Beliefs, Attitudes, and Values

Length: 10 Pages 2390 Words

Everyone communicates with one another for infinite reasons. One of these reasons is to persuade others to behave or think in a way that one desires. Persuasive communication is seen everyday in everywhere. Television commercials, magazine advertisements, articles on newspapers, and salesperson at the market are all examples of persuasive communication. However, what matters the most is not the products or ideas, but the effectiveness of persuasion using communication. This is why so many psychologists and theorists have studied and developed theories of persuasion for so long. Milton Rokeach is one of these many researchers who have tried to explain human behaviors. After years or research and study, he developed a persuasion theory called, Beliefs, Attitudes, and Values Theory. The purpose of this paper, then, is to evaluate this theory by analyzing each component of the theory and applying it to a real-life situation of “Steve.” Steve is a hard-working and highly respected person at his work. He has a negative attitude toward women and believes that women are inferior to men. So he constantly makes sexually suggestive comments and derogatory jokes about women at work and doesn’t feel bad about it until a new po Continue...

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Since Rokeach's theory deals with issues that have been studied many times by other theorists and psychologists previously, this theory does have sufficient past research. Rokeach goes further by identifying two types of values, which are instrumental and terminal. This theory is also very likely to be studied and developed more, because Rokeach uses constructs that are very significant in studies of persuasion. There are many ways in which a communication theory can be evaluated, but a few of the criteria include theoretical scope, heuristic value, validity, and parsimony. (Sereno) For instance, an employee may have a strong negative attitude toward his boss and wish to express his anger. Some of instrumental values include believing in the importance of being ambitious, honest, loving, or responsible. Terminal values, on the other hand, focuses on the ends or outcomes that one sees as correct or appropriate. On the other hand, if the person disagrees or is not interested or even dislikes something, that person is said to have a negative attitude. They assumed that by changing a person's attitude of something, they have also influenced and changed their behavior of the same thing. (Sereno) The last and probably the most important construct of this theory are values. First of all, a belief, by definition, is "cognition that something exists or is true. Before Steve's attitudes and behaviors changed, Steve used to disrespect women by making sexually suggestive and degrading comments and jokes about women to his male co-workers. Rokeach, however, disagreed with these assumptions and believed that there is an Attitude-Behavior Discrepancy Issue. In summary, Rokeach's theory says that if a person changes his or her value, everything else will change according to the value to remain consistent. Past researches on attitudes and behaviors have shown that there is a "discrepancy between people's attitudes and behaviors, and that people do not always act according to their attitudes.


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