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On the basis of dissonance research findings it was hypothesized that dogmatism and attitude discrepancy-congruency would be interactively related to attitude change such that dogmatism and change would be inversely related when the attitudinal positions of the communicator and the receiver were congruent, and positively related when the positions were discrepant. In a pretestposttest design, either an affirmative or a negative speech on the issue “mercy killing is justified” was presented on audio tape to 119 introductory psychology students who were either for or against the resolution. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the predicted interaction effect was insignificant (p < 0.18). However, dogmatism and change in the appropriate direction were significantly related, r(l5) = - 0.50, p < 0.03, for males in the congruent situation. All other correlations in both the discrepant and congruent situations for males, females, and males and females combined were insignificant but in the predicted directions. The results suggest that supportive information may be more effective in polarizing the opinions or attitudes of nondogmatic persons than dogmatic persons.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1978-01-01

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