Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why are some people attractive... some preliminary social-psychological theory

Ok... well enough fun with researching the beautiful people. I thought I had better outline my topic, and to the best of my current understanding, the variables that comprise attractiveness.

* Propinquity- Being near someone. Procimity, Familiarity, Availability, Mere Exposure, Expectation of continued interaction.

* Reciprocity- We tend to like those who like us, and dislike those who dislike us. Mimicking

* Similarity- Tend to like others who are similar to us (especially attitudes, values). Matching Hypothesis, Reinforcement Theory.

* Beauty- Symmetry, Typicality, Body Shape, Facial Features, Ethnicity, youth... etc etc

* Balance Theory- people like others who are similar to them because agreement is an affirming
experience involving positive affect.
* Reinforcement Theories- Behaviours that are reinforced tend to be repeated. Tend to be attracted to those who are rewarding.
* Social Exchange Theory- People are motivated to maximise benefits and minimise costs in relationships with others. Rewards eg love, friendship, sex... Costs eg effort, conflice, sacrifice.

There are a lot of social psychological variables to be discussed.
These are some of the main points I will be discussing.

Reference Bushman and Baumeister (2008)
Vaughan and Hogg (2005).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

★☆★ The Dove self-esteem Fund

This is an absolutley awesome video of attractiveness and modeling... take the minute to watch it and let me know what you think.
Its true.... no wonder our perception of attractiveness is distorted in the modern world.

Some ideas on Attractiveness


There are many theories and research studies centred aroung attractiveness and the body.

It has been found that attractiveness ideals cange across time periods and cultures
Examples across time:

“Rubens women” (1505) are an extreme example which portrays women not only consistent with the social trend at that time, but most likely reflected the personal taste of the painter. A glance at the paintings and sculptures of the old masters clearly shows that for centuries feminine figures which were once considered to be appealing, would be regarded today as being too large. Researchers have stated that in former times the ideal of attractiveness, or being fat, was considered to be a status symbol. Only the well-to-do could afford to eat well, while the poor remained slender from lack of food. However today, the supply of food is abundant and fat has lost its value of information as a sign of prosperity

This can be compared to women of today, who are considered attractive if they are slim, slender and less 'fleshy'.

The Waist Hip Ratio
Ratio of 0.6

Waist Hip Ratio of 0.7- This is considered the ideal in many western cultures

A waist hip ratio of 0.8

Devendra Singh, researcher specializing in attractiveness, carried out numerous investigations in the waist-to-hip ratio in the nineties. She discovered that all winners of the "Miss America contests" from 1920 until the 1980`s had a WHR between 0.72 and 0.69. She also found that playboy's models WHR was between 0.71 and 0.68. For decades the ideal waist-to-hip ratio was consistently 0.7, despite the changing body weight of these models. Thus, in spite of their different weight classes the beauty icons Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Twiggy and Kate Moss all had at least one thing in common - a WHR of about 0.7.

Characteristics of Beautiful Faces


Characteristic features of the female "sexy face":
Suntanned skin
Narrower facial shape
Less fat
Fuller lips
Slightly bigger distance of eyes
Darker, narrower eye brows
More, longer and darker lashes
Higher cheek bones
Narrower nose
No eye rings
Thinner lids

Attractive Face Unattractive

Prototype Prototype

Male Faces

Characteristics of the male "Sexy face"
Browner skin
Narrower facial shape
Less fat
Fuller and more symmetrical lips
Darker eye brows
More and darker lashes
Upper half of the face broader in relation to the lower
Higher cheek bones
Prominent lower jaw
More prominent chin
No receding brows
Thinner lids
No wrinkles between nose and corner of the mouth

Attractive Unattractive

Prototype Prototype

Research can be found enormously influencing attractiveness-stereotype: The more attractive the presented faces were, the more successful, content, friendly, intelligent, socialble, accessible, exciting, creative and busy the persons were estimated. The opposite applies to unattractive faces: The more unattractive the faces were the more negative characteristics were attributed to the person.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Some Beautiful People.... Just to get you thinking

