Social Judgement Theory and Cultural Considerations
Attitude Before Watching the Video
My attitude towards HIV tends to be negative. Maybe it could be classified as fear because nothing terrifies me more than the thought of HIV. I know people would condemn me for having such an attitude, but some experiences led me there, and I had to tell myself it was okay to feel that way. I took care of a person at the last stage of the disease at a very young age, and I don’t think the pictures ever left my head. I was hoping that this person would get better regardless of being on that stage, but that did happen. The person died, and I was left with memories of what I had seen, but I never really talked about the trauma I got from that experience. I would not say I dislike people with the ailment, but I do not like being close to them because I would never want to experience such an encounter again. My culture tends to inform this attitude because people with the disease are treated as outcasts. They are also very feared. When you are seen associating with a person with the disease, especially in dating terms, people assume you have the disease, too. However, I believe that the law should protect such individuals.
The Parts of the Video That Fit My Attitude
Some parts of the video fit my attitude because a large section talks about the negative perceptions and doings towards the infected individuals and the vulnerable groups. The speaker says that HIV tends to bring out the best and the worst in humanity, and the laws reflect these attitudes. Typically, these are not merely laws on the books but also regulations enforced on the streets. Accordingly, this fits my attitude because I feel that HIV invoked some horrible attitudes in me. The point of enforcing bad laws is similar to how my community has developed the dos and don’ts towards the infected individuals with the notion of treating them as outcasts.
Assimilating and Contrasting Scenarios
The speaker advocates for changes in laws to protect the infected: I assimilate with most of the suggestions that have been given. For example, the speaker says that inventing a cure or a vaccine for the disease may be impossible, but modifying the law is rather easy. Consequently, a legislation review on this issue should be done in various countries. This is true; the government has power, and it has the facility to change the laws, for instance, in cases where prisoners are exposed to very high rates of HIV infections. Typically, governments should abolish laws discriminating against or punishing infected people. I also found myself assimilating with the point that in cases where people living with HIV or people who are at a great infection rate are criminalized, the epidemic tends to be fuelled.
Regulations criminalizing drug intake and possession tend to weaken health among PWID access to harm reduction. As people are shamed, unaccepted, and discriminated against, the infection rates will most likely increase because people are not willing to be tested to get stigmatized. Even though I have been terrified of the ailment, I want the best for the infected individuals, which means that I am supportive of the recommended initiatives for the government. However, I am contrasting with the point that HIV tends to bring out the best and the worst in humanity. I don’t see any best thing that has come from HIV. Even if there were any good, it would be heavily overshadowed by the numerous worst things.
Evaluation of Attitude after Watching the Video
Now that I have watched the video, my attitude is less fearful and more concerned and compassionate for the infected individuals. This is because it is clear that they go through a lot of injustices and discrimination. For example, the woman said that the nurses asked why people get pregnant, knowing that they are HIV positive. This must have been very tough to hear because she could have already been fighting the pain of having an ailment. In the other case, Nick Rhoades was imprisoned for 25 years for HIV transmission and exposure and had actually committed the crime. He was convinced that he was a horrible person for committing the crime. Typically, laws ensure that the infected individuals and those at high risk are safeguarded from discrimination and violence, not forgetting that they ensure treatment and prevention. Unfortunately, the good regulations tend to be counterbalanced by the extremely bad ones, but governments can change this.
Application of the Social Justice Theory to another Issue
Another social issue is mental illness. Mental illness is a condition that tends to be stigmatized. According to social judgment theory, people tend to have three zones whereby they reject or accept precise attitudes (Griffin et al., 2015). These comprise acceptance latitude, rejection latitude, and con-commitment latitude. In acceptance, latitude zones tend to be where people place attitudes that they regard as vital (Lane, 2001). My attitude towards mental illness is negative because I tend to see that marrying a person with such an issue can be transmitted to children. In conclusion, dating someone with the condition or history is not something I would consider. However, these people need love and support rather than discrimination.
Griffin, E. A., Ledbetter, A., & Sparks, G. G. (2015). A first look at communication theory. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Lane, D. R. (2001). Spring 2001 theory workbook. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
Strathdee, S. A., Beletsky, L., & Kerr, T. (2015). HIV, drugs, and the legal environment. International Journal of Drug Policy, 26, S27-S32.
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Assignment: Social Judgement Theory and Cultural Considerations
Take a moment to consider what you have explored so far about the role of influence and persuasion in everyday interactions. You have examined theories developed by experts to provide a vocabulary and way of thinking about how influence and persuasion operate in daily life. People use persuasion techniques and strategies to address specific needs, such as how to market products, which was the focus of the Discussion this week. Another use of persuasion theories is in working to change attitudes that you may have about social problems.
One social problem that involves both people around the world and strong attitudes is the issues surrounding HIV, as highlighted in the Ted Talk for this assignment..
The purpose of this assignment is for you to analyze your attitudes toward HIV, considering what you learn in the video.
Notice in Chapter 4 the information about how your values and beliefs inform your attitudes. Another way to think about this is to consider how your culture is foundational to how you think and feel about a situation or issue, in this case, HIV.
As you read Chapter 5, pay attention to two components of the social judgment theory: 1. Latitude of agreement (where do you fall on the continuum of evaluation about HIV?) and 2. Assimilation (to what degree do you assume others think/feel as you do?)
Before Watching The Video
Think about HIV and write down a few sentences that explain your attitude toward this disease.
Be sure you are prepared to stop and start the video as you take notes.
As You Watch The Video
Consider what points in the Ted Talk fit within your latitude of acceptance and where you processed the information selectively; in other words, when did you discard information that did not fit within your latitude of acceptance?
By Day 7
Submit a 3- to 5-page paper that addresses the following:
Describe the attitude you had toward HIV before watching the video and this assignment. Be sure to include how your culture informs this attitude.
Explain which parts of the video fit with the attitude you had about HIV before watching the video.
Analyze the notes you took while watching the video as they pertain to your biases. In other words, where did you find yourself assimilating (provide examples) and where did you find yourself contrasting with the information on the video (provide examples)?
Evaluate your attitude toward HIV now that you have watched the video and understand the concepts of latitude of acceptance and assimilation. In other words, to what degree has your attitude toward HIV changed and why?
Conclude your paper by explaining how the components you used for this paper from the social judgement theory apply to your attitudes about one other social issue. Be specific.
Perloff, R. M. (2021). The dynamics of persuasion: Communication and attitudes in the 21st century (7th ed.). Routledge.
Chapter 4, “Attitudes: Definition and Structure”
Chapter 5, “The Power of Our Passions: Theory and Research on Strong Attitudes”
These chapters, of your text, cover key themes for the week. Complete the reading in Chapter 4 to prepare for the Assignment this week and in Chapter 5 to prepare your Discussion post.
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