Effects of Criticism to Attitude Change Essay Example
Abstract The best theory to addresses how people’s attitudes change as situations and involvement change is social judgment theory.
A review of the literature on social judgment theory (SJT) improves understanding of one’s own judgment process and of one’s work, marital and interpersonal relationship. The social judgment theory of attitude change was first presented by the U. S. -based Turkish psychologist Muzafer Sherif (1906–88) and the U. S. psychologist Carl I(vor) Hovland (1912–61) in Social Judgment (1961).
SJT attempted to explain how attitude change is influenced by judgmental processes.The focus of SJT was about attitude change on a specific issue that results from judgments on related issues. This study provides insight literature review on how individual would change their attitude while they adopt in response to negative feedbacks. Introduction People frequently make comments about another person’s behavior, appearance, or...
personal characterizes expressly or mutely based on their personal opinion and experience. Compliments and praises are positive feedbacks which make people happy; criticisms are the opposites.
Individuals tend to get angry when others make negative feedback, but be likely to accept positive feedback.However, negative feedback is not all harmful and pernicious. Criticism could be divided into two categories: constructive criticism and destructive criticism. Pervious research has focused on negative effects of destructive criticism which produce greater anger and tension and indicated that people who received destructive criticism would be more likely to handle future disagreements with the source through resistance or avoidance (Baron, 1988).
This state-of-art literature review of social judgment theory (SJT) has found that SJT is able to enhance our acceptance of criticism.The paper focuses on how individuals would change their attitude in response
to negative feedbacks. Criticism Criticism is an act of criticizing about one’s behavior, appearance, or personal characterizes. Criticism could be constructive, negative feedback that was specific, considerate, and did not attribute poor performance to internal cause, or destructive, negative feedback that was negative common and violated (Baron, 1988). Being critical is easy and offering criticism seems easily as well.
However, individual often give destructive criticism rather than constructive criticism.Yet constructive criticism, the more refined and effective way of critical feedback and is like an art when compared to nagging, nit-picking, aggressive and negativity. Moreover, there are times when offering constructive critical feedback is essential to maintaining excellence and strong relationships. Social Judgment Theory Social judgment theory attempts to explain how individuals change their attitudes when influenced by judgmental processes (Sherif & Hovland, 1961). The basic idea of this theory is that a change of a person’s attitude depends on the position of the persuasive message that is being received (Jager & Amblard, 2004).The major cause of attitude change is with self-involvement.
If a person relates strongly with a persuasive message on a particular issue, then that person will be more likely to resist attitude change. Theoretical Origins The SJT of attitude change was first presented by the U. S. -based Turkish psychologist Muzafer Sherif (1906–88) and the U. S. psychologist Carl I(vor) Hovland (1912–61) in: Social Judgment (1961).
SJT was originally developed by the Yale Communication and Attitude Change Program which Carl Hovland contributed during WWII to research under military auspices on communication and attitude assessment (Sherif & Hovland, 1961).In 1948, Carl Hovland collaborated with Muzafer Sherif and discovered the possibility of a research approach
to attitudes and attitude change in terms of basic findings and principles from laboratory studies of judgment and of assimilation-contract effects (Sherif, Sherif & Nebergall, 1965). Further, Carl Hovland advanced the experimental study of attitude and attitude change in the direction of social judgment approach (Sherif & Hovland, 1961). However, Carl Hovland died before completing the book Social Judgment in 1961, thus Sherif carried on their study and published the book after Hovland's death (Sherif & Hovland, 1961).Carolyn W. Sherif, Muzafer Sherif’s wife, is one of primary theorist of social judgment theory (Sherif et al.
, 1965). Carolyn W. Sherif and Muzafer integrated the social judgment-involvement approach into the study of individual attitude and behavior within the patterned interaction of such groups in Attitude and Attitude Change: The Social Judgment-Involvement Approach (1965), the book in which the social judgment-involvement theory is detailed. Fundamental Theoretical Ideas The focus of SJT is that an attitude change on a specific issue will result from judgments on related issues.Because we cannot observe a person's attitude using traditional research methods, therefore the social judgment theory was developed (Sherif & Sherif, 1968). Based on Muzafer Sherif and Carl Hovland’s research (1961), they establish the ordered alternative questionnaire to measure the judgments.
