Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Haslam I 27
Attitudes and behavior/hospitality study/LaPiere: Initially, researchers simply assumed that there would be a strong correspondence between attitudes and action. Indeed, one of the reasons that individuals are interested in knowing the attitudes of others is precisely because of this assumption: if you know how a person feels about an issue, then this should be a good basis for predicting (and perhaps understanding) how they are going to behave in relation to that issue.
(…) a single piece of research (…) produced a particularly dramatic disconfirmation of the attitude–behaviour link: Richard LaPiere’s (1934)(1) hospitality study. LaPiere found a strong divergence in the rejection of strangers depending on whether he asked hotels for rooms in writing or spoke in person at hotels accompanied by Chinese.
Def Attitude/LaPiere: ‘a social attitude is a behaviour pattern [exhibited in response to] … designated social situations’ (1934(1): p. 230).
In other words, he reasoned that one can only determine how an individual feels about a particular attitude object by observing the individual’s response in relevant social situations.
Haslam I 28
[LaPiere’s] rationale for looking at hotel policies was that, for economic reasons, hotel proprietors might be motivated to reflect the broader attitudes of society at the time – in particular, wanting to ensure that their White clientele were not offended by the hotel’s policy of admitting or rejecting non-White guests. >Attitudes and Behavior/psychological theories, >Attitudes/psychological theories.


1. LaPiere, R.T. (1934) ‘Attitudes versus actions’, Social Forces, 13: 230–7.




Joanne R. Smith and Deborah J. Terry, “Attitudes and Behavior. Revisiting LaPiere’s hospitality study”, in: Joanne R. Smith and S. Alexander Haslam (eds.) 2017. Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
LaPiere, Richard
Haslam I
S. Alexander Haslam
Joanne R. Smith
Social Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2017


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