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Attitude Certainty is a Subjective Feeling State: Misattributions of Emotion Decoding Affect Attitude Certainty and Response to Persuasion

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abstract
This experiment provides evidence that certainty appraisals arising from the process of decoding the emotions of social targets may be misattributed to attitude certainty (AC) and that this AC has the same consequences as AC arising from established antecedents, particularly with response to persuasion. While listening to information about a novel attitude object, participants (N = 249) viewed photographs of faces displaying either anger or sadness and either with gaze directed toward or averted away from participants. In order to assess misattribution of certainty during this task, participants were also exposed to background music: half of the participants were informed that the music should facilitate whereas half of the participants were informed that the music should inhibit clarity and certainty of thought. Participants then reported their attitude toward the object and their AC. Participants next read a persuasive message concerning the object and again reported their attitude. For those participants in the direct gaze condition, participants who were predicted to misattribute general feelings of certainty to AC, reported greater AC and changed their attitude less following persuasion if they had been exposed to angry social targets as opposed to sad social targets. The opposite pattern was observed for participants in the averted gaze condition. This experiment provides evidence that emotion decoding, particularly the ease with which emotions may be identified, influences levels of AC and that this form of AC operates similarly to AC arising from other sources.
subject
Attitude Certainty
Decoding
Emotion
Persuasion
Processing ease
contributor
Whitmire, Melanie Blake (author)
Petrocelli, John V (committee chair)
Seta, Catherine E (committee member)
Llewellyn, John T (committee member)
Masicampo, E.J. (committee member)
date
2013-06-06T21:19:37Z (accessioned)
2013-12-06T09:30:11Z (available)
2013 (issued)
degree
Psychology (discipline)
embargo
2013-12-06 (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/38568 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Attitude Certainty is a Subjective Feeling State: Misattributions of Emotion Decoding Affect Attitude Certainty and Response to Persuasion
type
Thesis

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