On the mechanism of thought-induced attitude change

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Angelo Valenti
Abraham Tesser
Cite this article:  Valenti, A., & Tesser, A. (1981). On the mechanism of thought-induced attitude change. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 9(1), 17-22.


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The process of thought-induced attitude change was examined by having subjects rate the similarity of adjective descriptions of persons (or groups) with each other and with a hypothetical ideal. Subjects either thought about or were distracted from thinking about a target stimulus for 90 seconds. Following this, subjects re-rated all pairs of descriptions. An analysis of change on similarity ratings revealed that the target stimulus moved toward the ideal while the ideal did not move as a result of thought. Support for other possibilities was not obtained.
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