I have chosen to do the Attractiveness question for my blog 2.
The question is "[Attractiveness] Why are some people attractive? Discuss in relation to social psychological theories and research. "

I have chosen this question because attractiveness is always something that has fascinated the superficial part of me.... I constantly find myself asking "Do you think that girl is hot?" or "What would you rate that guy out of 10".... and it is a topic I think we are all driven by at some time or another.
Research has shown that attractive people are more likely to get a job, to be treated more fairly or to be given more money.
Below are some photos of people who were ranked in the 'people' magazine most beautiful people 2006/2007.... hopefully by the end of this semester I will be able to tell you all why these celeb's make that list. xx

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Attitude Change and the National Drugs Campaign

Attitude Change and the National Drugs Campaign:
An exploration of the theories, models and persuasive paradigms.

Many factors determine the success of attitude change programs. Areas of initial attitude disruption, the message, the individual and persuasive techniques are explored through differing theories, models and research reports. The new Australian Government ‘Don’t let ice destroy you’ campaign has been chosen as a vehicle to highlighting and analysing important factors in attitude change program success. An integrational model is proposed, whereby the author theorises that the success of attitude change programs depends on the interaction of many theories, models, techniques and research reports. A concept map and a multitude of models complete this analysis.

An attitude is an individual’s evaluation of an object, message, issue or behaviour (Breckler, Olson, & Wiggins, 2006). This blog will highlight attitude change theories, models and research through analysing the areas of initial attitude disruption, the message, the individual, and persuasive techniques. The new Australian Government ‘Don’t let ice destroy you (ICE)’ (See Appendix C) attitude change program will be used to evidence, highlight and critique differing theories, models and research studies. Finally, this blog will propose an ‘Integrational model’ theorising that many interacting theories, models and techniques can provide a comprehensive attitude change program.

Don’t Let Ice Destroy You- Attitude Change Program.
The ICE campaign was launched on the 16th August 2007 in response to the illicit drug epidemic in Australia. An Australian Government research report (2003) highlighted that young people desired drug campaigns that were “Factual, balanced, non judgmental and delivered by experts with ‘real world’ drug knowledge”. The ICE campaign utilises this information, and effectively incorporates many models, theories and paradigms into its attitude change techniques.

Initial Attitude Disruption.

Research has shown by disrupting and creating discomfort in an initial attitude, change and openness to persuasion are more likely (Van-Overwall & Jordens, 2002).

Cognitive Dissonance Theory.
Cognitive dissonance theory, proposed by Festinger (1957), states awareness of inconsistencies in cognitions makes humans feel uncomfortable and unpleasant (Wood, 2000). Aaronson’s (1992) self concept dissonance theory furthered Festinger by asserting dissonance arises from inconsistent cognitions that threaten the competence, moral goodness and self integrity of ones self concept. Dissonance either results in rationalisation or motivation to change dissonant attitudes (Wood). The ICE campaign effectively utilises cognitive dissonance through the inconsistent cognitions of ‘drugs ruin lives’ and ‘I take drugs’; therefore leading to an attitude change. It also utilises Aaronson’s self concept dissonance theory by highlighting the effects of talking ice- moral goodness (ice tears families apart); and self integrity (ice users dig at their own skin; psychotic episodes). Cognitive dissonance theory is a powerful, underlying factor promoting attitude change as inconsistencies lead to discomfort, and thus change (Baumeister & Bushman, 2008).

The Message.
The information, cognitions about the message and method of message delivery influence the effectiveness of attitude change programs (Petty, Wegener, & Fabrigar, 1997). Various models and theories have been utilised by the ICE campaign to promote attitude change about illicit drug use.

