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Changing doping-related attitudes in soccer players: How can we get stable and persistent changes?

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The aim of this experiment was to analyse the consequences of changing attitudes related to doping through thoughtful versus non-thoughtful processes. Participants were young soccer players. They received a persuasive message either against or in favour of the legalisation of several doping behaviours in soccer (e.g., the use of anabolic androgenic steroid – AAS), and participants' level of elaboration (i.e., deliberative thinking) was manipulated in two different experimental (high vs. low) conditions. Attitudes towards the legalisation proposal were assessed immediately following the message and one week later. Results showed attitude change was a function of message direction and was relatively equivalent for both high and low elaboration participants immediately after reading the message. That is, those who received the message against legalisation showed significantly more unfavourable attitudes towards the proposal than did those who received the message in favour of legalisation regardless of the extent of elaboration. However, attitude change was found to be persistent only for high elaboration participants one week after message exposure. In the present paper, we discuss implications of changing attitudes related to doping depending on whether the change occurred through psychological processes that require either extensive or small amounts of deliberative thinking and elaboration.
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Keywords: Attitude; doping; elaboration; persistence; persuasion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain 2: Department of Physical Education, Sport & Human Movement, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Publication date: November 17, 2014

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