Obviously, only the thoughts that seem valid rather than tenuous will affect the attitudes, and ultimately the behavior, of these individuals.
Several cues or movements--nodding the head, memories of confidence, and so forth-tend to validate these thoughts, increasing the likelihood that perhaps they will shape attitudes (Brinol, Petty, & Tormala, 2004& Petty, Brinol, & Tormala, 2002).
After participants read these arguments, they engage in some other activity that is intended to affect their confidence in their thoughts-such as nodding or shaking their head, writing these arguments with their preferred or other hand, reminiscing about events in which they succeeded or failed on some task, or recalling either happy or sad episodes in the past.
Finally, participants answer questions that characterize their attitudes towards the proposal.
This finding, and many other observations, can be ascribed to the self validation hypothesis.
These individuals, for instance, might think that arguments in support of euthanasia are convincing, but nevertheless not change their attitudes towards this practice.In contrast, sometimes you feel that individuals tentatively support your position or opinion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1915-1926. They might, for instance, favor your product but nevertheless have yet to discount a rival offer. The key feature of this theory is that many factors can affect the level of confidence in these thoughts.In particular, individuals are more inclined to feel confident in their thoughts-and hence these thoughts are more likely to affect attitudes-if they nod their head (Brinol & Petty, 2003), transcribe their thoughts with their preferred hand (Brinol & Petty, 2003), experience happiness(Brinol, Petty, & Barden, 2007), or recall instances in which they accomplished some goal (Petty, Brinol, & Tormala, 2002).That is, a variety of theories, such as the elaboration likelihood model (Petty & Cacioppo, 1979) or the heuristic-systematic model (Chaiken, Liberman, & Eagly, 1989) propose that individuals either can reflect upon issues carefully, systematically, and analytically or can consider the topic superficially, rapidly, and intuitively, relying on simple cues and heuristics.