Discussion 2: Attitude Change

Consider the following scenario of Julie:

As her New Year’s resolution, Julie decided it was finally time she got in shape. Years ago, she ran regularly, but more recently, work and family have dominated her time. Julie still thought running was her best option; she lived in Florida with its year-round good weather, and the only financial investment was a good pair of running shoes and the right clothes. Having finally made this decision, Julie was very excited. She bought new shoes, running shorts, and performance tops, making her commitment to running even stronger. She designed a realistic running regimen she was certain she could follow. Day 1 came and, dressed in her new gear, Julie started down her street; the plan was to run to the nearby park about one mile away. She did not want to push it on the first day; after all, it had been years since she had run. When she had run a little less than a block, she was gasping for air, forcing her to stop. Her lungs were on fire, she was dizzy and nauseous. What Julie failed to consider was her pack-a-day cigarette smoking habit that seemed to throw a wrench in her plan.

Conflicted, Julie knew something had to change. She fancied herself a runner who liked smoking cigarettes; unfortunately, running and smoking were incompatible. Would her desire for cigarettes convince her that getting in shape was not all that important? Or, would her desire to get in shape convince her that smoking was counterproductive to her goals? 

To Prepare

  • Think about how different theories of attitude change explain Julie’s dilemma.
  • Consider how different theories of attitude change address the likelihood of someone in Julie’s dilemma changing her or his attitude or behavior.

Post a description of the theory of attitude change that best explains Julie’s dilemma. Per the theory, explain whether Julie would be more likely to change her attitude or her behavior. Please explain why.