The Impact of Argumentativeness on Resistance to Persuasion


  • Appreciation is extended to Franklin J. Boster and the anonymous reviewers for their assistance.


This investigation examined the impact of argumentativeness on cognitive responses and attitude change. A negative relationship between argumentativeness and attitudes was predicted. In addition, argumentatives were expected to produce greater numbers of counterarguments. This research also tested a mediational model for cognitive responses and examined the role of argumentativeness in moderating the effects of cognitive responses on attitudes. These predictions were tested by exposing respondents to three mass media messages and measuring argumentativeness. A no-message control group was also included. Volunteer undergraduate college students saw one television advertisement and read two print advertisements and were asked to complete a post hoc thought listing task and a series of dependent measures. Results indicate that argumentative individuals tend to be more resistant to persuasion. Furthermore, argumentatives were found to generate greater numbers of counterarguments. Attitude change for the highly argumentative individual was found to be a function of both positive and negative responses. In addition, the results of this investigation were inconsistent with the moderation hypothesis.