Attitudes of the society

Attitudes of the society

Most literature, including film and television scripts, attempts to affect the attitudes of the characters in the story as well as the attitudes of the audience. In this way, popular culture attempts to affect the attitudes of society as a whole, starting at an early age. Some attempts are successful, while others fail to change attitude, even if the story is enjoyable. Argument seeks to change attitude, and in some cases behavior. Potentially, popular culture conditions the audience to be more susceptible to attitude affect, meaning that if we, as arguers, can follow a script for changing attitudes, we can be better arguers.

For this activity, complete the following:

Pick a book or movie that tells an entire story. Do not use content that is made for television.

Using that story, write a short paper that addresses the following:

  1. Identify and discuss the predominant attitude of the protagonist concerning the storyline in the beginning of the story. For example, if I chose Cinderella (in any iteration), the attitude might be that life is hard and you have to make the best of it, even though it isn’t fair. Once you identify the attitude, discuss how that attitude was formed and what behaviors manifest as a result of the attitude.
  2. Describe which plot element pushes the protagonist out of their salient attitude, creating cognitive dissonance. Analyze any value conflict this creates. Explain how these value conflicts impact the behaviors of the protagonist.
  3. Evaluate the strategy the protagonist chooses to employ to shift their dissonance to salience. Be specific, using examples from the literature, to discuss how their behaviors are directed by these strategies.
  4. Identify and analyze how the plot and story attempt to affect the attitude of the audience (change, reinforcement, shaping). Explain how this happens.
  5. Evaluate whether the attitude affect is successful for both the protagonist and the audience.


  • This is a short paper, which means it should not exceed 2-4 pages (not including the title page and bibliography). Although there are specific requirements you need to address, you should edit your responses to be succinct and concise. Using more words doesn’t create better arguments.
  • 2-4 pages, 12 pt. font
  • double spaced
  • APA format
  • include both in-text citations and a reference page (bibliography)
  • Title page with your name, the course, the section number, and a title that includes Short Paper #1
  • Your paper should make an argument – don’t waffle or sit on the fence about anything. Take a stance and defend it.


  • Click the SUBMIT button that is associated with this assignment. Use one of the following methods to submit your assignment
  • Upload your paper in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format. You need to upload an actual file, not a link to a file.
  • Your paper will be submitted to for plagiarism review

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