chapter  3
20 Pages

Attitudes as Global and Local Action Guides

We often think of our attitudes and beliefs as stable personality characteristicswhen asked to describe ourselves, we might cite our love of a particular composer, our support for a long-preferred political party, or perhaps a deep and abiding hatred of Oreo cookies. Echoing this assumption, attitudes have historically been considered relatively stable individual differences that remain consistent across time and contexts, unless or until an overt persuasion attempt is encountered. However, more recently, a far more malleable picture of attitudes has emerged from research suggesting that evaluations can shift quite exibly in response to the immediate social environment (e.g., Baldwin & Holmes, 1987; Kawakami, Dovidio, & Dijksterhuis, 2003; Ledgerwood & Chaiken, 2007; Lowery, Hardin, & Sinclair, 2001).