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,
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.