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The Role of Cognitive and Affective Factors

Attitudes, beliefs, and emotions have a strong influence on the formation and maintenance of attitudes you hold toward objects, issues, or people. Classical conditioning, as applied to attitude formation and maintenance, holds that an attitude can form through association between an initially neutral attitude object and another object that naturally evokes an emotional response. In the mere exposure effect, a positive attitude can develop toward objects the more frequently you are exposed to them (Zajonc, 1968). These processes have important implications for attitude formation, especially attitudes toward members of groups. Consider how affective-based and cognitive-based processes, such as classical conditioning and mere exposure, might influence attitude formation. Also, reflect on how culture and the social environment might influence attitude formation. Please remember to be respectful of colleagues when posting.

A brief description of an attitude you currently hold that was formed through affective or cognitive influences.

Describe or explain how the attitude was formed.

Describe any cultural or environmental factors that may have influenced the formation of the attitude.

Support your response with some of the following references, resources and scholarly literature.

Solution Preview

Hello Charlene,
In this particular task, you are being asked to look into the relations between cognitive & affective factors on attitudes & beliefs. I suggest using this simple outline:

1. Classical Conditioning & Attitude Formation (example attitude) - 150 words
2. Cognitive & Affective factors - 100 words
3. Cultural & environmental factors - 100 words
4. Reflection - 100 words

Essentially this is all about self-examination. I have given an example below that is quite universal. Just let me know via the feedback section if you need further clarification. All the best with your studies.

AE 105878/Xenia Jones

On Attitude Formation

How are attitudes formed? What are the factors that influence their construction? One theory utilized to explain attitude formation is that of BF Skinner Ivan Petrovich Pavlov which is rooted in behaviourism. BF Skinner proposed that there are 3 basic assumptions in the process of learning - 1, that learning can be observed by the change in behavior 2, that it is the environment we have that shapes behavior and reinforcement of ideas and 3, that knowledge and ways of behaving is essential in the learning process. Learning any new behavior, for Skinner is learned via 'conditioning'. Classical conditioning sees behavior as a kind of reflex action in response to a stimulus. Pavlov, a physiologist developed the theory of 'conditioned reflex' in 1901 by observing the rate of salivation among his dogs. He conditioned his dogs that when they hear the bells ringing, they salivate, anticipating food & being feed. He was so successful that they salivated when they hear bells ring even if food is not forthcoming. From a personal viewpoint, I believe I have classically learned the attitude of being ...

Solution Summary

The role of cognitive and affective factors are examined. Classical conditioning for emotional responses are given.