ERIC Number: ED170641
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Reference Count: 0
A Catastrophe Theory Model of Attitude Change.
Flay, Brian R.
Within the large body of literature on attitude change, many diverse and sometimes apparently conflicting findings have been reported. A catastrophe theory model of attitude change that attempts to synthesize many of these diverse findings is proposed. Attitude change is usually monotonic with message content or the strength of the persuasion attempt, although not always isomorphic with it, suggesting message strength as a normal factor. When commitment to a prior attitudinal position is high, attitudes are usually extreme and bimodel, suggesting commitment as a splitting factor. It has been reliably found that a message from a source of high credibility (or any other acceptance cue) will produce greater attitude change than a message from a source of low credibility (or any other rejection or discounting cue). A derogatory message or source (or any other reactance cue) tends to produce attitude change in the direction opposite to that intended by the message. These findings can be accounted for a bias factor to represent any message acceptance or rejection cues. Ego-involvement, which is associated with a tri-modal attitudinal response surface involving latitudes of acceptance, rejection, and noncommitment, is suggested as a fourth factor to form a butterfly model. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Catastrophe Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August, 1978)