Cognitive Response Theory.
Cognitive response theory (See Appendix D) assumes the effectiveness of a message in causing attitude change is determined by thoughts the message evokes (Breckler et al, 2006). Research has shown that a message inducing intellectual thoughts about the source and issue are more likely adopted by the audience (Cacioppo & Petty, 1985). Cognitive response theory asserts that a message containing strong arguments (providing compelling reasons for adopting the advocated position) elicits positive thoughts about the communicator, issue and message (Breckler et al.). The ICE campaign effectively highlights cognitive response theory in action; through strong dialogue, authoritative language and source, and a compelling issue and message.

Elaboration Likelihood Model.
The Elaboration Likelihood Model (See Appendix E) explains the process by which messages produce attitude change; through either a central or peripheral route. The ICE campaign utilises both routes. The central route relies upon careful analysis of information, a strong informative message and logical arguments (Michener & DeLamater, 1999). Research by Hosman, Huebner, and Siltanen (2002) highlighted that power of speech style and argument strength significantly impacted upon cognitive response, persuasion and attitude change. The ICE campaign effectively utilises central persuasive cues through strong narration, images reflecting the spoken message and informative language about the consequences of drugs. The peripheral route utilises non-cognitive, superficial cues: emotion, source and speed of speech (Vaughn & Hogg, 2005). The ICE campaign uses emotion (sadness- family abuse, disgust- arm sores, fear- legal implications); uses a trustworthy, expert source; and has a fast, knowledgeable pace. The use of both the long lasting central route, and easily persuasive peripheral route contribute to the success of attitude change campaigns (Scott, 1996).

The Yale Model of Persuasion.
The Yale model of persuasion (Janis & Hovland, 1959) explains that various message, source and audience factors are found to affect the extent to which people can be persuaded (See Appendix F). The Yale model details that message, source, and audience; through the process of attention, comprehension and acceptance; create opinion, perception, affect and action change (Vaughn & Hogg, 2005). The Yale model is a thorough summary of many attitude change components. The ICE campaign effectively explores all facets of the Yale model- the message, source, audience, process and outcomes.

The Individual.
The individual, both source and audience, can have an immediate effect on the success of attitude change programs (Wood, 2000).

The Source.
The source, the individual who delivers a message, can significantly impact upon the credibility, memory and respectability of a campaign. A credible source must have expertise, trustworthiness, powerful speech and fast dialogue (Baumeister & Bushman, 2008). Research by Hovland and Weiss (1951) detailed that highly credible sources produced more opinion change than did less credible sources. The ICE campaign uses a highly credible source (Director of Emergency Medicine) that is trustworthy and has a high level of expertise in the relevant subject area; indicating a greater likelihood of attitude change.

Research has also found that people who speak rapidly are more persuasive than people who speak slowly (Miller, Maruyama, Beaber, & Valone, 1976). In the ICE campaign, the narrator talks fluently, quickly and with conviction. This conveys the impression of knowledge and expertise.

The Audience.
Characteristics of the target audience are involved in the effectiveness of persuasion (Mirchener & Delamater, 1999). Research has found that women are persuaded more easily than men (Cooper, 1979; Eagly, 1978); and those with low self-esteem are more easily persuaded into attitude change (Hovland, Janis, & Kelley, 1953). It has also been concluded that age factors influence the success of attitude change programs; research by Krosnick and Alwin (1989) suggests a U relationship (See Appendix G), whereby young and old people are influenced most. The cultural background of the audience also assists in determining the success of attitude change programs. Research has found that individualist cultures (USA) prefer programs influencing personal benefits or personal goals; whereas collectivist cultures (Korea) advocate group cohesiveness and greater societal good (Breckler et al. 2006). The ICE campaign effectively utilises this knowledge appealing on both a personal level (physical harm, psychosis) and collectivist level (work productivity, family cohesion).

Persuasive Techniques.
Techniques of persuasion assist in determining the success of attitude change programs. Persuasive techniques include fear appeals, and persuasive paradigms.

