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Javier Horcajo and Andrew Luttrell

This experiment analyzed whether attitudes toward the legalization of several doping behaviors would resist change and predict behavioral intentions when they were initially formed through thoughtful (i.e., high elaboration) versus nonthoughtful (i.e., low elaboration) processes. Participants were randomly assigned first to a persuasive message either against or in favor of the legalization, which they read with relatively high or low degrees of deliberative thinking. Attitudes and intentions regarding legalization were assessed following that message. Next, each participant received a second message that was opposed to the first one, serving as an attack against the attitude that participants had just formed. Finally, attitudes were again assessed. As hypothesized, participants showed greater attitude-consistent intentions when they formed their initial attitudes through thoughtful (vs. nonthoughtful) consideration of the first message. Moreover, the second message resulted in greater resistance to attitude change when participants formed their initial attitudes through thoughtful (vs. nonthoughtful) processes.

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Javier Horcajo, Borja Paredes, Guillermo Higuero, Pablo Briñol, and Richard E. Petty

Research on self-talk has found that what athletes say to themselves influences their performance in sport settings. This experiment analyzed the relationship between positive and negative self-talk and physical performance in light of another variable: overt head movements. Participants were randomly assigned to first generate and then listen to either positive or negative self-statements. They were then randomly assigned to nod (up and down) or to shake (side to side) their heads while being exposed to the self-statements they had previously generated. Finally, physical performance was assessed using a vertical-jump task, a squat test, and a deadlift task. As expected, positive self-statements led to better performance than negative self-statements in 2 out of 3 physical tasks. Most relevant, the main effect of self-talk was significantly qualified by head movements. Consistent with the authors’ hypothesis, athletes’ self-statements were significantly more impactful on physical performance in the head-nodding condition than in the head-shaking condition