Motivated Resistance and Openness to Persuasion in the Presence or Absence of Prior Information

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Abstract

Three experiments investigated the relation between need for cognitive closure and persuasion. In the 1st study, Ss high on an individual-differences measure of need for closure were more resistant to persuasion by their low need-for-closure counterparts than vice versa. In the 2nd study, Ss in a noisy environment, assumed to instill a relatively high need for closure, were more resistant to persuasion than Ss in a quiet environment, but only in presence of an initial informational base for an opinion. In its absence, Ss in the noisy (vs. quiet) environment were less resistant to persuasion. The interaction between need for closure and informational base was replicated in the 3rd experiment reverting to the individual-differences measure of need for closure. The discussion considered implications of these findings for further persuasion phenomena.

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