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Evaluative meaning and similarity to self-concept as conditioners of attitudes toward trigrams

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Item Summary

Title: Evaluative meaning and similarity to self-concept as conditioners of attitudes toward trigrams
Authors: Stalling, Richard Bettin
Keywords: Verbal behavior
Issue Date: 1969
Publisher: [Honolulu]
Abstract: Recent conceptualizations have used a classical conditioning model to account for the formation of interpersonal attraction. In general, the model suggests that when a person as a stimulus object is paired with pleasant or reinforcing events the person will come to elicit an attraction response similar to that originally elicited by the reinforcing event. In explanation of the relationship between attraction and similarity of attitudes and personality traits, one of these models has suggested that similarity between persons functions as a special type of reinforcing event which derives its power from consensual validation or social comparison. The thesis of the present study is that similarity may not comprise a separate category of reinforcement but may derive its apparent reinforcing value from the fact that it is a correlate of pleasantness. Ss were pre-tested by having them rate, on two seven-point scales, the degree to which words were pleasant-unpleasant or descriptive-not descriptive of themselves. Four categories of twelve words per category were then selected for each S: words which were pleasant and like S, unpleasant and unlike S, pleasant but unlike S, and unpleasant but like S. Each category was then used as UCS words which were paired with trigrams as CS words according to the Staats procedure for conditioning meaning. The finding was that the evaluative (pleasant-unpleasant) and similarity (like me-unlike me) scales were highly positively correlated (r = .84). When the two variables were held constant across levels of each other, it was found that evaluation accurately predicted direction of conditioning of attitudes toward trig rams and that similarity ratings did not contribute to this prediction. It was proposed that the more hedonistic and behavioral concept of rated pleasantness may account for many of the apparent reinforcing effects of similarity without resorting to more cognitive terminology.
Description: Typescript.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii, 1969.
Bibliography: leaves [58]-64.
vi, 70 l
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/11906
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Psychology



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