The Moderating Role of Self-Monitoring on the Interpersonal Aspects of Attitude Ambivalence
Version of Record online: 29 JUN 2012
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Personality © 2011, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Personality
Volume 80, Issue 4, pages 949–968, August 2012
How to Cite
Cowley, E. and Czellar, S. (2012), The Moderating Role of Self-Monitoring on the Interpersonal Aspects of Attitude Ambivalence. Journal of Personality, 80: 949–968. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2011.00754.x
- Issue online: 9 JUL 2012
- Version of Record online: 29 JUN 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 3 NOV 2011 09:40AM EST
Extant research has found a relation between holding conflicting attitudes with a familiar person (interpersonal discrepancy) and subjective attitude ambivalence. In 2 studies, we investigated the role of interpersonal discrepancy in the experience of attitude ambivalence as a function of self-monitoring and level of liking of the other person. Building on balance theory, we proposed and found that high (vs. low) self-monitors feel most comfortable when they are in agreement with liked (vs. disliked) others. In Study 1, 80 university students revealed that when the significant other is a parent, high self-monitors feel more subjective ambivalence when there is more interpersonal discrepancy. In Study 2, 37 university students reported their feelings of subjective ambivalence when considering the interpersonal discrepancy between liked (vs. disliked) familiar people. Again, it was high self-monitors who were most susceptible to increased feelings of subjective ambivalence, particularly for discrepancies between their own attitude and the attitude of liked others. Taken together, our 2 studies broaden our understanding of the interpersonal foundations of subjective ambivalence by suggesting that they may depend on personality differences and the nature of the social relationship.