Past research suggests that cognitive and affective attitudes are more open to change toward cognitive and affective (i.e., matched) persuasive attacks, respectively. The present research investigates how attitude certainty influences this openness. Although an extensive literature suggests that certainty generally reduces an attitude’s openness to change, the authors explore the possibility that certainty might increase an attitude’s openness to change in the context of affective or cognitive appeals. Based on the recently proposed amplification hypothesis, the authors posit that high (vs. low) attitude certainty will boost the resistance of attitudes to mismatched attacks (e.g., affective attitudes attacked by cognitive messages) but boost the openness of attitudes to matched attacks (e.g., affective attitudes attacked by affective messages). Two experiments provide support for this hypothesis. Implications for increasing the openness of attitudes to both matched and mismatched attacks are discussed.


No posts