EFFECTS OF SOURCE ON EXPRESSED COGNITIVE SUPPORT FOR AN OPPOSING POSITION.
HUNTER COLL OF THE CITY UNIV OF NEW YORK
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The principal purpose was to determine if the communicator of an opposing point of view would differentially affect the variety or kinds of reasons that people offer in defense of their own attitudes on an issue. Ss 240 college students gave reasons supporting their own viewpoints on each of three topics, after being informed of the opinion position of a high prestige or a low prestige or an anonymous source on each topic. Half of the Ss responded to one set of three topics and half to another set. Although the kinds of attitude-supporting reasons offered by the Ss were not significantly affected by the assigned sources, the numbers of such reasons were reduced when the sources were the more favorably regarded ones. However, regard for these sources was diminished, apparently owing to their advocacy of viewpoints opposing those held by most of the Ss. A similar effect was not found for the less well regarded sources. Author