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Ambivalence and persuasion: The processing of messages about immigrant groups

Maio, Gregory Richard ORCID:, Bell, D. W. and Esses, V. M. 1996. Ambivalence and persuasion: The processing of messages about immigrant groups. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 32 (6) , pp. 513-536. 10.1006/jesp.1996.0023

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Previous research has found that ambivalence is an important characteristic of attitudes toward minority groups. In the present research, we determined whether people who are ambivalent toward a minority group exhibit more systematic processing of persuasive messages pertaining to the group than do people who are not ambivalent toward the group. To test this hypothesis, we measured 113 participants' ambivalence toward Oriental people. After a delay, the participants were presented with a persuasive message that contained either strong or weak arguments in favor of immigration from Hong Kong. We examined the effects of the persuasive message on agreement with immigration from Hong Kong, attitudes toward residents of Hong Kong, and immigration-relevant thoughts. In accordance with our hypothesis that ambivalence leads to systematic processing, we predicted first that the strong message would cause ambivalent participants to be more favorable toward residents of Hong Kong and toward their immigration from Hong Kong than would the weak message; this tendency was expected to be weaker among nonambivalent participants. Second, we predicted that the effect of message strength on ambivalent participants' agreement with immigration from Hong Kong would be mediated by their immigration-relevant thoughts. Results indicated support for both predictions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0022-1031
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 08:53

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