The questionnaire requires that the participant rate a list of statements as being acceptable, objectionable, or non-commitment (neither acceptable nor objectionable). An individual’s latitudes of acceptance, rejection, and non-commitment represent an individual’s feelings about the topics.According to Sherif et al. (1965), an individual’s latitudes of acceptance, rejection, and non-commitment may be affected by ego-involvement. Ego-involvement is referring to someone’s involvement with an issue.
The more involved an individual is with
an issue and the more it relates to something that greatly matters to that individual, the more ego-involving it is (Sherif & Hovland, 1961; Sherif et al. , 1965; Sherif & Sherif, 1968). For instance, having a close cross-sex friendship might affect individuals’ romantic relationship stability; it is ego-involving.Thus, a person might be said to be ego-involved when the issue has personal significance to the individual, when the person’s stand on the issue is central to his or her sense of self, when the issue is important to the person, when the person intensely holds a given position, when the person is strongly committed to the position, and so on. Attitudes associated with high ego-involvement tend to have narrow latitudes of acceptance and wide latitudes of rejection, and the reverse applies to attitudes of low ego-involvement (Sherif & Hovland, 1961; Sherif et al.
1965; Sherif & Sherif, 1968). Assimilation and contrast effects are also key concepts centered to social judgment theory. The receiver’s reaction to a given persuasive communication will depend on how he or she assesses the point of view it is advocating (Sherif et al. , 1965). An assimilation effect occurs when the receiver perceives the message that falls within the latitude acceptance as advocating a position closer to his or her own position than it actually does.A contrast effect occurs when the receiver perceives the message within the latitude of rejection as advocating a position further away from his or her own positions than it actually does and it leads to polarization of ideas (Sherif et al.
). Communication that is perceived to advocate a position that falls in the latitude of
acceptance or the latitude of non-commitment will produce attitude change in the advocated direction. On the other hand, there will be no change of attitude if communication that is perceived to advocate a position falls in the latitude of rejection (Sherif et al. , 1965).As receivers become increasingly involved in an issue, their latitudes of rejection presumably grow larger.
When applied to social judgments, these effects show that the most effective position to advocate for changing another’s attitude judgment is the most extreme position within that person’s “latitude of acceptance,” within which assimilation effects will make your position seem more like their own. Beyond this latitude lies the latitude of rejection, within which any position will be seen as more different from one’s own due to contrast effects (Sherif et al). Major Areas of Interpersonal Use and FindingsSJT has been applied to a variety of interpersonal areas including interpersonal conflict (Albright, Cohen, Malloy, Christ, & Bromgard, 2003; Dhir & Markman, 1984), social perception (Livingston, 2001), and attitude change (Eagly & Telaak, 1972; Jager & Amblard, 2004; Park, Levine, Westerman, Orfgen & Foregger, 2007; Rhine & Severance, 1970). Social judgment theory has been extensively used in attitude change. First, Rhine and Severance (1970) applied SJT to attitude change of discrepancies between a person’s own position and a persuasive communication.
The study revealed three variables influencing attitude hange: the credibility of the source of a persuasive communication, the role of ego-involvement in attitude change, and the discrepancy between a persuasive message and the attitude of persons. In 1972, Eagly and Telaaks’s research have focused on a specific issue, birth control, to investigate how discrepant the communication was
from the subjects’ initial positions. The principal finding of their study indicated that persons with wide latitudes of acceptance on an issue changed their attitudes toward a persuasive communication on that issue, while persons with narrow or medium latitudes of acceptance did not change (Eagly & Telaak).Furthermore, SJT also approached to conduct formative research in social norms campaigns (Smith, Atkin, Martell, Allen, & Hembroff, 2006). Social norms campaigns deliver messages to combat extreme drinking, drug use, smoking and other risky and harmful behaviors to a majority of students. The research determined that the latitudes of acceptance, noncommitment, and rejection were significantly different from one another in terms of believability.
