Introduction: persuasion, attitude, attitude measurement


1. (a) What is a paradigm (exemplary) case? Give examples. (b) Explain how the shared features of paradigm cases of a concept can provide clarification of the concept. (c) Explain how the “sharp edges” of a definition can lead to disputes over borderline cases.


2. (a) What are the shared features of exemplary cases of persuasion? (b) Explain how a successful attempt to influence is such a feature. (c) Explain how the persuader's intending to influence is such a feature. (d) Explain how some measure of freedom on the persuadee's part is such a feature. (e) Explain how having the effects be achieved through communication is such a feature. (f) Explain how a change in the persuadee's mental state is such a feature. (g) Do paradigm cases of persuasion always involve getting the persuadee to agree with what the persuader actually believes?


3. Explain how features present in full-fledged ways in paradigm cases can, when present in only some diminished fashion, make for borderline cases of a concept.


4. (a) Identify one important mental state often changed in persuasion. (b) What is an attitude? (c) Identify some broad features of attitudes. (d) Are attitude commonly acquired  through experience? Are attitudes relatively enduring? Do attitudes influence conduct? (e) Do paradigm cases of persuasion always involve changing attitudes?


5. (a) What are semantic differential evaluative scales? Explain how they work. (b) What are single-item attitude measures? What is the feeling thermometer? Identify a circumstance in which single-item attitude measures are especially useful. Identify and explain a weakness of such measures.


6. (a) Explain how quasi-explicit belief-based attitude measures assess attitudes. (b) Identify an advantage (and accompanying disadvantage) of using such attitude measures.


7. (a) Give an example of an implicit means of assessing attitudes. (b) Describe the idea behind information-test measures of attitude. What is the error-choice technique? How can an error-choice attitude scale (or, more generally, an information-test attitude measure) be validated? What is the known-group procedure? Explain the use of the known-group procedure for validating attitude scales.


8. (a) Explain how persuasion can be assessed using attitude measurement techniques. (b) Explain why other assessments (that is, other than attitude) may be useful or necessary. (c) Explain why assessments of actual persuasive effects are preferable to judgments of expected persuasive effects.