Attitudinal Ambivalence – A New Look at Structure, Measurement, and Induction Approaches

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Dokumentart: PhDThesis
Date: 2020-12-19
Language: English
Faculty: 7 Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Department: Psychologie
Advisor: Hütter, Mandy (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2018-12-14
DDC Classifikation: 150 - Psychology
Keywords: Sozialpsychologie , Ambivalenz , Einstellung , Priming
Other Keywords: Intentionalität
sequentielles Priming
Evaluative Konditionierung
attitudinal ambivalence
sequential priming
evaluative conditioning
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Attitudinal ambivalence is defined as the simultaneous positive and negative evaluation of an attitude object. Although the research field investigating this special type of attitudes has generated valuable insights in many domains, it generally suffers from conceptual and methodological ambiguities. In a theoretical chapter, the current state of the art is critically reflected with regard to these shortcomings, and numerous directions for future research are suggested. In two empirical sections, six studies are presented that contribute to the field in at least three ways. First, in Experiments 1 to 3, using evaluative priming paradigms in which ambivalent material either served as primes or as targets, it is shown that positive and negative evaluations may be activated simultaneously and unintentionally if a univalent categorization is required. At short SOAs, ambivalent material generally increases response latencies in comparison to congruent trials, independent of its role and contextual cues. In Experiment 4, a similar experimental set-up with a valent/neutral categorization task further suggests that the ambivalence-induced conflict occurs at the response execution rather than at stimulus encounter. Second, in Experiments 2 to 6, direct and indirect attitude measures are systematically compared revealing that self-reported ambivalence predicts latencies if ambivalent material is used as targets, but not if it serves as primes. Third, in Experiments 5 and 6, univalent, neutral, and ambivalent attitudes are induced on direct measures by applying evaluative conditioning procedures in which conditioned stimuli are paired with two pictures (Experiment 5), or a picture and a sound (Experiment 6), respectively. In both studies, however, ambivalence does not carry over to an evaluative priming paradigm suggesting a complex interaction of automatic and deliberate processes. Finally, the main findings are summarized, and their methodological and theoretical implications regarding the nature, measurement, and induction of attitudinal ambivalence are discussed.

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