Walden University Impacts of Cognition Application

One of the central areas of study and research within social psychology is attitudes. There are three key areas of research: (1) how attitudes are formed, (2) the functions they serve, and (3) the nature of the attitude–behavior relationship. Early theorists speculated that attitude formation comes from an ego-defensive nature. More current research focuses on precise functions of specific attitudes. Ultimately, one goal of increased understanding of attitude formation is to be able to link attitudes to actual behavior, although this area of study has yielded conflicting results.

For this Assignment, consider the impacts of cognition, affect, and behavior on attitude formation and think about the functions of attitudes.

The Assignment (3 pages)

  • Explain at least two ways cognition, affect, and behavior impact attitude formation. Explain at least three functions attitudes serve. Support your response using both formal theoretical and empirical literature addressing attitude function.
  • Explain the extent to which you believe attitudes can have an impact on behavior.
  • Be specific and use the Learning Resources and the current literature to support your response.


  • Hogg, M. A., & Cooper, J. M. (Eds.). (2007). The Sage handbook of social psychology(concise student ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
    • Chapter 6, “Attitudes: Foundations, Functions, and Consequences”
    • Chapter 9, “Attitude Change”
  • Article: Albarracin, D., & Handley, I. M. (2011). The time for doing is not the time for change: Effects of general action and inaction goals on attitude retrieval and attitude change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100(6), 983–998.
  • Irimia, C. (2011). Empathy as a source of attitude change. Contemporary Readings in Law & Social Justice, 2(2), 319–324.
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