Attitudes, Measurement, and Change – PSYC 860

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course examines theory, research, and application in attitudes and change. Through use of evidence-based psychological measurements, research regarding the growing field of implicit attitudes, with the more traditional study of persuasion will be addressed. Additionally, new research on the effects of attitude and change, as is understood within the concept of humanity’s information processing and behavior will be explored.


PSYC 712


The spectrum of humanity’s capacity to elicit and experience various attitudes is fairly limitless. Understanding the spectrum of attitude, how such is exhibited, the social impact of individual and communal attitude, and the neurological processes behind attitude are essential to recognizing how opinions, change, and motivation are created. This course will seek to explain how attitudes are established, the measurement of such, as well as how the processes of individual and societal change occur. This course will put major emphasis on the theory of attitude and research regarding reshaping the brain to elicit new attitudes, along with social and psychological evidence supporting the above claims. This course is designed to provide the student with research and theoretical tools for further understanding the created reality of humanity’s attitudes, as God has called each of us to be agents of redemptive change in our world today.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe classic theories related to attitude and change.
  2. Describe contemporary theories related to attitude and change.
  3. Utilize and interpret evidenced-based psychological measurements regarding attitude and change.
  4. Display an understanding of implicit and overt attitudes.
  5. Gain knowledge of neurological processes in relation to individual attitudes and change.
  6. Personally examine and further understand their own origins of attitude and change.
  7. Continue to develop writing and presentation skills, as expected at the doctoral level.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Group Presentation/Discussion

The instructor will place the student into a group at the beginning of the course. During week three each group will be required to present a pre-identified chapter from Part Two of the Amen (2015) text (chapters 6-18). No group may duplicate a chapter, therefore each group must choose and receive approval from the instructor regarding the chapter they would like to present on during week three. The presentation will be in summary form (**narrated power point is preferred), and then pose a series of questions related to the chapter in a video posted to the Group Discussion Board. The group must pose at least five questions. These questions must be sent to the professor for approval twenty-four hours before the presentation. At least two of the questions must relate to biblical integration to encourage thought on how one should think/deal with the particular chapter topic from a Christian worldview/perspective. The students within each of the other groups members must then reply to three of the five questions via discussion board. The responses must be at least 100 words per question, use one citation (per question) that references either the text, journal articles, theory, or outside research articles the student has read/summarized that relates to the question, and must be a discussion. Simply quoting from a text/article will not suffice, rather students need to show that the materials utilized and thoughts written in response to the questions are relevant to the topic addressed and have built upon the presentation and/or responses of other peers

Book Review

The student is required to read and review the Siegel (2011) text. The book review is to be a review, not a summary of the text. A brief summary may be given at the beginning of the assignment, however, considering the following questions, students will review the text: is the author’s style effective or hard to perceive; did the author achieve set goals; how can the overall impression of the text be evaluated (i.e. engaging, useful, dull, etc.); what strengths of the text exist, specifically when considering humanity’s attitudes and capacity for change; what weaknesses of the text exist, specifically when considering humanity’s attitudes and capacity for change; how might this text be used on a personal or professional basis; in what ways does this text align or fail to align with what is understood in Scripture about humankind’s ability to think, decide, and choose? The Book Review should be 5- 7 pages, written in APA format and consist of the following: an abstract, an introduction, a body which involves responding to the aforementioned questions, and a conclusion. All papers must have an APA title page and reference page. The title page and reference page do not count toward the total required page count.

Literature Review of Classical or Contemporary Theory of Attitude

The student will choose a classical or contemporary theory of attitude to write an 8-10 page literature review on. The literature review should include the following: an abstract, a thesis statement, the history and origins of the theory, the theorists associated with the theory, supporting literature, contradictory literature, how the theory has been used in the past, how the theory measures attitude or change, description of the individual or social use of the theory; suggestions for theory use in the future, how the theory aligns with what is understood about humanity within the Christian worldview, how the theory differs from what the Christian worldview believes about humanity, how the theory could be used by the Christian in the professional field of developmental psychology, and a conclusion. All papers must have an APA title page and reference page. The title page and reference page do not count toward the total required page count.

Discussion Board Posts of Chapter Summaries with Journal Selections (5)

For five of the module/weeks, the student will submit one chapter summary, from the readings of the given week, with support from at least one journal selection that will be used to understand both the topic and research related to the topic of interest each week. Each summary must be at least 350 words. Students will respond to at least two peers each week with a response of at least 175 words. Citation of texts and/or articles is encouraged in peer responses.

Midterm Exam

The Midterm will cover all content from modules/weeks 1–4, will consist of 5 short answer/essay questions, and will have a 2-hour time limit.

Final Exam

The Final Exam will be comprehensive. It will cover all material covered in this course, will consist of 5 short answer/essay questions, and will have a 2-hour time limit.