Exam Textbook Notes
Chapter 7 (149150)
In one experiment, subjects argued in favor of using condoms every time one has sexual
intercourse. In the experimental condition, subjects were reminded of their failures to wear
condoms. In the control condition, subjects were either reminded of their failures without
arguing in favor or argued in favor without being reminded of their failures. The subjects in
the experimental condition purchased more condoms after the experiment than the control
group. * (likely to be tested, only experiment in the chapter)
Principle 1: Our attitudes are often influenced by weak and irrelevant information.
Principle 2: Weak/irrelevant information effects are reduced when we are motivated and
have an ability to form correct attitudes, except when the relevant information is hard to
Experiment (* likely to be tested)
In this study, subjects were given an article outlining the link between women coffee
drinkers and fibrocystic disease. Female drinkers of coffee were placed in one condition
(high relevance) and the females who did not drink coffee in another (low relevance). The
subjects who were coffee drinkers were further divided into two groups, one of which was
given the opportunity to selfaffirm and another group which had no such opportunity. The
results showed of the coffee drinkers, those who did not selfaffirm were more defensive
and less likely to change their views. Furthermore, coffee drinkers who selfaffirmed were
more accepting of the article and more likely to reduce their coffee drinking habits.
(The logic here is that the message that drinking coffee is linked to a disease is a
message that is a threat to those who already drink coffee and individuals will be defensive
in response to a threatening or counterattitudinal message unless they can affirm their own
values, in which case being true to their core values can evaluate the message without
being defensive. In all, selfaffirming increases systemic processing)
Principle 3: Changing one’s attitudes depends on addressing the properties (content,
structure, function) of the original attitude
In one study, subjects were given positive information about either the content of a new
drink (nutritional value) or affective information (tastes great). They were then given either
negative content or affective information. The results showed that when the initial attitude
was formed based on content, that a negative content appeal elicited more change and the
same was true for affective information (Matching effect).
Individual differences exist. Individuals who primarily build attitudes on affective information
are more affected by affective information and individuals who primarily build attitudes
based on cognition are more affected by cognitive information.
Individuals who are highself monitors are more influenced by appeals with social concerns
and low selfmonitors are more influenced by appeals with valueexpressive functions.
In one experiment, subjects were given objects that served either an instrumental function
(cup) or a socialadjustive function (thank you card). The results showed that subjects were
more likely to change their attitudes about an object with an instrumental function when
instrumental information was presented and the same was shown for socialadjustive
In another experiment, subjects who were either sad or angry read an appeal to increase
state tax. When this appeal was linked with sadness, the sad individuals were more
influenced/persuaded than the angry individuals. Furthermore, when this appeal was linked
to anger, the angry subjects were more persuaded than the sad subjects. This was only
true in those high in need for cognition. This supports the idea of function matching.
Principle 4: Our attitudes can be changed from things beyond our awareness.
Merely comprehending a false statement is enough to persuade us of its truth.
Valueaccount model: dual process model, explicit processing averages out new
information with old information whereas implicit processing adds new information to the
value account memory storage.
One experiment had subjects watch television while reading out stock prices. The results
showed that subjects had attitudes towards the stocks that matched their actual value,
despite not being aware that this was the case.
Subjects in another experiment were either thirsty or not. Both conditions were primed with
either thirsty or neutral words. The thirsty subjects primed with thirsty words, drank
significantly more water than any other group, suggesting that implicit primes can affect our
In another experiment, subjects were presented s