Psychology 459† April 27, 2006

Attitudes and Behaviors

By Tawny Antonio


Forty Studies That Changed Psychology (pp. 287-295). By Roger Hock (2005). Pearson/Prentice Hall.


Instructions for this activity are found at:


Instructor: Dr. Leon James


I.                    Attitudes

A.     Social attitude

1.      The attitudes that one holds about other people or groups of people

B.     Does not always influence a personís behavior

C.     LaPiereís Study

1.      Real Behavior Phase

a.       LaPiere and his Chinese friends traveled across the U.S.

b.      They visited 67 hotels, auto camps, and tourist homes

c.       They also visited 184 restaurants and cafes

2.      Symbolic Behavior Phase

a.       LaPiere sent questionnaires to all the places that they visited after six months of the actual visits (to allow visit of Chinese couple to fade)

b.      The primary question of interest was: ďWill you accept members of the Chinese race as guests in your establishment?Ē

c.       There were responses from 81 restaurants and cafes and 47 lodging establishments

d.      LaPiere also sent questionnaires to 32 hotels and 96 restaurants in the same region, but had not been visited by the Chinese couple

3.      Results

a.       Over 90% of the visited hotels, campgrounds, tourist homes, restaurants, and cafes replied that they would not serve Chinese people

b.      Response of the nonvisited establishments was similar

c.       However, LaPiereís observationís during their travel was that the Chinese couple received average and even above average treatment

4.      Conclusion

a.       Attitudes DO NOT always directly influence a personís behavior


II.                 How LaPiereís study relates to Theistic Psychology

A.     The attitudes and beliefs presented in Theistic Psychology may or may not directly influence a personís behavior

1.      Just as a personís social attitude may not directly influence his/her behavior

B.     Those who study Theistic Psychology know what attitudes and beliefs are expected of them, but may not mold their behavior in alignment to them

1.      For example, we may have the belief that overeating is a hellish trait, but we may still do it

2.      Or, we may have the belief that altruistic acts are heavenly, but† we may not always behave in altruistic ways

a.       Parallel to the fact that in LaPiereís study, the response of the questionnaires were mostly that Chinese people were not welcome to be served

b.      However, when the establishments were actually faced with Chinese people firsthand, their actions were different



Related Websites:

I thought that this website would be interesting to read because it actually goes against what LaPiereís study concluded.† This website states that attitude DOES directly influence behavior.† I thought that having this as a related website would get us to consider other perspectives on the issue.

I chose this website because it discusses LaPiereís study with the Chinese couple.† It does also discuss a theory created by Fishbein and Ajzen.† It is an interesting theory and provides yet another perspective on attitudes and behaviors.

I chose this website because it goes into a little more detail about Fishbein and Ajzenís theory.† Their theory is called the Theory of Reasoned Action.† Their theory attempts to explain what drives peopleís behavior.



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