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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004 Feb;86(2):219-35.

When resistance is futile: consequences of failed counterarguing for attitude certainty.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210-1222, USA. rucker.46@osu.edu

Abstract

This research tests the notion that attitudes after a failed attempt to counterargue may be stronger than attitudes after undirected thinking. Specifically, failed counterarguing may be accompanied by unique metacognitions that serve to strengthen the attitude. The present research examines this issue by giving participants a very strong message and instructing them to counterargue or simply think about the message. Across several experiments, attitudes were as favorable when individuals were trying to counterargue as when they were simply thinking, indicating that counterarguing failed to instill any extra resistance. However, attitudes were held with greater certainty following failed counterarguing compared with following undirected thinking. Furthermore, attitudes following failed counterarguing were more predictive of subsequent behavioral intentions. The metacognitions that follow failed counterarguing are addressed.

PMID:
14769080
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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