Belief-based approaches


1. (a) Explain the general idea of belief-based approaches to attitude. (b) What is a salient belief? How can one identify a person's salient beliefs about a given object? Explain how, in a survey context, one might identify the modal (average) salient beliefs about an object.


2. (a) According to the summative model of attitude, what are the two determinants of attitude? (b) What is belief strength? Describe questionnaire items that might be used to assess belief strength. (c) What is belief evaluation? Describe questionnaire items that might be used to assess belief evaluation. (d) Explain the summative model's description of how belief strength and belief evaluation combine to produce attitude; that is, describe and explain the summative model's formula. Give an example that illustrates the model's application.


3. (a) Sketch alternative strategies for attitude change suggested by the summative model. (b) Explain (and give an example of) the strategy of adding a new salient belief (of appropriate valence) about the object, the strategies of increasing or decreasing the evaluation of an existing salient belief, the strategies of increasing or decreasing the strength of an existing salient belief, and the strategy of changing the relative salience of existing beliefs. (c) Explain how this model can be useful in identifying possible foci for persuasive appeals.


4. (a) How supportive is the research evidence concerning the summative model? That is, what is the general pattern of correlations between the model's predictions and direct measures of attitude? (b) What is attribute importance? Does adding attribute importance to the summative model's formula improve the predictability of attitude? Why not? Identify two possible reasons.


5. (a) Describe the weighted averaging model. (b) What does the research evidence indicate about whether the averaging model or the summative (adding) model is superior? Identify two reasons that there is not compelling evidence to support one model over the other.