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Discrepancies between implicit and explicit attitude measures as an indicator of attitude strength


Samuel C. Karpen, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, 1101 E 10th St., Bloomington, Indiana 41405, USA.



The current research investigates whether implicit–explicit attitudinal discrepancy (IED) weakens attitudes as explicit discrepancies do. Across two experiments, we found that IED is an indicator of weak attitudes. In Experiment 1, we found that individuals with greater IED toward exercise were more swayed by a self-perceptual manipulation than individuals with lower IED toward exercise. In Experiment 2, we found that the stability and predictive power of attitudes toward alcohol were lessened for participants who had greater IED. These effects occurred independently of the participants' levels of explicit ambivalence and evaluative–cognitive consistency. The present research broadens our understanding of the ways in which evaluations that may not be easily verbalized can affect our thoughts and behavior. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.