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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002 May;82(5):722-41.

Thought confidence as a determinant of persuasion: the self-validation hypothesis.

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Department of Psychology, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1222, USA.


Previous research in the domain of attitude change has described 2 primary dimensions of thinking that impact persuasion processes and outcomes: the extent (amount) of thinking and the direction (valence) of issue-relevant thought. The authors examined the possibility that another, more meta-cognitive aspect of thinking is also important-the degree of confidence people have in their own thoughts. Four studies test the notion that thought confidence affects the extent of persuasion. When positive thoughts dominate in response to a message, increasing confidence in those thoughts increases persuasion, but when negative thoughts dominate, increasing confidence decreases persuasion. In addition, using self-reported and manipulated thought confidence in separate studies, the authors provide evidence that the magnitude of the attitude-thought relationship depends on the confidence people have in their thoughts. Finally, the authors also show that these self-validation effects are most likely in situations that foster high amounts of information processing activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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