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When Linking is Stronger Than Thinking : Associative Transfer of Valence Disrupts the Emergence of Cognitive Balance After Attitude Change

[journal article]

Langer, Tina; Walther, Eva; Gawronski, Bertram; Blank, Hartmut

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-312067

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Abstract The present research investigated the role of cognitive balance versus associative transfer of valence in attitude change. Participants first formed positive or negative attitudes toward several source individuals. Subsequently, participants were shown source-target pairs along with information about the source-target relationship (‘likes’/’dislikes’). Afterwards, participants’ attitudes towards the sources were changed by means of information that was opposite to the initially induced attitude. In a control condition, initial source attitudes were remained unqualified. Results in the control condition showed that initially formed attitudes and available relationship information produced target evaluations that were consistent with the notion of cognitive balance. However, when attitudes toward the sources changed, target evaluations directly matched attitudes toward individually associated sources, irrespective of the relation between source and target. These results suggest that associative transfer of valence can disrupt the emergence of cognitive balance after attitude change.
Classification Social Psychology
Free Keywords Associative Processes; Attitude Change; Cognitive Balance; Social Networks
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 1232-1237
Journal Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45 (2009) 6
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2009.07.005
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)