Investigating the Social-Adjustive and Value-Expressive Functions of Well-Grounded Attitudes: Implications for Change and for Subsequent Behavior

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Doris Bazzini Ph.D, Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Recent demonstrations of the plausibility of functional theories of persuasion have occurred within advertising contexts or have targeted potentially nebulous or uninvolving attitudes, and may thus have demonstrated the utility of functional explanations of attitude formation rather than attitude change. In the present study, attitudes that participants have acted on and consider important (i.e., the criteria they use to select dating partners) were the targets of persuasion. High and low self-monitoring individuals, who hold different dating attitudes that serve different functions, were exposed to functionally relevant or functionally irrelevant messages that reached either proattitudinal or counter attitudinal conclusions. As anticipated by functional theory, (a) low self-monitoring individuals changed their dating attitudes only after hearing a counter attitudinal message that addressed the value-expressive functions their dating attitudes served, whereas (b) high self-monitoring individuals changed their opinions only after hearing a counter attitudinal message that addressed the social-adjustive functions served by their dating attitudes. Although the data revealed that important attitudes can be changed via a functionally relevant appeal, only the low self-monitoring individuals subsequently used their changed attitudes to guide their behavior in a subsequent couple-matching task. Implications of these results for functional theories of persuasion and for variations in attitude/behavior consistency were discussed.

Additional Information

Bazzini, D. G., & Shaffer, D. R. (1995). Investigating the social-adjustive and value-expressive functions of well-grounded attitudes: Implications for change and for subsequent behavior. Motivation and Emotion, 19(4): 279-305. (Dec 1995) Published by Springer Verlag (ISSN: 0146-7239). The original publication is available at
Language: English
Date: 1995

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