Functional Approach to Attitude Formation

The object I chose for this discussion is hair weave. In the African American culture there are so many views and attitudes towards this particular object. I personally love hair weave for many reasons. In this discussion I will discuss three different functions that attitudes towards this object may serve.

Adjustment/Utilitarian Function- Most people tend to gravitate towards weave to enhance their appearance or simply change it. With hair weave there are endless possibilities. If you naturally have straight hair you can go curly, long to short, short to long, or braids to twists. Most women love the versatility and weave can most definitely add sex appeal in most cases. So in this situation individuals who love to look good or gain the attention of others, would most definitely have a positive attitude and liking for this object. “In addition, attitudes can serve to maximize rewards and minimize punishments obtained from objects in one’s environment (Katz’s utilitarian or instrumental function).” (Shavitt, 1990) I know personally my latest boyfriend used to love when I put in long weave, and i tended to do it often just to receive his praise and affection.

Value Expression Function-

“Attitudes can also aid in self-expression and social interaction. Smith et al. (1956) noted that attitudes mediate self-other relations and establish one’s identity (the social-adjustment function).” (Shavitt, 1990) In the african American culture women have found many creative ways to express themselves through hair. They stack it high, loop it around, cut designs, and color it. There are all types of ways to use this object for self expression reasons. I cannot keep the same hair style for more than 14 days because I’m constantly feeling different and I change my hair with my moods.

Ego Defensive-

In this scenario ones attitude could be negative toward the object. There are some women in the African American culture who are natural and embrace their natural kinky hair and fro. Weave actually posses a threat to the culture to some. Some women feel as though women wear hair weave because they hate their coarse thick hair, and prefer a silkier texture that does not represent the culture. This threat can cause negative attitudes toward the object.

⭐ Post 2 (Write a 50-100 words response)

Functional Approach to Attitude Formation

Social Media has a following which has developed rapidly and spread throughout the world within a relatively short time. Facebook is one example of social media which has garnered much attention lately. People’s attitudes toward Facebook seem to be complex and include functions from the three major categories. Shavitt (1990) describes the three categories as utilitarian, social identity, and self-esteem maintenance (p. 125).

The utilitarian function is useful in classifying objects which are beneficial to one’s being and there will be either a positive or negative attitude associated with it (Locander, 1978) (Shavitt, 1990). Individuals were using Facebook as a means to connect with family and friends, view snippets of other’s lives, and show off a bit of their own lives. One was rewarded through knowledge. People are curious about other’s lives and Facebook affords them the luxury of seeing what others are doing without having to personally engage in conversation.

One’s attitude toward Facebook can have a dramatic affect on their social identity. Locander and Spivey (1978) refer to the value-expressive function as being closely related to the one’s self-concept (p. 578) or as noted in Shavitt’s (1990) article, social identity (p. 125). The attitude one has toward Facebook says much about their self-concept. People regularly check to see how many “likes” they receive or how many people agree with them which influences their position within their social network. They may see themselves as gaining popularity with additional Facebook “friends” particularly if they had not felt so prior to using social media. The number of “likes,” friends or followers also serves to maintain one’s self esteem much in the same way it serves as a social identity function. The more friends they have the more popular they feel and the more likeable they believe themselves to be. An individual has control over their Facebook environment and friendships, therefore anyone who is disagreeable or unkind can be eliminated. The attitude object, Facebook, clearly influences attitude functions by means of functionality, social identity and self-esteem maintenance. I cannot think of another more relevant attitude object.


Locander, W. B. (1978). A Functional Approach to Attitude Measurement. Journal of Marketing Research (JMR), 15(4), 576-587.

Shavitt, S. (1990). The Role of Attitude Objects in Attitude Functions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, (26), 124-148.

⭐ Post 3 (Write a 50-100 words response)

Research Design and t Tests: How Are They Connected?

What is your research question?
My research question: Is there a relationship between parent employment status and student’s science self-efficacy?

What is the null hypothesis for your question?
The null hypothesis: There is no difference between student’s self-efficacy with parents working full time or with parents who have never worked for pay.

What research design would align with this question?
The best type of research design is correlational since the researcher would be simply collecting data without manipulating any variables.

What comparison of means test was used to answer the question (be sure to defend the use of the test using the article you found in your search)?
The comparison of means test used to answer the question is the t-test for independent samples.

What dependent variable was used and how is it measured?
The dependent variable is the level of student’s science self-efficacy and is metric level measurement.

What independent variable is used and how is it measured?
The independent variable is the parent employment status and is nominal measurement.

If you found significance, what is the strength of the effect?
My p-value is .807 which is above the conventional threshold of .050 so we fail to reject the null hypothesis.

Identify your research question and explain your results for a lay audience, what is the answer to your research question.
Is there a relationship between parent employment status and student’s science self-efficacy?

There is a significant difference in student’s science self-efficacy with parents who work full time versus parents who have never worked for pay.

My SPSS output is attached 🙂


Shavitt, S. (1990). The role of attitude objects in attitude functions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 26(2), 124–148.


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