Attitude accessibility as a Moderator of Autonomic Reactivity during Decision Making

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attitude rehearsal, autonomic reactivity during decision making in painting preference judgments, female college students

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Attitude functionality was assessed in 2 experiments examining attitude accessibility as a moderator of physiological responses during decision making. In Study 1, experimental Ss but not controls rehearsed attitudes toward novel objects (abstract paintings). Subsequently, all Ss made rapid preference judgments for pairs of the paintings. In Study 2, attitudes were rehearsed by all Ss toward 1 of 2 mutually exclusive sets of abstract paintings. During the subsequent decision-making task, half the Ss made rapid pairwise preference judgments for rehearsed abstract paintings and half for pairs from the unrehearsed set. Autonomic measures were recorded continuously throughout both experiments. As predicted, in both experiments less autonomic reactivity was evident during the criterion pairwise preference task for groups for whom attitude rehearsal was relevant to the criterion task.

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Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, v. 64, issue 2, p. 165-172