Ambivalence and information integration in attitudinal judgment

F. van Harreveld, J. van der Pligt, N.K. de Vries, C. Wenneker, D. Verhue

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Ambivalence and information integration in attitudinal judgment.

van Harreveld F, van der Pligt J, de Vries NK, Wenneker C, Verhue D.

Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

In three studies we investigated the role of bottom-up information processing in attitudinal judgment. Overall, the results confirm our expectations and show that people are faster in judging attributes underlying their attitude towards the object than in generating or 'computing' their overall attitudinal response. As predicted, respondents who selected more attributes as important to their attitude needed more time to integrate these attributes in order to come to an overall attitudinal response. Moreover, ambivalence was also related to decreased response times of the overall attitudinal response. We argue that the main reason for this is that non-ambivalent attitudes are generally based on evaluatively congruent attributes, while ambivalent attitude-holders need to integrate evaluatively incongruent attributes into an overall judgment. Implications for research on attitude structure and ambivalence are briefly discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-447
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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