However, SJT predicts that campaigns based on a norm falling in the latitude of noncommitment will be likely to be effective.A series of messages using the true norms were part of campaigns because the message fell within the latitude of noncommitment (Smith et al. ). Most recent research that Park et al.
(2007) conducted was focused on the effects of argument quality and involvement type on attitude formation and attitude change by reconciling two opposite approaches: dual-process models and social judgment theory. In social judgment, ego-involvement makes people more resistant to persuasion, whereas in dual-process models, people who highly involved with issue are susceptible to persuasion when argument quality is high (Park et al. . The study found that argument quality is most important determinant of persuasion; strong arguments produced greater attitude change in the direction of message recommendations than weak arguments. Listen to Criticism SJT can make better understanding of the effects of criticism toward attitude change.
SJT is a very useful theory that helps
individual to give or to take someone’s criticism. Social judgment theory would be able to predict how an incoming criticism will be judged and how likely a person to be persuaded by a message (Park et al. 2007). According to Rhine and Severance (1970), individuals may perceive criticism by three variables: the credibility of the source of a persuasive communication, the role of ego-involvement in attitude change, and the discrepancy between a persuasive message and the attitude of persons. Thus, to assist individuals perceive criticism message effectively is to seek for supported information to prove the sources are highly credible and in turn to reduce discrepancy between constructive criticism and destructive criticism.For instance, if an individual would be able to assess the criticism he/she received is credible; the perception of destructive criticism can become to constructive criticism which might enhance individuals’ relationship in various levels such as peers, couples, families and work setting (Baron, 1988; Rudawsky et al.
, 1999). Individuals may listen effectively to criticism by assimilation and contrast effects. When the receiver perceives the criticism as advocating a position closer to his or her own position than it actually does, an assimilation effect occurs (Sherif et al, 1965).Hence, individuals would be able to listen effectively to criticism if individuals minimize the differences between the message’s position and the receiver’s position.
Attitude Change Variables According to Rudawsky, Lundgren, and Grasha (1999), the effect of individuals’ reaction to criticism may be based on three variables: emotion, ego-involvement, and closeness. First, the amount of negative affect or anger felt and the amount of thought the receiver gives to the feedback would be able to predict an
individual’s degree of rejection or acceptance of negative feedback.Second, the negativity of the feedback content and ego-involvement, the importance of topic area to the receiver, also influences individual’s reactions to criticisms. Thirdly, the closeness of the relationship between the sender and the receiver also affect individuals’ reaction to criticism. Receiving Destructive Criticism/ Constructive Criticism It’s easier to give destructive criticism than constructive when individuals make comments to others.
Negative criticism has been shown to be a reliable cause of interpersonal conflict (Rudawsky et al, 1999).Individuals would able to change their attitudes and widen the length of latitude of acceptance while they receive constructive criticism. Constructive criticisms are thoughtful comments by senders which improve individuals’ different types of relationships, such as dating couples, parents, peers (Feeney, 2004; Klein & Milardo, 2000) and co-workers (Baron, 1988; Kohli & Jaworski, 1994;). According to Feeney (2004), criticism was expected to have less severe effects in couple relationship. criticism still generated substantial distress, anger, and/or depression.Criticism could be received as potential correcting negative evaluations.
In couple relationships, the amount of negative affect or anger felt and the amount of thought the partner gives to the feedback would be able to predict the others’ degree of rejection or acceptance of negative feedback. Conclusion This study emphasized social judgment theory which help individual better understand the effect effects of criticism on attitude change. When individuals receive unfavorable comments or feedbacks, they will produce two levels of criticism: constructive and destructive.To be able to listen openly and wisely, individuals might change their attitude, belief or behavior to reduce the rejection. In social judgment theory, if individuals would be more likely to change their
attitude with low ego-involvement and wider the length of latitude of acceptance. Criticism may significantly affect several different types of relationships, such as dating couples, parents, peers (Feeney, 2004; Klein & Milardo, 2000) and co-workers (Baron, 1988; Kohli & Jaworski, 1994;).
Within the context of a romantic relationship, criticism has been noted as one of the most hurtful events in a relationship (Feeney). Among peers, negative feedback often results in interpersonal conflict (Rudawsky et al. , 1999). According to Baron, poor use of criticism in the work environment produces negative feelings among recipients affecting task performance and job satisfaction.
