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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2007 Nov;33(11):1533-46. Epub 2007 Aug 30.

The effect of self-affirmation in nonthreatening persuasion domains: timing affects the process.

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  • 1Departamento de Psicologia Social, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.


Most research on self-affirmation and persuasion has argued that self-affirmation buffers the self against the threat posed by a persuasive message; thus, it increases the likelihood that participants will respond to the message favorably. Little research, in contrast, has looked at the effects of self-affirmation on persuasive messages that are not threatening to the self. This research examines mechanisms that can operate under these conditions. Consistent with the idea that self-affirmation affects confidence, the article shows that self-affirmation can decrease information processing when induced prior to message reception (Experiment 1) and can increase the use of self-generated thoughts in response to a persuasive message when induced after message reception (Experiment 2). In addition, Experiment 3 manipulates the timing of self-affirmation to replicate both effects and Experiment 4 provides direct evidence for the impact of self-affirmation on confidence.

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