Width of the latitude of acceptance as a determinant of attitude change

Alice H. Eagly*, Kathleen Telaak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Examined the implications of social judgment theory for predicting individual differences in attitude change. Ss (N = 124 undergraduates) received a message advocating a position on birth control either mildly, moderately, or strongly discrepant from their own. For all 3 levels of discrepancy, the Ss with wide latitudes of acceptance on the issue showed greater attitude change than Ss with either narrow or medium latitudes of acceptance. Since a mildly discrepant message was in the latitude of acceptance even for narrow latitude Ss and a strongly discrepant message in the latitude of rejection even for wide latitude Ss, this finding cannot be reconciled with social judgment theory. Since correlations between latitude width on birth control and 2 irrelevant issues were low and latitude width on the irrelevant issues did not relate to attitude change on birth control, width of the latitude of acceptance was interpreted as an issue-specific index of influenceability. Category width, though independent of latitude of acceptance width, also predicted attitude change: narrow categorizers changed their attitudes more than did either medium or broad categorizers. (20 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-397
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1972


  • latitude of acceptance & rejection width, individual differences in attitude change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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