Attitude and selective recall

N. T. Feather

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    185 undergraduates used the semantic differential to rate American intervention in South Vietnam on 3 7-step evaluative scales to provide a measure of attitude. Subsequently they wrote arguments favoring American intervention with which they agreed (pro-agree arguments), pro-disagree arguments, con-agree arguments, and con-disagree arguments. They had 5 min. to write each set of arguments which were elicited in counterbalanced order. Ss also completed Rokeach's Dogmatism Scale and Budner's test of intolerance of ambiguity. Ss who supported American intervention wrote many pro-agree and con-disagree arguments but few pro-disagree and con-agree arguments. Ss who opposed American intervention did the reverse. The more extreme the attitude, the greater the tendency to write arguments consistent with attitude in comparison to arguments inconsistent with attitude. The difference between number of consistent arguments and number of inconsistent arguments reported was unrelated to dogmatism or intolerance of ambiguity. Results are discussed in terms of an analysis of attitude structures using balance theory. (15 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)310-319
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1969


    • attitude &
    • selective recall, college students


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