Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Feeling Torn When Everything Seems Right: Semantic Incongruence Causes Felt Ambivalence

Gebauer, Jochen E., Maio, Gregory Richard ORCID: and Pakizeh, A. 2013. Feeling Torn When Everything Seems Right: Semantic Incongruence Causes Felt Ambivalence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 39 (6) , pp. 777-791. 10.1177/0146167213481679

[thumbnail of Gebauer, Maio, & Pakizeh, PSPB, 2nd Submission.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Download (553kB) | Preview


The co-occurrence of positive and negative attributes of an attitude object typically accounts for less than a quarter of the variance in felt ambivalence toward these objects, rendering this evaluative incongruence insufficient for explaining felt ambivalence. The present research tested whether another type of incongruence, semantic incongruence, also causes felt ambivalence. Semantic incongruence arises from inconsistencies in the descriptive content of attitude objects’ attributes (e.g., attributes that are not mutually supportive), independent of these attributes’ valences. Experiment 1 manipulated evaluative and semantic incongruence using valence norms and semantic norms. Both of these norm-based manipulations independently predicted felt ambivalence, and, in Experiment 2, they even did so over and above self-based incongruence (i.e., participants’ idiosyncratic perceptions of evaluative and semantic incongruence). Experiments 3a and 3b revealed that aversive dissonant feelings play a role in the effects of evaluative incongruence, but not semantic incongruence, on felt ambivalence.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: attitudes; ambivalence; evaluative incongruence; semantic incongruence; agency-communion
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0146-1672
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 14 May 2023 18:50

Citation Data

Cited 15 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics