ERIC Number: ED449420
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Aug
Attitude Change in Women's Studies Students: The Effects of Prior Attitudes and Attitude Importance.
Sevelius, Jeanne M.; Stake, Jayne E.
Attitude change in women's studies students has been a central goal of the women's studies movement since its inception. Attitude change theory stresses the crucial roles of prior attitudes and attitude importance in the effectiveness of a persuasive message. Attitude change dynamics were studied in 548 women's studies students drawn from 32 U.S. college campuses with established women's studies programs. The results provide partial support for the hypothesis that students with attitudes highly discrepant from the women's studies message will demonstrate less attitude change when they deem these attitudes as highly relevant. Contrary to the hypotheses, these students were not more likely to report negative effects of the course. The results were consistent with those of previous researchers who found that attitude change in women's studies courses were greatest for students who had the least feminist attitudes at the outset. Future directions for research should include investigating the effect of specifically preparing students to hear multiple perspectives that may differ from their own, as well as further investigation of the factors that may increase or decrease the likelihood of attitude change in students. (Contains 1 figure and 25 references.) (JDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Psychological Association (108th, Washington, DC, August 4-8, 2000).