The Attitude Base as a Moderator of the Effectiveness of Inoculation Strategy
This investigation introduced the attitude base (cognitive or affective) as a moderator in the resistance domain and effectively partitioned the role of affect from cognition by properly delineating its function. A three-phase experiment was conducted involving 290 participants. The results confirmed the role of the original elements in the process of resistance introduced by McGuire: threat and counterarguing output. Furthermore, the results indicated that inoculation messages were most effective when their content matched the attitude base. Cognitive inoculation messages generated greater resistance to counterattitudinal attacks when presented to individuals whose attitude base was primarily cognitive, rather than affective, in nature. The reverse was also found to be true as affective inoculation messages generated greater resistance to counterattitudinal attacks when presented to individuals whose attitude base was primarily affective, rather than cognitive, in nature.