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a lasting, general evaluation of people (including oneself), objects, advertisements, or issues.

Attitude object

anything toward which one has an attitude.

Functional Theory of Attitudes

developed by Katz to explain how attitudes facilitate social behavior. According to this, attitudes exist because they serve some function for the person.

Utilitarian function

relates to the basic principles of reward and punishment. We develop some attitudes toward products because they provide pleasure or pain.

Value-expressive function

relate to the consumer's central values or self-concept. What does the product say about me? They are highly relevant to lifestyle analyses.

Ego-defensive function

attitudes we form to protect ourselves either from external threats or internal feelings and insecurities.

Knowledge function

we form some attitudes because we need order, structure, or meaning. This function applies when a person is in an ambiguous situation (only jeans on Friday) or is confronting a new product.


describes how a consumer feels about an attitude object.


refers to his intentions to take action about it.


what he believes to be true about the attitude object.

Standard learning hierarchy

think-->feel-->do; assumes that a person approaches a product decision as a problem-solving process. This hierarchy assumes high involvement.

Low-involvement hierarchy

do-->feel-->think; assumes the consumer initially doesn't have a strong preference for one brand over another; instead she acts on limited knowledge and evaluates after buying the product (behavioral learning)

Emotional contagion

messages happy people deliver enhance our attitudes.


the lowest level of involvement; we form an attitude because it helps us to gain rewards or avoid punishment. It is superficial and likely to change.


we form an attitude to conform to another person's or group's expectations.


at high levels of involvement, deep seated attitudes become part of our value system. They are difficult to change.

Principle of cognitive consistency

we value harmony among our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and a need to maintain uniformity among these elements motivates us. If necessary, we change our thoughts, feelings, or behaviors to make them consistent with our experiences.

Cognitive element

something a person believes about himself, a behavior he performs, or an observation about his surroundings.

Self-perception theory

provides an alternative explanation of dissonance effects. It assumes we observe our own behavior to determine just what our attitudes are.

Foot-in-the-door technique

marketers know that a consumer is more likely to comply with a big request if he agrees to a smaller one.

Social judgment theory

assumes people assimilate new information about attitude objects in light of what they already know or feel (lifting a light box after lifting a heavy one).

Latitudes of acceptance and rejection

people differ in terms of the information they find acceptable or unacceptable and evaluate ideas falling within a latitude favorable, but will reject those outside this zone.

Assimilation effect

people tend to perceive messages within their latitude of acceptance as more consistent to their position than they actually are.

Contrast effect

we tend to see messages that fall in our latitude of rejection as even more unacceptable than they actually are.

Balance theory

considers how a person perceives relations among different attitude objects, and how he alters his attitudes so that these remain consistent or "balanced."


attitude structures containing a person and his perceptions of an attitude object and some other person or object. We want relations among these things to be harmonious and will change our perceptions to restore balance if necessary.

Unit relation

linked elements where a person is connected to an attitude object.

Sentiment relation

linked elements where a person expresses liking or disliking for an object.

Attitude models

specify the different elements that might work together to influence people's evaluations of attitude objects.

Multiattribute attitude models

assume that a consumer's attitude toward an attitude object depends on the beliefs she has about several of its attributes; used because attitudes are so complex.


characteristics of the attitude object


cognitions about the specific attribute object; measures the extent to which the consumer perceives that a brand possesses a particular attribute.

Importance Weights

reflect the relative priority of an attribute to the consumer.

Fishbein model

multiply a consumer's rating of each attribute for all brands considered by the importance rating of that attribute to obtain overall attitude scores


involves an active attempt to change attitudes.

Communications model

specifies the elements marketers need to control in order to communicate with their customers: Source—message—medium—receiver—feedback.

Permission marketing

a strategy that acknowledges a marketer will be much more successful when he communicates with consumers who have already agreed to listen to him.


finely tune our messages to very small groups of receivers.


Mobile commerce; where marketers promote their goods and services via wireless devices.

Social media

the set of technologies that enable users to create content and share it with a large number of others (1 billion users worldwide).

Source Effects

when we attribute the same message to different sources and measure the degree of attitude change that occurs after listeners hear it, we can isolate which characteristics of a communicator cause an attitude change. Two characteristics: credibility and attractiveness

Source credibility

a communicator's expertise, objectivity, competence, or trustworthiness

Sleeper effect

the process in which we "forget" about a negative source and change our attitude.

Knowledge bias

a source's knowledge about a topic is inaccurate.

Reporting bias

a source has the required knowledge but doesn't convey is accurately.

Source attractiveness

the social value recipients attribute to a communicator. It relates to their physical appearance, personality, social status, or similarity to the receiver.

Halo effect

we assume that persons who rank high on one dimension excel on others.


boost viewers' recall of claims that ads make and yield higher brand attitude without the risks presented by celebrities (ex. Pillsbury Doughboy).

Supportive arguments

present one or more positive attributes about the product or reasons to buy it.

Two-sided message

the message presents both positive and negative information.

Refutational arguments

first raise a negative issue then dismiss it; can be effective because it increases source credibility by reducing reporting bias.

Comparative advertising

a strategy in which a message compares two or more recognizable brands and weights them in terms of one or more specific attributes.

Source derogation

consumers may doubt the credibility of a biased message.

Sex appeals

it appears to draw attention but its use may be counterproductive


grab attention and may or may not affect recall and attitudes; serve as a source of distraction and inhibit counterarguing (thinking of reasons why we disagree with the message). It is more effective when the brand is identified clearly.

Fear appeals

emphasize the negative consequences that can occur unless a consumer changes a behavior or an attitude. These are more common in social marketing contexts and are more effective when only using a moderate threat with a solution presented.

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