The effect of attitude and statement favorability upon the judgment of attitude statements

B. Corenblum1, Vera Corfield2
1Brandon University, Canada
2University of Calgary, Canada
Cite this article:  Corenblum, B., & Corfield, V. (1976). The effect of attitude and statement favorability upon the judgment of attitude statements. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 4, 249-256.

Volume 4 Issue 2 | e133 | Published: August 1976 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1976.4.2.249

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Male and female introductory psychology students who held extreme attitudes toward legalized abortion judged the favorability of attitude statements on that issue. Both Sherif’s social judgment theory and Helson’s adaptation-level theory suggest an inverse relationship between judgment and subject attitude. Accentuation theory predicts that statement ratings reflect the congruency between attitude, value connotations of the rating scale, and the extremity of the attitude statements. To test these predictions, participants judged an initial triad consisting of either 2 pro or 2 con abortion statements plus a moderate abortion statement. The pro or con contexts were alternated over the 9 trials with the moderate statement appearing in the third position. Participants with favorable attitudes evidenced favorable judgments of the moderate and pro statements and unfavorable judgments of the con statements. By comparison, participants with unfavorable attitudes were less extreme in their evaluations of the attitude statements. Judgments of the statements were shown to be largely inconsistent with predictions from social judgment theory and adaptation-level theory, but consistent with accentuation theory.
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