Memory-based versus on-line processing: Implications for attitude strength

George Y. Bizer*, Zakary L. Tormala, Derek Rucker, Richard E. Petty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Three experiments tested whether the manner in which attitudes are created-through on-line or memory-based processing-can impact the resultant strength of those attitudes. In each study, participants were presented with 20 behavioral statements about a person named Marie. Whereas some participants were asked to continually evaluate Marie based upon each sentence and then report their overall evaluation (on-line processing), others were asked to focus on the sentence structure and to evaluate Marie only after they had read all the sentences (memory-based processing). Even when controlling for attitude accessibility, attitudes created through on-line processing were stronger than attitudes created through memory-based processing: Experiment 1 showed that participants in the on-line condition felt more certain of their attitudes, Experiment 2 showed that on-line attitudes were better predictors of participants' evaluative preferences, while Experiment 3 showed that on-line attitudes manifested stronger attitude-behavioral intention correspondence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-653
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006


  • Attitude accessibility
  • Attitude certainty
  • Attitude strength
  • Attitude-behavior correspondence
  • Memory-based processing
  • On-line processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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