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ABSTRACT

Historically, attitude theory and research has assumed that attitudes are largely unconflicted and unidimensional summary statements of feelings and beliefs. More recent work has reexamined this assumption (Thompson, Zanna, & Griffin, in press). The present article details two studies that continue to investigate this notion, examining antecedent variables assumed important in the genesis of attitudinal ambivalence. The first study focuses upon personality-based factors such as individuals' Need for Cognition (NFC) and Personal Fear of Invalidity (PFI) (a heightened concern with error). The pattern of results was consistent with our predictions: High NFC was associated with less ambivalence and high PFI was associated with greater ambivalence. The second study investigated a domain-specific antecedent. It was predicted that higher involvement would reduce the level of ambivalence experienced. Further, involvement was expected to moderate the effect of the personality-based antecedents. Again, results confirmed our hypotheses. High