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.
Javier Horcajo is with the Department of Psychology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain. Andrew Luttrell is with the Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Address author correspondence to Javier Horcajo at firstname.lastname@example.org.