Structure and processing of the perceived attitudes of others: Beyond "Liberal" and "Conservative"

Malcolm J. Grant1, T. Edward Hannah1, Abraham Ross1, Cathryn Button1
1Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
Cite this article:  Grant, M. J., Hannah, T. E., Ross, A., & Button, C. (1995). Structure and processing of the perceived attitudes of others: Beyond "Liberal" and "Conservative". Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 23(1), 1-22.

Volume 23 Issue 1 | e776 | Published: February 1995 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1995.23.1.1

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Button et al. (1993a) have recently proposed that a Liberal-Conservative dimension and a Traditional-Radical dimension underlay people's perceptions and understanding of others' attitudes. The present study examined implications of this two-dimensional model for how people process attitudinal information. Subjects formed impressions of target persons whose attitudes varied in consistency on one or both of the critical dimensions. On both dimensions, subjects took longer to assimilate inconsistent than consistent information. Compared to consistent attitudes, inconsistent ones were rated as fitting less well with subjects' overall impressions of the targets. In addition, comparisons of fit ratings given to particular attitude combinations provided support for Button's two-dimensional model and contradicted two alternative one-dimensional models. Possible connections between Button's model and those related to attitude activation, heuristic and systematic processing, and trait impressions are discussed.
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