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Perceivers were asked to integrate two contradictory pieces of information when making an attribution, each piece varying in its implicational relationship to the attitude to be inferred. One source of information, supplied by the target person, was a set of attitude responses, which were either strongly or weakly predictive of the target's attitude. A second source of information, supplied by a third person, was in the form of an attribution based upon an essay that the target had purportedly written. The essay was described as having been written under either high or low constraint. The impact of either of the two pieces of information on perceivers' attributions was directly related to its diagnosticity. The effect of the response set was generally greater when it was unambiguous rather than ambiguous. The observer's attribution had more influence when the essay was written under choice rather than constraint conditions. However, even the attribution based upon the low freedom essay had some impact. This research demonstrates that attributions of attitude can be a source as well as a target of informational influence.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1990-01-01

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