How We Conceptualize Our Attitudes Matters: The Effects of Valence Framing on the Resistance of Political Attitudes



Three studies tested the valence-framing effect: that merely conceptualizing one's preferences as opposing something will make that preference more resistant to persuasion than will thinking about the same preference in terms of supporting something. In Study 1, participants who were led to conceptualize their political preferences as being against a candidate were more resistant to a counterattitudinal message than were participants who were led to conceptualize the same preference as being in favor of the other candidate. Study 2 showed that this effect was not due to a priming process, while Study 3 provided evidence for the effect's generalizability.