Social Judgement Theory

Essay by gypsyrocCollege, UndergraduateA, May 2007

download word file, 4 pages 4.6

Social judgment theory holds that when a message is heard the receiver of the message immediately forms an opinion on the matter. The individual then categorized the opinion into one of three divisions known as attitude zones. From this point on, every new message about the same topic is compared with one’s present point of view on the subject.

Social judgment theory was introduced by psychologist Muzafer Sherif (Griffin, 2006, p. 207). As a part of his theory, Sherif, has three classifications for responses to messages that he calls attitude zones (Griffin, 2006, p. 207). The first zone is called the latitude of acceptance and represents statements that individuals feel are true and/or believable (Griffin, 2006, p. 207). The second attitude zone is the latitude of rejection. This zone shows the statements an individual sees as objectionable or unreasonable (Griffin, 2006, p. 207). The third and final zone is the latitude of noncommitment.

These are the statements that the individual has no opinion on (Griffin, 2006, p. 207). It is the same as marking a survey with undecided or no opinion. The placement of this information into zones can help one determine another’s ego-involvement, which shows how crucial the issue is to the person.

In my original assumption on social judgment theory I stated it would be interesting to see the different opinions on a single topic. For the purpose of this study, I have selected gambling as the topic. Rather then observe those around me and record their actions I decided the results would be more accurate to do interviews. I spoke to three individuals and read them each the same seven statements I came up with about gambling. I followed the outline and directions given by Em Griffin in Communications: A First Look At Communication Theory (Griffin, 2006,