Fear Appeals.
Many health promotion strategies are typically designed to elicit fear, yet are often ineffective in achieving desired attitude change (Job, 1988). Fear appeals elicit a feeling of fright or danger in an audience by creating stark warnings, publicising fearful outcomes or detailing explicit results (Breckler et al., 2006). Research has suggested fear appeals and attitude change have an inverted U shaped relationship (See Appendix H); attitude change lowest for no fear or intense fear, with most attitude change occurring for moderate appeals (Janis, 1967). Further research has shown fear appeals are persuasive if they do not petrify the audience with fear, if the audience is susceptible to the danger and the audience it informed how to avoid the danger (Rogers, 1983). The ICE campaign effectively utilises moderate fear: through explicit images, scenes and outcomes (family abuse, skin abnormalities, criminal behaviour); yet contains an overriding sense of choice, and room for positive attitude formation and change.

Persuasive Paradigms.
Many techniques of influence exist (Appendix I). The National Campaign Against Drugs effectively uses the technique ‘repetition with variation’, pursuing the same outcome in varied formats. The use of different ads for different drugs- Ice, Ecstacy, Marijuana, conveys the same message through varied formats and targeting different audiences. Research into repetition with variation shows that the use of different advertising methods leads to more positive attitudes and repetition of message with variation combats resistance to attitude change (Haugtvedt, Schumann, Schneier, & Warren, 1994). The ICE campaign also utilised the technique of ‘emotionally loaded words and images’ whereby emotional or striking words and images are used to create strong reactions, emotions and memorable effects. Research has shown this increases program awareness, recognition, memory and attitude change (Makosky, 1985).

Integrational Model.
A multitude of factors determine the success of attitude change programs. This blog hypothesises an ‘integrational model’ illustrating that an incorporation of attitude formation, message, source and persuasion techniques can determine the success of an attitude change program (Appendix J). Integreational theory suggests that attitude change program success relies on combining a multitude of persuasive techniques, models, theories and message and source characteristics.

In conclusion, many factors determine the success of attitude change programs (See Concept Map B) yet due to space restrictions, I have included what I believe are the most formative factors that determine program success including: attitude formation and disruption, the message, the source and persuasive paradigms (See Concept Map A). This blog has highlighted these factors through an analysis of theories, models and research evidence. It has also given a vast array of examples from the National Drugs Campaign to evidence each theory, model and paradigm. Attitude change is a complex construct, with a multitude of different socio-psychological factors.

Theory, Research, Written Expression and Online Engagement: See Self Assessment
1489 Words- Excluding References.


Aronson, E. (1992). The return of the repressed: Dissonance theory makes a comeback. Psychological Inquiry, 3, 303-311.

Baumeister, R.F., & Bushman, B.J. (2008). Social Psychology and Human Nature. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education.

Breckler, S.J., Olson, J.M., & Wiggins, E.C. (2006). Social Psychology Alive. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education.

Cacioppo, J.T., & Petty, R.E. (1985). Central and peripheral routes to persuasion: The role of message repetition. In L.F. Alwitt & A.A. Mitchell (Eds), Psychological processes and advertising effects (91-111). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Cooper, H.M. (1979). Statistically combining independent studies: Meta-analysis of sex differences in conformity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 131-146.

Eagly, A.H. (1978). Sex differences in influencability. Psychological Bulletin, 85, 86-116.

Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Evanston, IL: Row Peterson.

Haugtvedt, C.P., Schumann, D.W., Schneier, W.L., & Warren, W.L. (1994). Advertising repetition and variation strategies: Implications for understanding attitude strength. Journal of Consumer Research, 21, 176-189.

Hosman, L.A., Huebner, T.M., & Siltanen, S.A. (2002). The impact of power-of-speech style, argument strength, and need for cognition on impression formation, cognitive responses, and persuasion. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 21, 361-379.

Hovland, C.I., Janis, I.L., & Kelley, H.H. (1953). Communication and Persuasion. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Hovland, C.I., & Weiss, W. (1951). The influence of source credibility on communication effectiveness. Public Opinion Quarterly, 15, 635-650.

Janis, I.L. (1967). Effects of fear arousal on attitude change: Recent developments in theory and experimental research. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 4, 166-224.

