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The Nature of Attitudes and Persuasion

The Yale Approach

Congruity Theory

Cognitive Dissonance Theory

Social Judgment/ Involvement Theory

Information Integration Theory

Theory of Reasoned Action

Elaboration Likelihood Model


Information Integration Theory

Information Integration Theory

Suggestions for Changing Attitudes

First, this model makes a great deal of sense. When we learn new information, we usually do not abandon our existing attitudes (accepting the new information completely) or ignore those new ideas. Rather, we integrate, mix, or combine the new information in with our existing attitudes to come up with a new attitude. Our new attitude is not exactly the same as either our existing attitudes or the new information, but it is influenced to some extent by each. Furthermore, Information Integration theoryís idea that information has two aspects, evaluation and weight, makes sense. This idea is similar to, although not exactly the same as, the thought that attitudes are made up of beliefs (weight) and values (evaluation). Third, it is reasonable to say that the higher the weight and value of a piece of information, the more influence that idea has on our attitudes. Thus, conceptually this is a useful theory of attitude change.

Anderson (and other scholars) have conducted a great deal of research on Information Integration theory (
1971, 1974, 1981a, 1991, 1996). As suggested above, the research supports its predictions generally. That is, information does have both evaluation and weight, and our attitudes are influenced by the information that is salient (that we know and havenít forgotten) to us. Adding new information (or reminding us of forgotten information) usually changes our attitudes. However, while the predictions are close, we cannot always predict exact amounts of attitude change, and the evidence does not clearly support either the adding or the averaging model. Still, this theory has a great deal of strong experimental support for its ideas and predictions.

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