ERIC Number: ED194820
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Social Judgement Theory Versus Perspective Theory: The Effects of Message Discrepancy on Attitude Change.
Reardon, Richard; And Others
The leading frame-of-reference theories make opposing predictions about the effects of message discrepancy on attitude change. Assimilation-contrast theory predicts that messages that are highly discrepant with initial attitudes are likely to produce less attitude change than messages that are mildly discrepant. In contrast, perspective theory predicts that highly discrepant messages will extend subjects' attitudinal frame of reference (perspective) and thereby produce greater attitude change. The theory was tested by having subjects state their attitudes toward a target issue and, 30 days later, read a persuasive message that was either highly or mildly discrepant with their initial attitudes. Results indicate that the highly discrepant message produced changes in subjects' attitudes whereas the mildly discrepant message did not. In general, the results are consistent with perspective theory and inconsistent with assimilation-contrast theory. The latter may overestimate the closed-mindedness of subjects who are exposed to highly discrepant information. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Earlier version of this paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (26th, Washington, DC, March 26-29, 1980).