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Title:Attitude Change in Inductively and Deductively Organized Ethical Belief Structures
Author(s):Bouas, Kelly Scott
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Laughlin, Patrick R.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Cognitive
Abstract:Two experiments were conducted to examine ethical belief structure regarding the issues of abortion and euthanasia, and to explore the effects of structure on attitude change. The first experiment explored these issues from a pro-life perspective and the second experiment from a pro-choice perspective. Deductive and inductive logic were proposed as ways to organize beliefs in these domains. Participants rated agreement with the behavior of the protagonist in four abortion and four euthanasia scenarios where the principle of respect for life (Experiment 1) or choice (Experiment 2) was violated. Following the ratings of the scenario, a persuasive message that was either concrete or abstract in its argument targeted one of the eight scenarios. Participants then rerated agreement with the protagonist in the scenarios. Attitude change occurred in scenarios that were targeted by a persuasive message as well as in nontargeted scenarios. Deductive belief structure was shown to play a larger role in producing transfer effects of the persuasive message to nontargeted scenarios than inductive belief structure. The structure of deductive and inductive organization of beliefs depended on the perspective of the experiment--pro-life versus pro-choice. The type of persuasive message used was not a limitation to the transfer effect, but the nature of the ethical principle being targeted was.
Issue Date:1997
Description:145 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9737058
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1997

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