Cognitive and affective bases of attitudes toward social groups and social policies

Alice H. Eagly*, Antonio Mladinic, Stacey Otto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

216 Scopus citations


The cognitive and affective bases of attitudes were investigated in two experiments, one that examined attitudes toward four social groups (women, men, Democrats, Republicans) and the other that examined attitudes toward three social policies (abortion on demand, affirmative action in employment, welfare assistance for the poor). In view of the serious inadequacies of the rating-scale and checklist methods that have typically been used to assess the cognitive and affective bases of attitudes, respondents answered open-ended questions that asked them to write down the beliefs they held and the affects they had experienced in relation to the attitude object. Respondents subsequently evaluated each of their own beliefs and affects. Although these free-response techniques suggested that affects contributed significantly to the prediction of some of these attitudes, beliefs were the more important predictor in most instances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-137
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Cognitive and affective bases of attitudes toward social groups and social policies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this