SbS@UvA Club: A Network Theory of Individual Attitudes

14/02/2020 @ 14:00 – 18:00
2nd and 3rd floor of the UvA Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) Oude Turfmarkt 147 Amsterdam


Jonas Dalege from Psychology Department of the University of Amsterdam


Attitude – the liking or disliking of an object – is one of the social sciences’ central concepts. While the focus on attitude has produced a vast amount of empirical findings, an overarching and formal theory of individual attitudeshas been lacking in the literature. In this talk, I present a novel perspective on individual attitudes that aims to provide such a theory. I first discuss the basic principles of this theory. Our framework holds that an attitude is a network consisting ofbeliefs (e.g., judging a politician as caring and honest), feelings (e.g., feeling hope and pride toward the politician), and behaviors (e.g., voting for the politician) vis-à-vis an attitude object (e.g., a politician). The influence between these attitudeelements becomes increasingly pronounced the more attention and thought an individual directs at the attitude object (i.e., the coherence between the attitude elements increases when one thinks about the politician). Second, I show that several hallmark findingsin the attitude literature follow from these principles, such as different routes of persuasion and differences between weak (i.e., fluctuating and inconsequential) and strong (i.e., durable and impactful) attitudes. Third, I discuss some ongoing research onour network theory of attitudes including the development of attitude networks and modeling the social dynamics of individual attitude networks.

14:00-16:00 : Informal discussions

16:00-17:00 : Plenary lecture

17:00-18:00 : drinks

You can find an agenda for weekly meetings on IAS website.

About the Friday Club
It’s a weekly informal gathering, where you can bring your issues/projects to discuss, help others to find solutions for their projects, exchange ideas and meet newpeople. The SbS Club opens at 14:00and there is no agenda other than a plenary session from 16:00-17:00, organized by junior scientists (e.g. lectures, discussions, a journal club).