According to the cognitive perspective, the generation of counterarguments is a key obstacle to persuasion. Following the metacognitive view, however, the experience of difficulty that accompanies increased counterarguing may benefit persuasion. These two contrasting predictions were evaluated in two experiments (N1 = 392; N2 = 210) by manipulating the instructions of thought-listing tasks following exposure to a testimonial that advocated for Physician-Assisted Suicide. Results for participants low-in-NfC supported the cognitive prediction, whereby generating many counterarguments (7) led to less favorable attitudes toward PAS, whereas fewer counterarguments (2) engendered more positive attitudes. In contrast, among participants high in NfC, increased counterarguing (7) resulted in more favorable attitudes toward PAS, while fewer counterarguments (2) were translated into greater opposition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics