• ambivalence;
  • value conflict;
  • response variability;
  • survey response;
  • campaign finance reform

This article analyzes the effects of value-driven ambivalence and group attachment on response variability in public attitudes toward campaign finance reform. The analysis demonstrates that group attachment, when activated by affective cues, moderates the effects of ambivalence on response variability. By tipping the balance of considerations in one direction or the other, group attachments make it easier for ambivalent respondents to make tradeoffs between competing values during policy choices and, as a result, dampen response variability. Methodologically, the results offer an important cautionary note about the use of linear ambivalence scales by calling into question the assumption that indifference is an intermediate state between preference and ambivalence.