The Listener Sets the Tone: High-Quality Listening Increases Attitude Clarity and Behavior-Intention Consequences

Guy Itzchakov, Kenneth G. DeMarree, Avraham N. Kluger, Yaara Turjeman-Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined how merely sharing attitudes with a good listener shapes speakers’ attitudes. We predicted that high-quality (i.e., empathic, attentive, and nonjudgmental) listening reduces speakers’ social anxiety and leads them to delve deeper into their attitude-relevant knowledge (greater self-awareness). This, subsequently, differentially affects two components of speaker’s attitude certainty by increasing attitude clarity, but not attitude correctness. In addition, we predicted that this increased clarity is followed by increased attitude-expression intentions, but not attitude-persuasion intentions. We obtained consistent support for our hypotheses across five experiments (including one preregistered study), manipulating listening behavior in a variety of ways. This is the first evidence that an interpersonal variable, unrelated to the attitude itself, can affect attitude clarity and its consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-778
Number of pages17
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by a grant from Ono Academic College to the first author and grants from the Recanati Fund at the School of Business Administration, and by the Israel Science Foundation (928/17) to the third author.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.


  • advocacy intentions
  • attitude certainty
  • attitude clarity
  • listening
  • self-awareness
  • social anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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