Over the weekend, I visited a mall and observed individuals as theywent about making purchases. Two families were making their way intothe mall. A woman from one of the families turned around after sheoverheard the other family speaking Russian. She called out to them,and when she had their attention, they held a small talk. I could seefrom their gestures that the conversation entailed giving directions,probably about where to find certain items in the mall.
At the same time, in front of one of the counters, a short blondewearing a knee-length black dress suit was engaged on her dark bluephone while an attendant was bagging her purchases. The attendant wasplaying safe by bagging the purchases in separate bags. The women,while holding the phone under her cheek and against the shoulder,walked toward the attendant and put a stray all the items he had keptin separate bags and without even looking at him, she continuedconversing on her phone.
I created my descriptions by judging the character’s behavioragainst how I expected people to behave in that environment. Myattitude shaped how I described the two situations. According to Hogg& Copper “the expectancy-value model holds that an overallattitude toward an object is arrived at by considering the sum of theresulting values an attitude object exhibits” (125). I used theimpression that the woman talking on her phone while the attendantbagged her groceries was rude to judge her behavior as unfavorableafter considering the expected results to her and the person servingher. For example, she missed the opportunity of having a face-to-faceengagement. I used the impressions that the Russian woman wasfriendly and courteous to describe her encounter with a fellowRussian family as favorable as it yielded positive values.
Hogg, Michaer., & Copper Joel. The Sage Handbook of SocialPsychology (Concise Student Ed.). Los Angeles: Sage Publications,2007.