Some Variables Influencing Counterarguing and Selective Exposure to a Counterattitudinal Message.
AMERICAN UNIV WASHINGTON D C DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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The study investigated several factors relating to counterarguing and selective exposure to information. Those subjects who were encouraged to counterargue in response to a counterattitudinal message listened to that message for a longer period of time than subjects who did not have the opportunity to counterargue. Opportunity to counterargue also increased resistance to persuasion the counterarguing groups showed significantly less attitude change than the control group. Feedback, locus of control and instructions prompted versus spontaneous counterarguing were explored as additional factors affecting counterarguing. Those subjects who were told to counterargue on prompt, counterargued longer than those subjects who could interrupt the message spontaneously to counterargue. In addition, a significant interaction was revealed for feedback X locus of control. The literature on resistance to persuasion, reactance, cognitive balance and learning theory are discussed as a basis for the above findings.