What is the REAL reason why you either support or oppose gay marriage? We may give logical reasons for our opinions, but the roots behind your opinion lies – where else? – in your past. So let’s dive into your mind as we always do here in the Psych Files.
Resource on Attitudes and Gay Marriage
- Pavlov: classical conditioning: two things get associated, either positively or negatively. Example: cars and beautiful women, eating grasshoppers and getting sick, gay marriage and parents, neighbors, friends – every time there’s talk about the issue it is coupled with negative emotions.
- John Watson & B.F. Skinner – Operant conditioning. Example: as a child you play with a black child and your parent scolds you and says, “We don’t play with that kind of child” “We don’t play with ”their kind“ (Social Psychology by Elliot Aronson, Timothy Wilson & Robin Ackert)
- Social Learning Theory (Bandura): you watch others get rewarded or punished and adjust your behavior and attitudes accordingly. Example: you see another child get in trouble for associating with a child of another color or a gay child. Also: exposure to mass media
- Social comparison: you compare your views to those of other people (especially those you want to be like). You adjust your opinion to be more like them (because you want to be more like them yourself).
- Scholarships & Financial Aid for LGBTQ Students