Accession Number : AD0427365


Title :   THE EFFECTS OF ANTICIPATED DEBATE AND COMMITMENT ON THE POLARIZATION OF AUDIENCE OPINION,


Corporate Author : CALIFORNIA UNIV LOS ANGELES


Personal Author(s) : Sears,David C ; Freedman,Jonathan L ; O'Conner,Edward F ,Jr


Report Date : 16 Jul 1963


Pagination or Media Count : 23


Abstract : The hypothesis was that anticipating a debate will polarize Ss highly committed to a partisan position, and moderate Ss weakly committed. One hundred fifty-six undergraduates were tested in a simulated jury setting. Strength of commitment to an initial vote was varied. Half the Ss were told to expect a debate, and half to expect two unrelated one-sided speeches. An opinion measure was then administered. No debates or speeches were given. Three indices of polarization were proposed: discrepancy of opinion between partisan camps, homogeneity of opinion within partisan camps, and absence of moderate Ss. The results generally supported the hypothesis, and were interpreted as reflecting defensive maneuvers undertaken prior to a debate for the purpose of minimizing dissonance-arousal. The results were also discussed in connection with other research on the effects of debates. (Author)


Descriptors :   *PUBLIC OPINION , *VERBAL BEHAVIOR , POLARIZATION , SOCIAL COMMUNICATION , ACCEPTABILITY , GROUP DYNAMICS , SOCIAL SCIENCES , STUDENTS


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE