Defense Date

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jeffrey Green

Second Advisor

Jody Davis

Abstract

Would you like a stranger more who shifts his/her attitudes to more closely align with yours? How would you feel if he/she aligned with everyone as opposed to just you? In Experiment 1, participants discussed with a partner disagreed upon social issues and received false feedback about whether the partner engaged in attitude alignment (shifted his/her attitude toward the participant’s attitude) following discussion. Participants also received false feedback about proportion of similarity (25%, 50%, or 75%) to the partner. Participants reported greater attraction toward partners who engaged in attitude alignment and who were more similar. However, similarity only predicted attraction in the absence of attitude alignment. Additionally, partner attitude alignment led to participant attitude alignment, and perceived reasoning ability marginally mediated the attitude alignment-attraction relationship. Similar to Experiment 1, participants in Experiment 2 received attitude alignment feedback, but they also received feedback about whether the partner engaged in attitude alignment with no others besides the participant (selective) or with many others besides the participant (unselective). Participants reported greater attraction toward partners who engaged in attitude alignment with them regardless of the partners’ attitude alignment with others. Perceived reasoning ability again mediated the attitude alignment-attraction relationship, and appeared to be more important in explaining this relation than cognitive evaluation or inferred attraction. Finally, participants reported greater trust and respect for partners who engaged in attitude alignment, but were no more willing to help those partners. This work extends our understanding of attitude alignment and its potential to affect interpersonal relationships, and it considers the influence of judgments about individuals outside of the dyad (i.e., alignment with others relative to alignment with the self).

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

4-25-2014

Available for download on Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Included in

Psychology Commons

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