Personalism and cognitive labels as determinants of attitude attribution

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An experiment was conducted to test hypotheses derived from Jones and Davis' (1965) theory of correspondent inferences in conjunction with research on emotional misattribution effects. Subjects were informed that they had ingested either a stimulant or a tranquilizer (label). They then read an emotional, counterattitudinal essay which was written either personally for them or for another subject (personalism). The primary dependent variable was the attitude on the issue in question attributed to the author of the communication. The results showed that the subjects who read the more personal communication made more extreme attributions concerning the attitude of the author of the essay than did the subjects who read the less personal communication. In addition, subjects who were informed that they had received a tranquilizer made more extreme attitude attributions than subjects who were informed that they had received a stimulant. The implications of the results of the experiment for Jones and Davis' principles of personalism and hedonic relevance are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-500
Number of pages5
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1975


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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