Our two-stage framework predicts that, during impression formation, individuals who hold ambivalent attitudes toward an issue are influenced by other sources regardless of their perceived reliability on the target issue. Less ambivalent individuals are presumed likely to check the reliability of the message's source before accepting it. Experiment 1 finds that highly ambivalent participants do not differentiate between a more versus less reliable source when forming impressions of a political candidate, whereas less ambivalent participants do. Experiments 2 and 3 show that less ambivalent individuals' attitudes can be influenced by less reliable sources if participants are unaware of this influence or if participants' cognitive resources are curtailed.
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Johar, Gita, and Martin Zemborain. "Attitudinal Ambivalence and Openness to Persuasion: A Framework for Interpersonal Influence." Journal of Consumer Research 33, no. 4 (March 2007): 506-14.
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