Can perceived responsiveness, the belief that meaningful others attend to and react supportively to core defining feature of the self, shape the structure of attitudes? We predicted that perceived responsiveness fosters open-mindedness, which, in turn, allows people to be simultaneously aware of opposing evaluations of an attitude object. We also hypothesized that this process will result in behavior intentions to consider multiple perspectives about the topic. Furthermore, we predicted that perceived responsiveness will enable people to tolerate accessible opposing evaluations without feeling discomfort. We found consistent support for our hypotheses in four laboratory experiments (Studies 1–3, 5) and a diary study (Study 4). Moreover, we found that perceived responsiveness reduces the perception that one’s initial attitude is correct and valid. These findings indicate that attitude structure and behavior intentions can be changed by an interpersonal variable, unrelated to the attitude itself.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded by a Grant Number 460/18 from the Israeli Science Foundation to the first author.
© 2020 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
- attitude ambivalence
- behavior intentions
- perceived responsiveness
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology