In two studies we examined the nature and consequence of ambivalent attitudes. In the first study, we assessed whether holding ambivalent attitudes was aversive, and tested whether this aversion was resolved through biased information processing. To do this we manipulated participants' attributions of the discomfort associated with an ambivalent message through a pill manipulation (tense vs. relaxed). Participants who attributed their discomfort to their ambivalence reported more negative emotions and generated more one-sided thoughts than participants who attributed their discomfort to the pill. In the second study, we examined the conditions necessary for ambivalence reduction. Results suggest that people spontaneously engage in biased information processing in order to resolve their ambivalence.
- Information processing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science