Janis, I.L., & Hovland, C.I. (1959). An overview of persuasability research. In C.I. Hovland and I.L. Janis (Eds.), Personality and persuasability (1-26). New Haven: Yale University Press.

Job, R.F.S. (1988). Effective and ineffective use of fear in health promotion campaigns. American Journal of Public Health, 78, 163-167.

Krosnick, J.A., & Alwin, D.F. (1989). Aging and susceptibility to attitude change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 416-425.

Makosky, V.P. (1985). Identifying major techniques of persuasion. Teaching of Psychology, 12, 42-43.

Michener, H.A., & DeLamater, J.D. (1999). Social Psychology (4th ed.). Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.

Miller, N., Maruyama, G., Beaber, R.J., & Valone, K. (1976). Speed of speech and persuasion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34, 615-625.

National Illicit Drug Research (2003). Formative research with young Australians to assist in the development of the national illicit drugs campaign. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.

Petty, R.E., Wegener, D.T., & Fabrigar, L.R. (1997). Attitudes and attitude change. Annual Review of Psychology, 48, 609- 647.

Rogers, E.M. (1983). Diffusion of Innovations. New York: Free Press.

Scott, C.G. (1996). Understanding attitude change in developing effective substance abuse prevention programs for adolescents. School Counselor, 43, 187-195.

Van Overwall, F., & Jordens, K. (2002). An adaptive connectionist model of cognitive dissonance. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 6, 204-231.

Vaughan, G.M., & Hogg, M.A. (2005). Introduction to Social Psychology (4th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Wood, W. (2000). Attitude change: Persuasion and Social Influence. Annual Review of Psychology, 51, 539-570.

Self Assessment


* I have attempted to incorporate a breadth and depth of theories and models.
* I have analysed theories and models and included many of the models in the appendix.
* I also tried to explore theories that were not covered in other people’s blogs- to demonstrate independent thinking.
* I have included many theories and models of ‘attitude change’ including cognitive dissonance theory, cognitive response theory, elaboration likelihood model and Yale model of persuasion.

* I have attempted to incorporate a breadth and depth of research studies.
* I have integrated theory and research- detailing information about theories and evidencing them with appropriate research and references.
* I have an extensive reference list- evidencing a multitude of research reports and academic journals.
* I researched the topic extensively- this can be seen with my clear evolution of thinking and extensive reference list.

Written Expression

* It is my belief that my blog has fluently expressed and analysed the ‘Attitude Change’ question.
* I believe that I have answered the question. Providing information on the factors determining the success of attitude change programs. I have offered an original and factual analysis of theories, models, techniques and research reports.
* I have attempted to publish a smooth, easy to follow blog. I have an abstract, introduction which clearly highlights the direction of my blog, and headings throughout the blog. I have also given a definitive conclusion to my blog.
* Readability Analysis-
I Received a Gunning Fog Index of:15.48
I Received a Flesch Reading Ease of: 28.68
I understand that this is not as ‘desirable’ as hoped- yet I believe that my writing is academic yet simple and comprehensible. I have also formatted my blog to be highly readable.

Other Markers of Readability-
- I have included a meaningful, descriptive essay title
- I have included an abstract
- I have included subheadings
- I have included many figures to give a greater breadth of knowledge to my blog.
- I have included images and multimedia
- I have included appendices.
- Use of Examples- I have used copious amounts of examples from the National Drugs Campaign- highlighting theories, models and principles of attitude change.
- APA style- I have conformed to the APA standards throughout my blog- In text citations and referencing have been strictly adhered to.

