Social psychologists have long recognized the possibility that attitudes might differ from one another in terms of their strength, but only recently had the profound implications of this view been explored. Yet because investigators in the area were pursuing interesting but independent programs of research exploring different aspects of strength, there was little articulation of assumptions underlying the work, and little effort to establish a common research agenda. The goals of this book are to highlight these assumptions, to review the discoveries this work has produced, and to suggest directions for future work in the area.
The chapter authors include individuals who have made significant contributions to the published literature and represent a diversity of perspectives on the topic. In addition to providing an overview of the broad area of attitude strength, particular chapters deal in depth with specific features of attitudes related to strength and integrate the diverse bodies of relevant theory and empirical evidence. The book will be of interest to graduate students initiating work on attitudes as well as to longstanding scholars in the field. Because of the many potential directions for application of work on attitude strength to amelioration of social problems, the book will be valuable to scholars in various applied disciplines such as political science, marketing, sociology, public opinion, and others studying attitudinal phenomena.
Contents: P.E. Converse, Foreword. Preface. J.A. Krosnick, R.E. Petty, Attitude Strength: An Overview. R.P. Abelson, Attitude Extremity. C.M. Judd, M. Brauer, Repetition and Evaluative Extremity. A. Tesser, L. Martin, M. Mendolia, The Impact of Thought on Attitude Extremity and Attitude-Behavior Consistency. R.E. Petty, C.P. Haugtvedt, S.M. Smith, Elaboration as a Determinant of Attitude Strength: Creating Attitudes That Are Persistent, Resistant, and Predictive of Behavior. W.D. Crano, Attitude Strength and Vested Interest. D.S. Boninger, J.A. Krosnick, M.K. Berent, L.R. Fabrigar, The Causes and Consequences of Attitude Importance. C.J. Thomsen, E. Borgida, H. Lavine, The Causes and Consequences of Personal Involvement. S.R. Gross, R. Holtz, N. Miller, Attitude Certainty. R.H. Fazio, Attitudes as Object-Evaluation Associations: Determinants, Consequences, and Correlates of Attitude Accessibility. W. Wood, N. Rhodes, M. Biek, Working Knowledge and Attitude Strength: An Information-Processing Analysis. A.R. Davidson, From Attitudes to Actions to Attitude Change: The Effects of Amount and Accuracy of Information. J. Jaccard, C. Radecki, T. Wilson, P. Dittus, Methods for Identifying Consequential Beliefs: Implications for Understanding Attitude Strength. M.M. Thompson, M.P. Zanna, D.W. Griffin, Let's Not Be S. Chaiken, E.M. Pomerantz, R. Giner-Sorolla, Structural Consistency and Attitude Strength. A.H. Eagly, S. Chaiken, Attitude Strength, Attitude Structure, and Resistance to Change. M.W. Erber, S.D. Hodges, T.D. Wilson, Attitude Strength, Attitude Stability, and the Effects of Analyzing Reasons. D.T. Wegener, J. Downing, J.A. Krosnick, R.E. Petty, Measures and Manipulations of Strength-Related Properties of Attitudes: Current Practice and Future Directions.