The catastrophe theory of attitudes (Harton &Latane, 2000) predicts that important attitudes will be more extreme than less important attitudes. It also predicts that, though important attitudes will tend to be stable, when they do change, this change will occur suddenly. We tested these predictions in a sample of 56 UNI Introduction to Psychology students. Student completed a demographics form, the Quick Discrimination Index (Ponterotto, Burkard, & Rieger, 1995), and the Social Attitudes Scale (Rambo, 1972). Then student read seven "news summaries" about a recent conflict in the country of "Montagstan" and rated how they would feel about the refugees going to Germany (low importance condition) or settling in their own comm unity (high importance condition). Important attitudes were more extreme, however the ineffectiveness of our importance manipulation prevented us from fully testing the catastrophe theory of attitudes.
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference
©2000 by the University of Northern Iowa
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA
Gansen, Teresa; Shaw, Jennifer; and Harton, Helen C.
"Attitudes Toward Montagistani Refugees as a Function of Relevance, Time, and Information,"
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference: Vol. 4:
1, Article 14.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/csbsproceedings/vol4/iss1/14