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Self and Attitude Strength Parallels: Focus on Accessibility



Numerous parallels exist between the literatures on attitudes and the self, yet they are generally considered in isolation. In this paper, we focus on some parallels with respect to the concept of self-strength – that is, aspects of self-esteem and the self-concept that impart the qualities of durability and impactfulness. Using research on attitude strength as our foundation, we first introduce some relevant strength variables such as accessibility, certainty, and ambivalence. Then, as a case study we review existing research on self-view accessibility. Our review is organized based on parallel findings on attitude accessibility in order to demonstrate the utility of this approach. By considering research on attitude strength, we are able to organize, and in some cases reinterpret, previous self-related findings, make new predictions regarding the self, and increase the precision of predictions. We believe that this approach can foster integration between the areas of attitudes and the self, advancing theory and research on both.

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