When my country is at war: Issue importance and interpersonal influence lead Iraq War attitudes to cluster within social networks
Attitude change, Attitude importance, Interpersonal & group processes, Iraq War, Social networks
Two studies investigated how issue importance and interpersonal influence contribute to the development of shared attitudes among social network members (i.e., attitude clustering). Study 1 used the start of the 2003 Iraq War as a natural experiment on the role of issue importance in attitude clustering within residential conversation networks. Attitudes toward the U.S. involvement in Iraq grew more clustered after-but not before-the start of the Iraq War, and this post-war growth in attitude clustering was greater for this issue relative to other political issues. Study 2, using structural equation modeling (SEM), found support for a sequential mediation model whereby personal importance of the Iraq War increases war-relevant information seeking, which increases discussion of the issue, which in turn increases attitude clustering within egoistic social networks. Overall, these results illustrate how intrapersonal attitude processes can catalyze interpersonal influence processes. © 2011 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Department of Psychology
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Cullum, Jerry G.; Okdie, Bradley M.; and Harton, Helen C., "When my country is at war: Issue importance and interpersonal influence lead Iraq War attitudes to cluster within social networks" (2011). Faculty Publications. 1897.