CONFLICTING INFORMATION, ATTITUDE, AND MESSAGE VARIABLES AS PREDICTORS OF LEARNING AND PERSUASION1

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Abstract

This study examined the effects of conflicting information in two messages about the same topic on recall of, and post favorability toward the message. Three multiple regression analyses tested the relationship among conflicting information, initial attitude, attitude change, salience, message clarity, and adequacy of support in predicting recall and post favorability. Six hypotheses were supported. Both recall and post favorability were inhibited when conflicting information was present. Attitudes and message variables were significant predictors of learning and post favorability. Proactive inhibition produced more interference than retroactive inhibition. Results are discussed in terms of the interrelatedness of the learning and persuasion processes and the ability of interference theory to predict outcomes in both paradigms.

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