. Communication Research, 35(2), pp.190-207.


Diffusion of responsibility

Moreover, the diffusion of responsibility,
also known as ‘the bystander effect’s4 ,
and being anonymous can effect peoples attitude and the action that follows
(reference). Indeed, research has proposed that being an anonymous bystander compared
to being a known bystander, can affect someone’s actions (Nicksa,
S.C., 2014). This may be due to the reward/return to risk
principle, individuals often assess a situation before making a decision on how
to act, assessing if the cost of helping will negatively or positively affect
the bystander. It would seem that when reporting crime, people are more likely
to report a crime anonymously than actually stop the crime from happening as it
happens (therefore attitude to help is present but the
action is different).


Individuals feel they can stop a crime if
they are an anonymous bystander. This may be due to fear of harm or future confutations
with the offender if the offender knows them. This especially seems to hold
true for adolescents; due to perceived attitudes of their peers when meant they
were less likely to do anything. Although this does not seem to be the same for
all crime types, in violence and sexual assault type crimes, people often did
not want to do anything due to fear of not having the skills to help. In addition,
in the case of violent crimes, due to being anonymous, people did not feel any
emotional connect to the person. Also, the individuals did not feel like it
mattered because they didn’t know the person, the responsibility of blame would
not later come back to them because no one knows who they are.




Cognitive dissonance


Moving on from role theory, cognitive
dissonance (situation involving conflicting attitudes,
beliefs or behaviours) may also give insight into attitudes and behaviours. Matz
and Wood (2005) investigated group-induced dissonance. It was found that little
dissonance discomfort was present when participants were given low choice about
taking an opining position in the group or when they freely disagreed. It may
be suggested that disagreement yielded dissonance rather than a fear of
impending conflict or social rejection. Indeed, heightened discomfort seems to
be relative to those in a controlled position; discomfort being a product of
dissonant cognition rather than of other motives established in groups. In
short, actions may depend on….
However, it may be argued that


Dissonance generated from others disagreement
was alleviated by the introduction of consonant cognition via low choice to
take an opposing position and by the opportunity to self-affirm. In other
words, people experience dissonance discomfort when ins5 
a group with others who hold opposing viewpoints, therefore, individuals may
identify a motivational basis for people’ preference for agreement and
therefore harmony than disagreement in the group. Simple disagreement from
others to a negative tension state motives information processing and similar
mechanism of change. Indeed, agreement within a group is vital to build and
maintain group harmony and function is key and therefore, individuals within
such a group are more inclined to avoid confrontation.




In addition to dissonance within groups, people
also experience cognitive dissonance when faced with moral dilemma, in that,
individuals experience difficulty deliberating between immorality from personal
gain (Graham,
2007). Loughnan
(2010) investigated meat eating and morality. It was found that eating meat
reduced the perceived obligation to show moral concern for the animal they were
consuming. It may be suggested that people escape the conflict between enjoying
meat and concern for animal welfare by perceiving animals as unworthy an
unfeeling. Indeed, in order to restore an equilibrium when experiencing
dissonance and questionable morality and personal gain, one must suppress their
concern for the issue at hand; subduing the issue to less than what they
originally thought of it. Negative attitudes partially the result of moral
concern regarding immorality. A similar application of morality can also be
applied to politics and public voting behaviour. During election campaigns,
individuals will often be exposed to something they perceive as morally wrong
(i.e. drone strikes in the Middle East), however personal gain (i.e. less tax)
may place more weight on that side of dissonance; supressing the former thus
restoring a balance (Meffert et al, 2006).








 s1To follow,
how long does it take to get over these thoughts, is it only teenagers who can
do this?

and check this is not meant to be emitted



Lapinski, M.K. and Rimal, R.N., 2005 Humans do not act solely on the basis
of the popularity of a behavior. Otherwise, the world would not have witnessed
minority behaviors that have shaped history, ones that are described as acts of
bravery and cour- age in fighting the powerful, and sometimes coercive, forces
perpetrated by the majority. Nor would we have seen acts of defiance in
everyday life, in which individuals take an unpopular stance despite group





or affect?


action somewhere


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