Alves, Hans, Hoegden, Fabia, Gast, Anne, Aust, Frederik ORCID: 0000-0003-4900-788X and Unkelbach, Christian (2020). Attitudes From Mere Co-Occurrences Are Guided by Differentiation. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol., 119 (3). S. 560 - 582. WASHINGTON: AMER PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOC. ISSN 1939-1315

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Abstract

People often form attitudes about objects, individuals, or groups by examining and comparing their attributes. Such attribute-based attitude formation is guided by a differentiation principle: Whether people come to like or dislike an attitude object depends on the object's attributes that differentiate it from other objects. Attributes that are redundant with previously encountered attitude objects are typically cancelled out. We tested whether the same differentiation principle applies to co-occurrence-based attitude formation, also known as Evaluative Conditioning. This form of attitude formation describes the phenomenon that attitudes are influenced by positive or negative stimuli that have co-occurred with attitude object, but which are not inherent attributes of the attitude object itself. Across 7 experiments (N = 1611), we consistently found that co-occurrence-based attitude formation is guided by the same differentiation principle as attribute-based attitude formation. Specifically, participants' attitudes toward unknown brands were most strongly influenced by positive or negative stimuli that distinctly co-occurred with a specific brand, and that differentiated that brand from previously encountered ones. Stimuli that redundantly co-occurred with multiple brands had weaker influences on brand attitudes. The results further suggest that differentiation operates at the learning stage during which distinct stimulus co-occurrences enjoy a processing advantage. We discuss the present findings' theoretical and practical implications for attitude formation and identify differentiation as a possible cause of biased attitudes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Alves, HansUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hoegden, FabiaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gast, AnneUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Aust, FrederikUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0003-4900-788XUNSPECIFIED
Unkelbach, ChristianUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-322201
DOI: 10.1037/pspa0000193
Journal or Publication Title: J. Pers. Soc. Psychol.
Volume: 119
Number: 3
Page Range: S. 560 - 582
Date: 2020
Publisher: AMER PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOC
Place of Publication: WASHINGTON
ISSN: 1939-1315
Language: English
Faculty: Unspecified
Divisions: Unspecified
Subjects: no entry
Uncontrolled Keywords:
KeywordsLanguage
STATUS-QUO BIAS; UNIQUE FEATURES; IMPLICIT MISATTRIBUTION; NO EVIDENCE; LIKING; ORDER; CONTINGENCY; ATTENTION; MEMORY; ASSOCIATIONMultiple languages
Psychology, SocialMultiple languages
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/32220

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