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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2008 Jun;94(6):938-55. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.94.6.938.

Affective and cognitive meta-bases of attitudes: Unique effects on information interest and persuasion.

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Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore 9 Arts Link, Singapore.


The authors investigated the predictive utility of people's subjective assessments of whether their evaluations are affect- or cognition driven (i.e., meta-cognitive bases) as separate from whether people's attitudes are actually affect- or cognition based (i.e., structural bases). Study 1 demonstrated that meta-bases uniquely predict interest in affective versus cognitive information above and beyond structural bases and other related variables (i.e., need for cognition and need for affect). In Study 2, meta-bases were shown to account for unique variance in attitude change as a function of appeal type. Finally, Study 3 showed that as people became more deliberative in their judgments, meta-bases increased in predictive utility, and structural bases decreased in predictive utility. These findings support the existence of meta-bases of attitudes and demonstrate that meta-bases are distinguishable from structural bases in their predictive utility.

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