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The impact of affective and cognitive focus on attitude formation

van den Berg, Helma, Manstead, Antony Stephen Reid, van der Pligt, Joop and Wigboldus, Daniël H. J. 2006. The impact of affective and cognitive focus on attitude formation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 42 (3) , pp. 373-379. 10.1016/j.jesp.2005.04.009

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Abstract

We examined the effects of unobtrusive affective and cognitive focus on attitude formation. To induce focus, participants worked on a word-search puzzle consisting of either affective (e.g., emotion) or cognitive (e.g., reasoning) words. They then read positive and negative affective and cognitive information about a new attitude object. In the affective focus condition, evaluations were more congruent with the valence of the affective information than they were in the cognitive focus condition, where evaluations were more congruent with the valence of the cognitive information than they were in the affective focus condition. Affective focus also resulted in enhanced recall of affective information. The effects on evaluations remained stable over time, whereas effects on memory disappeared. Finally, affective focus was associated with faster response times, suggesting enhanced accessibility of affect-based attitudes. The present research shows that an affective or cognitive focus leads to the formation of different attitudes.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Focus; Attitudes; Attitude formation; Affect; Cognition; Memory; Accessibility
ISSN: 0022-1031
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:06
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/32789

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