Not all contrast effects are created equal: Extent of processing affects contrast strength

Brittany L. Shoots-Reinhard*, Derek D. Rucker, Richard E. Petty, Richard Shakarchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prevailing theories of judgmental contrasts propose mechanisms ranging from relatively low versus high degrees of thought. The present research tests the hypothesis that the degree of thought involved in producing judgmental contrast has important implications. In three experiments, participants' ability or motivation to engage in effortful thinking was manipulated. In Experiment 1, varying personal relevance produced equivalent contrast effects, but these judgments differed in certainty. In two additional studies, despite equivalent amounts of contrast, a manipulation of the order of the standards and target of comparison led to differences in certainty (Experiment 2) and attitude-behavioral intention correspondence (Experiment 3). This is the first research to show that amount of thinking has implications for the strength and consequences of the judgment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-535
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume44
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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