This chapter examines how principles in social psychology can be applied to instructional technology. Two areas are discussed to explain why individuals would have a positive attitude towards instructional technology but not engage in consistent behaviors. Social psychological research demonstrates attitudes do not necessarily correlate with behaviors. Factors that moderate this relationship include attitude extremity, attitude importance, attitude accessibility, direct experience, attitude specificity, habits, and social norms. Additionally, if individuals cannot comprehend messages, they cannot develop their knowledge of instructional technology even if they wanted. To comprehend messages, individuals have to have the ability (i.e., both knowledge and time) to thoroughly process them. Examples are provided illustrating each of these concepts. The author hopes by examining the field of social psychology, new ideas, new understanding, and new areas of research can emerge in the field of instructional technology.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Social Psychology: Social psychology is the scientific study of how individuals relate with and are influenced by other people.
Attitude Strength: Attitude strength is the stability of an attitude and the impact the attitude has on information processing and behavior.
Ability: Ability is having the resources (e.g., knowledge, time) to accomplish a task.
Cognitive Miser: Cognitive miser is the idea that people minimize the use of their cognitive resources.
Attitude-Behavior Consistency: Attitude/behavior consistency is whether an attitude (i.e., overall evaluation) does or does not correspond with behavior (i.e., action).
Motivated Tactician: Motivated tactician is the idea that people choose when to minimize the use of their cognitive resources and when to engage in effortful processing of information.
Situationism: Situationism is the theory that situations are a major determinant of individual behavior.