DID YOU KNOW? DTIC has over 3.5 million final reports on DoD funded research, development, test, and evaluation activities available to our registered users. Click HERE
to register or log in.
RESPONSE GIVING AND ATTITUDE CHANGE WHEN BOTH SIDES OF AN ISSUE HAVE TO BE SUPPORTED,
HUNTER COLL OF THE CITY UNIV OF NEW YORK
The main purpose of this research was to determine the kinds of reasons Ss consider relevant to the support of both sides of an issue and to compare the reasons given by Ss who approve of the viewpoint being justified with those by Ss who disapprove. Furthermore, requiring people to recall and, thereby, think about opposition arguments may suffice by itself to initiate a cognitive process that increases the likelihood of change, even though they also think of supporting reasons. In general, Ss were asked to give reasons supporting both the pro and con sides of each of two issues. Half did this before they gave their own attitude on the issue, and half after. Also, half gave pro reasons before con reasons on an issue and half did the reverse. The order of the issues was counterbalanced. The schema found most suitable for coding the reasons given by the Ss was that which emphasized the good or bad consequences of policy. However, additional types of categories were also needed. Congruence between Ss own attitude and the side being supported was positively related to the number of reasons given and their rated effectiveness in supporting that side. The attitudes of the Ss were not related to the types of reasons given on one issue but were related on the other. The results suggest that giving reasons on both sides of an issue moderates peoples attitude on that issue. Hence, it would seem that the countering effect of actively rehearsing arguments supporting ones own position does not suffice to eliminate the influence of reconsidering and making salient opposition arguments at the time of attitude expression. Author