The effect of cognitive responses on the attitudes of preservice elementary teachers toward energy conservation



The investigation attempted to determine if subjects' cognitive responses to a persuasive communication are more highly correlated with attitude change than the recall of arguments presented in the communication. Subjects were exposed to a systematically designed persuasive communication and then tested for their retention of arguments presented in the communication and cognitive responses. Attitude change was significantly correlated with cognitive responses elicited immediately following the persuasive communication and cognitive responses recalled three weeks later. There was no significant correlation between recall of communication arguments and attitude change. The results offer a plausible explanation for the contradictory findings reported in the science education literature regarding the dissipation of attitudes changed using persuasive communication.