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Each participant was identified as having well or poorly defined prior attitudes toward being an environmentalist or conservationist.
In 2006, Tiffany Ito and her colleagues conducted two studies to investigate if changes in facial expression can trigger changes in racial bias.
Participants were surreptitiously induced to smile through holding a pencil in their mouth while viewing photographs of unfamiliar black or white males or performed no somatic configuration while viewing the photographs (Study 1 only).
Guadagno and her fellow experimenters did a study in 2010 addressing the recruitment of new members by terrorist organization via the internet.
In addition to looking at how such an organization might influence its targets to support more extreme ideologies (primarily through simple requests gradually increasing to larger commitments–an example of the foot-in-the-door technique), the authors looked at how "the new converts may form increasingly radical attitudes to be consistent with their increasingly radical behavior." Self-perception theory, then, has strong ties to social identity and social influence in this scenario.
It asserts that people develop their attitudes (when there is no previous attitude due to a lack of experience, etc.—and the emotional response is ambiguous) by observing their own behavior and concluding what attitudes must have caused it.
The theory is counterintuitive in nature, as the conventional wisdom is that attitudes determine behaviors.
") reported themselves as being much more pro-environment than those in the anti-ecology condition ("Do you always recycle? Bringing to mind certain past behaviors affected what people believed their attitudes to be.
Evidence for the self-perception theory has also been seen in real life situations.
In the end of the experiment, subjects inferred and reported their affections and attitudes from their practiced behaviors despite the fact that they were told previously to act that way.
These findings are consistent with the James–Lange theory of emotion.