Scholars have noted that criticism tends to be received in a negative light (Rudawsk et al. ). It’s often to hear the third person’s perception as a social judgment in our life.The message we perceive might influence or persuade our position or attitude. If our attitudes fall in the latitude of acceptance or the latitude of noncommitment that will produce attitude change in the advocated direction.
On the other hand, there will be no change of attitude if communication that is perceived to advocate a position falls in the latitude of rejection (Sherif, Sherif, & Nebergall, 1965). As receivers become increasingly involved in an issue, their latitudes of rejection presumably grow larger.When applied to social judgments, these effects show that the most effective position to advocate for changing another's attitude judgment is the most extreme position within that person's "latitude of acceptance," within which assimilation effects will make your position seem more like their own. Further study of listening to criticism could explore the dialectical tensions which several dialectical contradictions exist within relationships (Baxter, 2007) that affect
how individuals perceive criticism.
First, individuals might have dialectical tensions of praise and criticism.According to Klein and Milardo (2000), individuals expect to hear praise and support from their families, partners and friends. When an individual receives an unexpected message, the message may be viewed as a criticism. Second, individuals might have dialectical tensions of self-confidence and self-abasement. For instance, some individuals may outwardly appear to have high self-confidence, however, their internal low self-esteem may result in their rejection of criticism (Klein & Milardo).
In conclusion, we should, then, be careful to criticize in ways that are more likely to be received positively.While we do not have power over how others criticize us, we can control how we receive criticism. Criticism can assist interpersonal communication in a positive direction. References Albright, L. , Cohen, A. I.
, Malloy, T. E. , Christ, T. , & Bromgard, G. (2004).
Judgments of communicative intent in conversation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 290-302. Baron, R. (1988).
Negative effects of destructive criticism: Impact on conflict, self-efficacy, and task performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 73, 199-207. Eagly, A. H.
, & Telaak, K. (1972).Width of the latitude of acceptance as a determinant of attitude change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 23, 399-397.
Feeney, J. A. (2004). Hurt feelings in couple relationships: Towards integrative models of the negative effects of hurtful events. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 21, 487-508.
Jager, W. , & Amblard, F. (2004). Uniformity, bipolarization and pluriformity captured as generic stylized behavior with an agent-based simulation model of attitude change.
Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, 10, 295-303. Klein, R. C. A.
, & Milardo, R.M. (2000).
The social context of couple conflict: Support and criticism from informal third parties. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 17, 618-637.
Kohli, A. K. , & Jaworski, B. J. (1994).
The influence of coworker feedback on salespeople. Journal of Marketing, 58, 82-94. Paek, H. , Pan, Z. , Sun, Y. , Abisaid, J.
& Houden, D. (2005). The third-person perception as social judgment: An exploration of social distance and uncertainty in perceived effects of political attack ads. Communication research, 32, 143-170. Park, H.
S. , Levine, T. R. , Westerman, C. Y.
K. , Orfgen, T. & Foregger, S. (2007).
The effects of argument quality and involvement type on attitude formation and attitude change: A test of dual-process and social judgment predictions. Human Communication Research, 33, 81–102. Rhine, R. J. , & Severance, L. (1970).
Ego-involvement, discrepancy, source credibility, and attitude change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 16, 175-190. Rudawsky, D. J. , Lundgren, D. C.
, & Grasha, A. F. (1999). Competitive and collaborative responses to negative feedback. The International Journal of Conflict Management, 10, 172-190. Sherif, C.
W. , Sherif, M. & Nebergall, R. E.
(1965). Attitude and attitude change: The social judgment-involvement approach. Philadelphia: Saunders. Sherif, C. W.
& Sherif, M. (1968). Attitude, ego-involvement, and change. New York: John Wiley. Sherif, M.
, & Hovland, C. I. (1961). Social judgment: Assimilation and contrast effects in communication and attitude change. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Smith, S.
W. , Atkin, C. K. , Martell, D. , Allen, R.
, & Hembroff, L. (2006). A social judgment theory approach to conducting formative research in a social norms campaign. Communication Theory, 16, 141–152.
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