Unraveling the processes underlying evaluation: Attitudes from the perspective of the APE model

Bertram Gawronski*, Galen V Bodenhausen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

158 Scopus citations


The present article provides an analysis of the attitude construct from the perspective of the Associative-Prepositional Evaluation Model (APE Model). It is argued that evaluative responses should be understood in terms of their underlying mental processes: associative and propositional processes. Whereas associative processes are characterized by mere activation, independent of subjective truth or falsity, propositional reasoning is concerned with the validation of evaluations and beliefs. Associative processes are claimed to provide the basis for primitive affective reactions; propositional processes are assumed to form the basis for evaluative judgments. Implications of this conceptualization for a variety of questions are discussed, such as automatic features of attitudes, processes of attitude formation and change, attitude representation in memory, context-sensitivity and stability of attitudes, and the difference between personal and cultural evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-717
Number of pages31
JournalSocial Cognition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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