Inoculation and Mental Processing: The Instrumental Role of Associative Networks in the Process of Resistance to Counterattitudinal Influence
This investigation introduced the concept of associative networks to the resistance domain. A four-phase experiment was conducted involving 298 participants. The results confirmed the role of known elements in the process of resistance: the core elements of threat, issue involvement, and counterarguing output facilitated resistance, as did the more recently introduced element of attitude certainty. Also, the results indicated that inoculation treatments modified the structure of associative networks, planting additional nodes and increasing the linkages between nodes. Subsequently, changes in the structure of associative networks contributed to resistance to counterattitudinal attacks.