Construct differentiation and the relationship of attitudes and behavioral intentions

D. J. O'Keefe, J. G. Delia

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20 Scopus citations


Subjects differing in interpersonal construct differentiation completed both an attitude measure and a behavioral intentions measure (in which subjects’ behavioral intentions in each of nine attitude‐relevant interpersonal situations were assessed) toward a subject‐selected target person. While the overall correlation between attitude and the behavioral intentions index was high (r = .85,), low‐differentiation subjects displayed significantly greater attitude‐behavioral intentions consistency (r = .95,) than did high‐differentiation subjects (r = .75). Correspondingly low differentiation subjects exhibited significantly less variability in the evaluative direction of their behavioral intentions than did high‐differentiation subjects (construct differentiation and variance in individuals’ behavioral intentions were correlated, r = .37). The results are interpreted as suggesting that within a given domain, persons with developmentally less advanced cognitive systems place greater reliance on evaluative consistency principles in organizing their beliefs and behaviors and hence are more likely to exhibit attitude‐behavior consistency than are persons with more developed systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-157
JournalCommunication Monographs
StatePublished - 1981


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