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On Strong Attitudes and Group Deliberation: Relationships, Structure, Changes, and Effects



Drawing on quasi-experimental data from participants in structured and moderated deliberations on sexual minority rights in Poland, this study tests the relationship between attitude importance, certainty, intensity, and extremity. This study also examines the antecedents of these attributes and their consequences for several democratically important outcomes (i.e., perceived disagreement, negative affect, attitude polarization, self-reported polarization, argument repertoire, and political participation). This study further asks whether these attributes exert different effects than a composite attitude strength index. Although factor analysis suggests that these attributes represent one construct, they are differently affected by deliberation and exert differential effects. The analyses further reveal that relying on the composite index obscures substantial information and inaccurately represents strength-related processes and functions. Theoretical, methodological, and practical implications are discussed.