Some effects of time and thought on attitude polarization
AbstractConducted 3 experiments with a total of 211 college students to examine the effects of thought on attitude change. It was predicted that (a) thought produces a change in attitude so as to make it more extreme in the initial direction (i.e., polarization); and (b) the longer one thinks about the attitude object, the greater the tendency toward polarization. In Exps I and II the attitude objects were drawn from a heterogeneous attitude questionnaire; in Exp III they were news-type photos. Hypothesis (b) was tested over the following thought durations: 30, 60, 90, and 180 sec in Exp I: 45, 60, 90, and 180 sec in Exp II; and 28 and 60 sec in Exp III. Exps II and III also had "no-thought" conditions, thereby permitting a test of Hypothesis (a). Using whether or not an attitude became more polarized as the dependent variable, Hypothesis (b) received significant support in all 3 experiments, and Hypothesis (a) was supported only in Exp III.