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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1985 Nov;49(5):1184-98.

Amount of information about the attitude object and attitude-behavior consistency.


The synthesis of two separate lines of inquiry--research on information integration and longitudinal studies of attitudes--prompted the hypothesis that the degree of consistency between attitudes and behavior will increase as a function of the amount of information available about the attitude object. The hypothesis was tested in three separate longitudinal studies, ranging in length from 4 days to 4 months, that investigated the following behaviors: voting for candidates for political office, voting for two social policy election initiatives, and having an influenza vaccination. In support of the hypothesis, in each study, amount of information moderated the consistency between attitudes and behavior; and the significance of this relation remained even after controlling for the effects of a number of other potential moderators, including prior direct behavioral experience with the attitude object and attitude certainty. Consistent with previous research, direct behavioral experience was also a determinant of attitude-behavior consistency, and for the behavior of having an influenza vaccination, this relation was independent of the effect of amount of information. The discussion focuses on the interrelation among moderators of attitude-behavior consistency and on the theoretical implications of the findings.

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