Acceptance and rejection of arguments in relation to attitude strength, critical ability, and intolerance of inconsistency


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Abstract

165 male students judged the logical validity of 24 religious syllogisms (12 proreligion and 12 antireligion) and 16 neutral syllogisms which were randomly interspersed. A Syllogism Evaluation score was defined as the number of proreligion syllogisms marked sound + the number of antireligious syllogisms marked unsound. A Critical Ability score was defined as the number of neutral syllogisms correctly answered. Subsequently, Ss' responses to the conclusions of the religious syllogisms provided a measure of proreligious attitude, and Rokeach's Dogmatism Scale and Budner's Intolerance of Ambiguity Test were assumed to provide measures of intolerance of inconsistency. Results show that, for Ss with a proreligious attitude (N = 131), Syllogism Evaluation scores are positively correlated with strength of proreligious attitude (p < .005), negatively correlated with Critical Ability scores (p < .005), and positively correlated with Intolerance of Ambiguity scores (p < .01). The antireligious group (N = 34) does not provide an adequate test of predictions. Results are discussed in relation to “preference for consistency” theory and research. (23 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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