Attitudes and Persuasion

Icek Ajzen

in The Oxford Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398991
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Attitudes and Persuasion

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This chapter begins by discussing personality traits and attitudes, two broad internal dispositions, and their relations to behavior. Such dispositions influence general patterns of behavior, and their ability to predict individual behaviors is moderated by their strength or accessibility. This discussion is followed by a distinction between explicit and implicit attitudes and the implications of this distinction for behavioral prediction. Like their explicit counterparts, implicit measures of broad attitudes show only modest correlations with specific behaviors; however, the prediction tends to be somewhat better for automatic than for controlled behaviors. Turning to attitude change, it is shown that implicit and explicit attitudes can be modified by both automatic and deliberative processes. Lasting attitude change depends on central processing of strong arguments contained in a persuasive communication, which is facilitated by such motivating factors as the personal relevance of the message, the need for cognition, and the match between the functions served by the attitude and the content of the message. Finally, theory and research is reviewed showing that individual behaviors can be predicted and changed best by considering internal dispositions that focus directly on the behavior of interest, such as self-efficacy beliefs and intentions.

Keywords: accessibility; attitude strength; dispositions; elaboration likelihood model; explicit attitudes; implicit attitudes; personality traits; mode model; theory of planned behavior

Article.  21044 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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