How People Differ in Confidence About Their Attitudes

How Folks Differ in Confidence About Their Attitudes


Andrzej Rostek/iStock. Licensed to Art Markman

Supply: Andrzej Rostek/iStock. Licensed to Artwork Markman

Folks have attitudes about all types of issues, together with actions (like enjoying chess), objects (such because the Empire State constructing), and points (such because the earnings tax charge). These attitudes replicate how a lot you want or dislike one thing, and might affect your actions associated to the item of the angle.

Along with the angle itself, you even have a level of confidence or certainty related to that angle. For instance, you may assume you prefer to eat Brussels sprouts. That’s an angle. When you have solely had them as soon as, although, you may not be very sure of that angle. In the event you eat them weekly ready in plenty of other ways, although, you is perhaps very sure of your angle.

Clearly, then, your particular person experiences with objects can have an effect on your angle towards them. There are additionally more likely to be social influences on attitudes. If everybody you understand likes Brussels sprouts, which may affect you to love them. And the extra that everybody in your social group likes them, the extra sure it’s possible you’ll be that you simply do as properly.

On prime of that, there could also be variations between folks in how sure they’re of the attitudes they maintain. That’s, some folks might really feel unsure about most of their attitudes, whereas others might really feel sure about most of theirs. This chance was explored in a 2020 paper within the Journal of Persona and Social Psychology by Kenneth DeMarree, Richard Petty, Pablo Brunol, and Ji Xia.

First, they developed a measure for certainty in attitudes. This measure concerned having folks charge their attitudes towards a number of objects and points together with espresso, paper plates, affirmative motion, and Tide Laundry Detergent). After ranking whether or not they had a optimistic or damaging angle, they rated their certainty within the angle on a scale starting from very unsure to very sure.

In assessments of this scale on a broad pattern, they discovered that there have been small variations between folks within the diploma to which they expressed certainty of their attitudes. That’s, some folks maintain their attitudes with extra certainty than others.

Throughout a number of research, the authors explored totally different features of this remark. They associated the tendency to carry attitudes with certainty to a wide range of different traits. They discovered that character traits related to having optimistic emotions (like extraversion) had been associated to extra certainty than character traits related to having damaging emotions (like neuroticism). As well as, individuals who want to consider issues are inclined to really feel extra certainty about their attitudes than those that don’t usually want to consider issues.

The researchers additionally associated certainty to intentions to take actions associated to their attitudes. Unsurprisingly, when you say you want chess and also you’re sure that you simply like chess, you usually tend to say that you simply intend to play chess than when you don’t like chess or when you’re unsure about how you are feeling about chess. Extra surprisingly, individuals who have a tendency to carry their opinions with certainty categorical extra intention to have interaction in actions referring to all the pieces they are saying they like in comparison with individuals who categorical their attitudes with much less certainty.

One other research examined folks at two totally different periods about two weeks aside. One doable clarification for the outcomes I’ve described up to now is that individuals have some type of temper that leads them to really feel sure of their attitudes, however that temper can shift over time. As an alternative, the researchers discovered that individuals had been pretty constant of their tendency to specific attitudes with certainty. So, the outcomes of the earlier research most likely didn’t replicate a quickly altering temper.

Placing all this collectively, then, there actually do appear to be some people who find themselves extra sure of their attitudes than others. This tendency is stronger in individuals who expertise quite a lot of optimistic emotions and who like to consider issues. It additionally influences their tendency to specific that they need to take part in future actions. Extra work must discover whether or not being extra sure in attitudes additionally makes folks extra more likely to observe via with their intention to do issues.


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