Effects of evaluative (in-)consistency and perceived self-efficacy on attitude formation1

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In accordance with dual-process theories of attitude change, we predict that attitude judgments about unfamiliar objects are affected by the evaluative inconsistency of relevant attributes. Drawing upon self-efficacy theory, we further predict that individuals' perceived self-efficacy moderates the effect of inconsistency on attitude latencies: Individuals with high perceived self-efficacy in regard to systematic processing are expected to persist in their judgmental process and to show deliberative processing when information is inconsistent but not when it is consistently positive or consistently negative. Evaluatively consistent information should lead to an elimination of or even a reversal of this difference between high- and low-efficacy individuals. The results of two experiments are supportive of these hypotheses.

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