Forming judgments of attitude certainty, intensity, and importance: The role of subjective experiences

Geoffrey Haddock, Alexander J. Rothman, Rolf Reber, Norbert Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two studies examined the impact of subjective experiences on reports of attitude certainty, intensity, and importance. In Study 1, participants with moderate or extreme attitudes toward doctor-assisted suicide generated three (easy) or seven (hard) arguments that either supported or countered their opinion toward the issue prior to indicating the strength of their attitude. Participants with moderate attitudes rated their opinions as more intense, personally important, and held with greater certainty when they had generated either a small number of supporting arguments or a large number of opposing arguments. Ratings provided by individuals with extreme attitudes were unaffected by the argument generation task. In Study 2, the impact of ease of recall on strength-related judgments was eliminated when it was rendered nondiagnostic by a misattribution manipulation. Implications of these findings for attitude strength and other judgmental phenomena are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-782
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Volume25
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1999

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