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Communication and consistency: AIDS talk and AIDS attitudes.

Research paper by M M Lalljee, E E Palmer-Canton

Indexed on: 10 Mar '01Published on: 10 Mar '01Published in: The Journal of psychology



Abstract

The main hypothesis tested in this study is that the frequency of talk about a particular domain is related to the consistency of attitudes in that domain. This hypothesis was developed by viewing talk as one of the ways in which people express their identities and by exploring the interpersonal processes involved in the construction of consistency. The hypothesis was tested with a questionnaire completed by 73 students at Oxford University. The first part of the questionnaire consisted of items related to attitude, and the second part contained questions about respondents' conversations about AIDS and related topics. Strong support was found for the hypothesis relating frequency of talk with consistency of attitudes. Data about who the respondents talked to about AIDS and the perceived agreement between them and their discussion partners demonstrated the homogeneity of the discussion environment. The implications for understanding attitude formation and change in everyday social contexts are considered.