Effects of expected effort on attitude change prior to exposure

Robert A. Wicklund, Joel Cooper, Darwyn E. Linder

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34 Scopus citations


The present experiments were both designed to test the following hypothesis: If an individual commits himself to be exposed to a counterattitudinal communication, positive attitude change prior to exposure will occur in direct proportion to the amount of effort he expects to exert in order to hear the communication. In the first experiment expectation of effort was manipulated through variation of the length of delay subjects expected before hearing a counterattitudinal communication. In the second experiment effort was manipulated by leading subjects to believe that they would have to run while standing in place (high effort) or sit quietly (low effort). The dependent measure of attitude was administered immediately after subjects had been informed of the effort required and the attitudinal position to be advocated in the communication. The hypothesis was supported, and the results were interpreted in terms of effort justification through anticipatory attitude change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-428
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1967
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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