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Although much observed judgment change is superficial and occurs without considering prior information, other forms of change also occur. Comparison between prior and new information about an issue may trigger change by influencing either or both the perceived strength and direction of the new information. In four experiments, participants formed and reported initial judgments of a policy based on favorable written information about it. Later, these participants read a second passage containing strong favorable or unfavorable information on the policy. Compared to control conditions, subtle and direct prompts to compare the initial and new information led to more judgment change in the direction of a second passage perceived to be strong. Mediation analyses indicated that comparison yielded greater perceived strength of the second passage, which in turn correlated positively with judgment change. Moreover, self-reports of comparison mediated the judgment change resulting from comparison prompts.




Taylor & Francis

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Basic and Applied Social Psychology

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Psychology Commons