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Term Paper on Social Judgement Theory

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TRAITS OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOR| A Term Paper on the traits of Consumer Behavior| BY SUSHIL TAMANG | Submitted to: Mr. Rupesh K. Shrestha Facilitator, Consumer Behavior Submitted to: Mr. Rupesh K. Shrestha Facilitator, Consumer Behavior Social judgment theory (SJT) is a persuasion theory proposed by Muzafer Sherif and Carl Hoyland (hoyland & Sherif, 1980). According to Sherif, Social Judgment Theory is the perception and evaluation of an idea by comparing it with current attitudes.

We do this by weighing every new idea by comparing it with our present point of view (hoyland & Sherif, 1980). SJT is a theory that focuses on the internal processes of an individual's judgment with relation to a communicated message. SJT was intended to be an explanatory method designed to detail when persuasive messages are most likely to succeed. Attitude change is the fundamental objective of persuasive communication. SJT seeks to specify the conditions under which this change takes place and predict the direction and extent of the attitude change.

SJT attempts to explain how likely a person might be to change their opinion, the probable direction of that change, their tolerance toward the opinion of others, and their level of commitment to their position (Mallard, 2010). Social judgment is how we perceive people, how we form impressions about them and how we think about social things. Social psychology is concerned with how we make these judgments, how accurate they are, and what are the consequences of these judgments. How we form first impressions and respond to people depends on how we judge them.

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Sometimes we judge people incorrectly. Misjudgments are the basis of prejudice and discrimination. In light if these, information we will try to find out the effects of social judgment on different professionals and their decision style. We try to find out where the social judgment really brings change in the deciders mind. We will see then effects of social judgment on the mind of the these professional whose decision create a lots of impact on other people. Now before we see how the SJT effects decision of the professional, we must first know what the decision is making process.

Judgment is concerned with the discrimination and categorization of stimuli, it attempts to explain how attitudes are expressed, judged, and modified. (Darity, 2008) A judgment occurs when a person compares at least two stimuli and makes a choice about them. With regard to social stimuli specifically, judgment processes incorporate both past experiences and present circumstances. (Sherif C. , 1963). As a judgment process, categorization and attitude formation is a product of recurring instances so that past experiences influence decisions regarding aspects of the current situation.

Therefore, attitudes are acquired. (Sherif, Sherif, ; Nebergaill, 1965). As we see that our judgment is based on the attitude that we have towards a certain object. And we chose our decision on basis of our judgment. But knowing this much only isn’t enough we must also know what are the types of decision we make on basis of our judgment, do we accept object on basis of our judgment or we reject it or we don’t take our bias judgment under consideration. SJT illustrates how people compare their personal positions on issues to other people’s positions.

Individuals hold both a personal position on an issue and latitudes of what they think is acceptable or unacceptable in general for other people. (Sherif, Sherif, ; Nebergaill, 1965) Social attitudes are not cumulative, especially regarding issues where the attitude is extreme. (Mallard, 2010) This means a person may not agree with less extreme stands relative to his/her position, even though they may be in the same direction. Plus people with same attitude may have different opinion on the same matter this is due to their past experience and knowledge.

On basis of our judgment we have 3 range of latitude where we accept, reject or non-commit to the object. There is the latitude of acceptance which is the range of ideas that a person sees as a reasonable or worthy of consideration, the latitude of rejection, which is the range of ideas that a person sees as unreasonable or objectionable, and finally the Latitude of non-commitment which is the range of ideas that a person sees as neither acceptable nor questionable. Griffin, 2011) Now, with this information imprinted in our minds, we will try analyze the effect of SJT on the professional whose decision affects other person. We will discuss on two researches that were don’t on professionals with regards to social judgment theory. The first study tries to identify the informational cues that driver-assessor-trained occupational therapist (DATOTs) consider when making driver licensing recommendations for older and functionally impaired clients. (Unsworth, 2007).

The research focuses on the cues that clinicians believe that are most important when making licensing decision. It was found that there were 8 major cues out of which 4 most important were driving instructors intervention, drivers behavior, cognitive and perceptual skill, vehicle handling and 4 lesser cues were road law knowledge, physical skill, sensory function and medical prognosis. (Unsworth, 2007) Although the ranks were seen that way the variation for the lesser important cues were very low meaning they were main consideration by clinicians.

So, then putting that prospect and adding it to the older and functionally impaired client, it is clear to say that they will be in disadvantage. The social judgment of clinician will focus more on the lesser cues while judging these clients. The second research focus on the positive aspect of the social judgment. Judgment analysis, the methodology of social judgment theory, has significant potential for overcoming the limitations of a pure information-processing approach. It has been successfully used in a wide variety of fields, Such as medicine, finance and weather forecasting.

It has also been successfully used to analyze the relationship between individuals' decision making in multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams that included occupational therapists. (Harries & Harries, 2001) This research studied prioritization policies in community mental health work; it aimed to find out how SJT helps to make proper, accurate and right decision of mental health referrals. In this research the participants social judgment influenced their decision making even though the protocol said otherwise.

This was very important because sometime the client who doesn’t match the basis criteria may need mental care the most. That can only be seen by the insight of participants. There biasness may save a person life. So, we see that two researches above proved one point first, that social judgment theory does effect the decision of professional that's what the term paper aimed to do. We clearly see that attitude, perception, past experience of these professionals effect the decision they make which might not be by the books.

The term paper fulfilled its primary purpose but in the process it also shows that having social judgment is negative, it has it pros and cons. Sometimes having social judgment saves peoples live and sometimes it deprive people of their right. SJT helps it make better decision where the protocols aren’t very specific and are sketchy, in those scenarios our insight helps us a lot to differentiate what's right and what's wrong. In conclusion, we can say that whether the SJT has positive or negative impact, its existence is undeniable.

Bibliography Darity, W. (2008). Social Judgment Theory: Detroit. Detroit: Macmillian Reference USA. Griffin, E. (2011). A first look at communication Theory. New York: McGraw Hill. Harries, P. A. , ; Harries, C. (2001). Studying clinical reasoning, Part 2: Applying social judgement Theory. British Journal of occupational therapist, 64-69. hoyland, c. I. , ; Sherif, M. (1980). Social Judgment:Assimilation and contrast effect in communication and attitude change. Greenwood. Mallard, J. (2010). Communication Teacher.

Sherif, C. (1963). Social categorization as a function of latitude of acceptance and series range. Journal of abnormal and social psychology, 148-156. Sherif, C. , Sherif, M. , ; Nebergaill, R. (1965). Attitude and attitude change. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company. Unsworth, C. A. (2007). Using Social Judgment Theory to study occupational therapists' use information when making driver licensing recomendation for older and funcitionally impaired adults. The American journal of occupatonal Therapy, 493-502.

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