Online Engagement

* It is my belief that I have had a high online engagement for blog 1.
* I submitted my blog feed very early in the semester (#6 on list of blog submissions)
* I published a test blog very early in the semester ( Wed 18th July 2007)
* I have sought and gathered many meaningful comments. I have commented on such blogs as
- Kelg85
- Bec Blair
- Clare Bear
- Michelle
- Beck
- Kara
- Josie
- Fiona
* I have meaningfully replied to several of my comments- clarifying points, discussing ideas and assisting other students with blogging issues.
* I have made relevant links to useful information- including a wikipedia article I found useful getting my blog started, the National Drug Campaign website and the Children See Children Do website.
* I have published several blog postings- and my attitude change essay has evolved because of my postings. I posted a social self blog- after discovering the difficulties of writing about myself- - I then began to blog about attitude change campaigns.
- I have read and noted many of my comments- and adapted my blog accordingly.
- I have customized the look, feel and readability of my blog. I adapted the fonts, colours and layout of my blog. I have added social psychology pictures to assist with the mood of my blog.
- I have certainly made effective use of multimedia- images, embedded video (children see children do, speeding no one thinks big of you, ice- don’t let it destroy you); I have also included a poll on my blog. I pride myself on the multimedia capacities of my blog.
- I have added a great deal of extra information about myself. My interests, the books I like, movies, music etc. I also added a photo of myself to encourage people to discuss social psychology in a ‘real world’ setting also.
- I believe my online engagement to be extremely high. I believe that I have been one of the ‘front running’ bloggers throughout this exercise. I have used multimedia, my blog has evolved throughout the semester, I have posted drafts, concept maps, pictures and ideas.
* I believe that I deserve at least a distinction + for my online engagement. I have been very active, enthusiastic and open throughout the semester. My Blog received two lightbulbs, indicating a superior, clear evolution of thinking.

Overall, I believe that I have produced a meaningful, comprehensive and clear blog. I am proud of the amount of work I have put in throughout the semester and believe that I deserve to go well, considering my originality, clear evolution of thinking, and online engagement.

Appendix B: Concept Map (All Attitude Change Variables)

Appendix C: Dont Let Ice Destroy You

Appendix D: Cognitive Response Theory

Breckler, S.J., Olson, J.M., & Wiggins, E.C. (2006). Social Psychology Alive. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education.

Appendix E: Elaboration Likelihood Model

Vaughan, G.M., & Hogg, M.A. (2005). Introduction to Social Psychology (4th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Appendix F: Yale Model of Persuasion

Janis, I.L., & Hovland, C.I. (1959). An overview of persuasability research. In C.I. Hovland and I.L. Janis (Eds.), Personality and persuasability (1-26). New Haven: Yale University Press.

Appendix H: Inverted U Fear Appeal

Janis, I.L. (1967). Effects of fear arousal on attitude change: Recent developments in theory and experimental research. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 4, 166-224.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Illness- My Draft

I have been quite sick the last few weeks, so tonight I will be posting an outline of my blog.

I will have my blog ready in just a few days, but this will have to suffice for now.

I have unfortunately had to abandon Children See Children Do… there was just too much information to convey- and not enough words to do it in.

My Plan:

: Introduce what I will do, where my blog is going. Define attitudes.

Don’t Let Ice Destroy You- Attitude Change Campaign: Describe the attitude change campaign that I will be using as an example. Discuss findings from initial research reports about campaign.

Initial Attitude Disruption: Discuss cognitive dissonance theory and its importance in attitude change. Provide examples from the ICE program.

The Message:
Discuss the next factor of attitude change- the message. Cognitive reponse theory, elaboration likelihood model and the yale model of persuasive communication.
Provide evidence with research studies and examples from Ice campaign

The Individual: Discuss the source- expertise, trustworthiness etc.
Discuss the audience- age, culture, gender, self-esteem etc.

The Techniques: Fear appeals and persuasive techniques including repetition with variation and emotionally loaded words and images.

Conclusion- Final conclusions.

Appendix- I will include the various models I have detailed in my blog.

I am nearlly finished my final draft.

Have all the other attitude changers found just an immense amount of information- and an inability to pack it all into the 1500 word limit??

I have just decided to include the models/theories/techniques that I believe best contribute to the success of attitude change programs.

Good luck to everyone on getting your blogs in on time.... I think there will be a fair amount of caffine consumed tonight by the looks of some blogs. he he......